“There it is! She let us see her peak! She likes us!” I told Jep as we were approaching final descent to Legazpi Airport. From the window of the aircraft, I was like a child at the window of a candy store when I first saw Mayon Volcano. I was so excited to see the “volcano with the perfect cone” as described on my Sibika at Kultura textbook in grade school. Oh, how I prepared for this trip! I brought along my 75-300mm lens with me, no matter how it’s gonna be a pain in the neck (literally) to carry.
What we didn’t prepare well for, however, was our accommodation in Legazpi. We just know that Ellis Ecotel is a good enough hotel which is budget friendly and we can just walk in anytime. We didn’t book early; over-confident that there’ll be available room for us, we went to the 3 rd floor of Embarcadero De Legazpi where it is located, carrying all are bags and luggage. To our disappointment, we were told that they are already fully booked. They referred us to Hotel St. Ellis instead. For a standard room for two, it would cost us Php2388 in Hotel St. Ellis! That’s way too hefty for our budget. We were hesitant to bite it. But after seeing what other “cheap” hotels nearby offer (as worse as really icky bathrooms), we went straight ahead to Hotel St. Ellis, were given welcome drinks, and checked in in a breeze! We instantly thought it’ll be worth it.
Their lobby is gorgeously white and the staff are friendly. We were accompanied to our room in the 4th floor. Oh, the room is gorgeous as well! It is very spacious; the queen-sized bed is very comfy We got an LCD TV, fridge, complimentary bottled water and coffee, hair dryer, slippers, and a view of the swimming pool. And oh, a complimentary buffet breakfast the next day. 🙂
We can say that our 2000++ bucks for this room is properly spent; because if we compare this kind of room to rooms and services of hotels in other places we know (say, Tagaytay or Subic), it would already cost us 3000-5000 bucks! Just my two cents. ^_^
Because our time in Legazpi is limited (we spent most of our Bicol tour in Sorsogon, that is), we went straight ahead to Lignon Hill for an unobstructed view Daragang Magayon. Umm, why weren’t we informed that Lignon Hill is one steep hill? We climbed up the hill on foot! It was tiring! But I find quite a lot of interesting stuffs along the way. One could actually dedicate a whole day to explore Lignon Hill as there are trails, tunnel and exhibits to see.
After consuming two bottles of water, we finally reached the top of the hill. Yay! Daragang Magayon is ever stunning! We were so blessed for a cloudless afternoon that we were able to see Mayon’s full form.
There is also a zipline here for the adventure seekers. I could have tried that too but my legs are still shaking from the climb. Even my shots are evidently shaky.
So we just spent quite some hours till dusk on the hill. We made sure our legs got a good rest before we go down.
We were lucky to witness the fireworks display that night, because it was also the ceremonial lighting of their Christmas Tree.
We doubt that we’ll be able to have enough time to go around town and hunt for authentic Bicol cuisine, so we just get ourselves stuffed with Bicolano sounding dish in Gerry’s Grill-Embarcadero menu.
The next day, we only have until lunch time and we’ll have to say bye-bye to Bicolandia. So to maximize our time, we woke up early, indulged in the buffet breakfast treat of Hotel St. Ellis and went straight to Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga.
I felt like I was in a picture perfect postcard of Cagsawa Ruins with Mayon Volcano in the background. I think Daragang Magayon really liked us. We had another day of good weather, clear blue skies, almost cloudless for us to witness Mayon’s full glory. A perfect time to capture Mayon’s beauty up close too!
She is awesome! I have no idea how to give justice to the beauty that she is through my camera.
Because of a couple of eruptions of this active volcano, its perfect cone as was described in my grade school textbook is no longer so perfect, but still a perfectly stunning sight! So here I give you a closer look of its peak:
Breath taking! I enjoyed the view of Mayon more from Cagsawa Ruins. It looks bare and more breath-taking than the other day from Lignon Hill. Or maybe I appreciate it more from Cagsawa because it looked like a naked beautiful lady in bright day light where I was able to see its stunning curves and imperfections yet sitting gorgeously still in front of us. Seeing her with my own eyes, not just in pictures, is a dream come true. And capturing her beauty with my camera is a bliss. 🙂
Our lightning tour of Albay is satisfying no matter how short. A glimpse of Mayon would leave anyone stunned.
I was not ready to go home just yet. But time get’s crazy fast when you are high in bliss. So off we went to catch our flight back home.
Lounging around Legazpi Airport is pretty interesting:
In my humble opinion, it is the prettiest airport in the country— awesome view of Mayon Volcano here!
I can’t get enough of the thought of how Daragang Magayon liked us, because from first glimpse to farewell bids, she let us see her peak. 🙂