Sunday, March 20, 2011

LEGAZPI: 01 – Playing Hide and Seek with Mayon


Albay is a province in the Bicol region, which occupies the southeastern tail of Luzon. The province is always associated to either its most famous landmark Mt. Mayon or its spicy food, thus the abundance of red chili peppers on souvenir shirts. Legazpi City is the capital and the dominant language spoken is also called Bicol, although people understand Tagalog and English without difficulty.


It was my first time to flirt with check-in deadlines and got informed by the security personnel that check-in for Legazpi was already closed. He still ushered me to get a boarding pass though. Make up your mind, dude. I thought I lost another opportunity to meet a whale shark. The original itinerary was two weeks earlier. Cebu Pacific brought us all the way to Legazpi, circled the airport thrice, and went back to Manila. It was like showing a kid a bar of chocolate and telling him straight to his face that he could not have it. Damn weather.


There was a Rebecca Black moment on the plane because a family of three did not know which seats they can take. Boarding passes gone wild. It was easily resolved and the next thing we knew we were already landing at the Legazpi Airport, which was very wet. Again, it is the weather. If the Batanes Airport has Mt. Iraya to greet you as you deplane, Bicol has Mt. Mayon, and wow, is she not a stunner!


Mayon showed off her perfect cone that morning despite the drizzle. Good thing I was able to snap a picture of that because it was the last time I would be seeing it during my stay in Bicol. I exited the airport and flagged a tricycle. I asked him to take me to the Central Terminal where I got in a van with four foreigners and four locals. It did not take long to fill the vehicle with passengers. At around 7:15 AM we were off to nearby province Sorsogon to swim with the whale sharks of Donsol. I went back to Legazpi on the same day and arrived at Daraga at around three in the afternoon.


I was planning to cram a lot of tourist attractions in my rather short itinerary. Is it possible to do Ligñon Hill, Cagsawa Ruins, and Embarcadero in just half a day? I would say so, if you have your own vehicle. However, there might be some problems if you plan on walking. It would be best to consult your legs first.


I took a Loop 2 jeep to get me from the market place to the entrance of Ligñon Hill. The entrance is marked with a Tanduay signboard saying, Welcome, which is weird because you really could not bring your own food and drinks up there, what more, liquor. Chowking endorses the hill too as is obvious from the road signs with their logo on the way to the top. The difference is that there is a Chowking stall on top of that hill, although their menu is rather limited.


The hike up was tiring and it was the first time in months that I felt like I was going to have a heart attack even if I really do not have an existing heart condition. I do not know what I have done to the weather for it to be so unkind to me that day. Mayon, Mayon, Mayon. Why hide your perfect cone behind a gang of clouds? You must hate me that much, huh? Is it because of Mt. Iraya? What part of We are just friends do you not understand? I pleaded and begged but the volcano just continued her game of hide-and-seek with the clouds.


Fine, I entertained myself with a 250-peso zip line ride, which I caught on camera. Before all that, I ate fried rice at Chowking to celebrate my successful ascent of the hill without actually fainting. Going down would be easier, of course. If only I could roll down instead of walk! When you get the chance to go to Bicol make sure that Ligñon Hill is in your itinerary because it really offers a wonderful bird’s eye view of the city with Mayon as the bonus. The zip line teens said that it is always better to visit early in the morning for better visibility. If you are a jogger, you would really enjoy this hill!

LEGAZPI: 01 – Playing Hide and Seek with Mayon

1 creature/s gave a damn:

Ian | Going Places said...

What month did you visit Albay & Lignon Hill? It seems you visit it on a cloudy/rainy that's why it didn't show up.

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