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July 15, 2014


Stranded by Storm in Bicol, Here’s Mayon Volcano

by Pangga Gen

Mayon Volcano from Cagsawa Ruins, Albay

Mayon Volcano from Cagsawa Ruins, Albay

Here’s Mayon Volcano on my 2nd time at the Cagsawa Ruins Park, where one typically goes to be acquainted with this beauty and terror.

And for the first time beyond Cagsawa, from what may be considered as vantage points, via my 2-year-old iPhone4S:

From the balcony of my Calachuchi Room at Balay de la Rama, a boutique bed&breakfast at barangay Banyag in Daraga. I arrived here with the rain last Sunday afternoon from Naga City, after what was described as a meaningful engagement and lovely presentation on a Saturday afternoon at the Ateneo de Naga (and the Naga City that I come to know deserves its own post sometime soon).

Mayon Volcano from Balay de la Rama, Brgy. Banyag, Daraga, Albay

Mayon Volcano from Balay de la Rama, Brgy. Banyag, Daraga, Albay

From The Oriental Hotel in Legazpi. It is uphill and you have this view of the city and the volcano, or the volcano dwarfing the whole of Albay.

Mayon Volcano from the Oriental Hotel in Legazpi, Albay

Mayon Volcano from the Oriental Hotel in Legazpi, Albay

For a high-end hotel, I was very happy for what I paid for my afternoon drink and meal, as well as for quality Bicol souvenir items from their two shops in the lobby. I was greeted and served warmly. If not for the brewing tropical storm Glenda (international codename Rammasun) that already put Bicol in Signal #2 and prompted the cancellation of my flight back to Manila, I would have stayed longer and linger in this view.

And what’s with the view?


By the Cagsawa Ruins Park, with only the belfry remaining of what was once a seat of Spanish power and beauty, one is reminded of history: this volcano’s worst eruption on February 01, 1814. Mayon derived its name from “magayon” which means beautiful. She appeared pale to me in the morning light that Monday that I framed my shot with the orange hibiscus.

By the balcony outside my room at the 2nd floor of Balay de la Rama, a sight of her sideview has to pass through calachuci, malunggay, and langka trees. I had to lean by the railings of the balcony for a shot, and even then, only a sideview, and the peak disappearing in the clouds. For this, I was able to pay attention to the ordinary sights surrounding Mayon and Balay de la Rama: the fields and the farmers in the distance, the unfinished 2nd floor of a house beyond the wall of this bed&breakfast where some children play, the garden, the flowers in it and the cat.

A panoramic view from Oriental Hotel framed by flagpoles bannering the country reminded me that this is the “world’s most near perfect cone” that we learned in elementary textbook and quizzed at in History class. This is why I’ve heard that Albay is the most beautiful place in the whole of Bicol. This is the ‘magayon’ (beautiful), the ‘maray’ (good, nice), the ‘maogma’ (happy) in Bicol (the region/place), in Bikol (the language), in Bikol/non (the people).

Dios mabalos!

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