My mom spent 20 years of her early life in Bicol before she went to Manila and met my dad. Naturally, she never gets tired telling stories of the beautiful peninsula made famous by the majestic Mayon volcano.
Mt. Mayon is often referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World for its almost perfect and symmetrical cone. Old folks in Albay call the volcano Daragang Magayon, derived from the folklore of how Mayon volcano came about. In their local dialect it means Beautiful Maiden.
And how beautiful it truly is, Mount Mayon.
From where we were staying, the beautiful but most active volcano in the Philippines can be admired in all its glory. She is indeed most stunning in the morning.
The Hubby said on our way home to Manila that despite staying in Albay for a couple of days, he was still not able to admire the volcano to his heart's content. It's hard to explain but it really is mesmerizing especially for people like us who rarely get to see wonders of nature.
I remember our 'neighbor' at the hostel where we stayed. He is an Indian guy and a first timer in Bicol. He pulled a chair from their room, sat in the middle of the open space near the hotel's garden and drank his coffee while staring at the volcano.
He noticed I was staring at him. He smiled, gestured at Mayon and said, "It's beautiful."
Aside from the volcano which stands in the middle of Albay, the next most photographed landmark is Cagsawa Ruins.
Cagsawa Church, built in 1724 by Franciscan friars, was destroyed by Mayon's eruption in 1814. The entire church was buried in lava and only the bell tower survived the destruction.
It is a stark reminder that beneath the alluring perfect cone lies a smokin' hot momma!
The Cagsawa Ruins Park is located in Daraga, Albay. Daraga is about 10 minutes from Legazpi City. Entrance fee is Php10 per adult and Php5 per child.