Dateline Bicolandia: Mt. Mayon – the volcano that took my breath away.

January 31, 2009

It was a very early drive back to Legaspi from Sorsogon. I was riding in Dr. Manzano’s van along with other volunteers.  He was driving quite slowly for comfort and I was getting impatient. I did not know that his van underwent an overhaul days before the medical mission – and he was doing a “break-in.”

The trip from Sorsogon to Legaspi usually takes 2 hours or so – but since I was riding in a van with a newly overhauled engine driven by Dr. Manzano, I figured it was going to be a longer ride.

I was dozing on and off – and since everyone in the van was quiet, I did not offer to start any conversations.

Then at 6:01 am, I saw her.

Rising majestically on the horizon with no clouds to hinder the view, Mt. Mayon left me breathless.  She was really beautiful.  Most perfect cone-shaped volcano that seemed to grow bigger as we approach Legaspi.  It was so beautiful that I asked Mrs. Maninang to wake up her daughter Jasmin so she could see the awesome sight.

We drove in silence.  The other men riding with us were from the area and have seen this sight thousands of times. But I have not seen it like this.  I was mesmerized.  I did not have any camera with me so I had to take a good grateful lookand try to memorize the view.

Later on we drove to the Cagsawa ruins.  I have seen it many times but only through postcards.  Seeing it for real was like a very precious gift.

Here are some of my favorite shots:



The Churches were constructed using volcanic rocks and if you would noticed the massive walls.  These structures not only serve as the belfry but also as watchout towers to warn the communities of any impending attacks against the Spanish rule.

A closer look of the ruins of the Cagsawa Cathedral

A closer look at the ruins of the Cagsawa Cathedral


Zooming in on the volcano from the Cagsawa Ruins

And this is the best shot I have taken from the trip. Seeing this cross right at the spot where so many lives perished during that volcanic eruption that also destroyed the cathedral.  In 2006, a massive landslide from the volcano destroyed everything on its path.  The communities around were buried and the water just pushed everything back to the sea. It was a devastating event that claimed so many lives.


Mustering all my photography skills to capture this poignant scene.


5 Responses to “Dateline Bicolandia: Mt. Mayon – the volcano that took my breath away.”

  1. andoi Says:

    Love the quality of the shots esp on the zoom shot.
    whats ur camera?

  2. Joe Narvaez Says:

    Hi there! Your Mayon photos are very beautiful! Good job! I like the last one most.

  3. oftherock Says:

    @ Andoi: it is Orly’s camera. Kodak semi-dslr I think. I was surprised at the quality of the shots. Since I do not have any photoshop skills – the basic editing done here in these pictures are the autofix image.

  4. oftherock Says:

    @ Joe Narvaez: Thanks for dropping by. I love the last shot as well. I wanted to highlight the Christian history of the place juxtaposed with the majestic Mayon.

    I visited your blog. Great to hear that blogging has kept you sane. Take care in Hongkong. God bless you. I pray that our government will really get their acts together instead of just relying on the “cash cows” like you mentioned in your blog.

  5. andoi Says:

    Tell kuya Orly that if he’s bored with his camera, he can always ship it to me. Hehe.

    OT: when will you share a blog to ?? I know you’re a busy brother, but hey, just take your time, youthoughts can wait 😉

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