I took the 6:00 AM Cebu Pacific flight bound for Legazpi Albay and in 41 minutes after take off, I found myself in this beautiful City. It's been a long time dream for me to visit Legazpi. At isa lang ang nasabi ko nung makita ko ang Mayon Volcano habang pa-landing na ang eroplano. "Nagkita rin tayo..."
Nagbreakfast muna ako sa Airport bago ko sinimulan ang aking "Solo Trip Adventure".
With no itinerary prepared, I searched for the tourism office of Legazpi in the airport, but it was closed, no one was there to assist me. I took a tricyle and told the driver to bring me to the Capitol. The tourism office in the Albay Astrodome is also closed - sabado daw kasi. Hahahaha!
So, I just took some pictures in the Capitol Building, the City Hall and the Church located near the plaza.
The people of Legazpi are very accommodating in helping me where to go. As advised, I took a jeepney bound for Polangui and asked the driver to drop me at Embarcadero. Fare is 7.00 pesos. It's like a mall; Greenbelt, MOA and Trinoma combined. With shops and restaurants all over the place facing the harbor of Legazpi with views to the Mayon volcano.
Di ko pa alam kung saan ako pupunta, naglakad-lakad muna ako. I was amazed because the City is generally clean. Walang masyadong kalat. Wahhhhh!!! Sana ganito din sa Manila.
As I was walking around, I found the Church of Legazpi. The St. Raphael Parish Church is located right in the heart of the Legazpi Port District, the city’s main business district. The original church was built in 1834 through the generosity of Pedro Romero. The church was extensively damaged in the Second World War and has since been reconstructed to its present form. One of the unique attractions of the present St. Raphael Church is its altar table made of a single block of solid hardened lava. The feast day of St. Raphael is on the 24th of October which is also celebrated as the fiesta of Legazpi Port and coincides with the yearly Ibalong Festival. (http://wowlegazpi.com/2010/03/14/visita-iglesia-st-raphael-church-legazpi)
Right across the church is a plaza with a monument of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. I took this oppurtunity to rest for a while and plan where to go next.
Ligñon Hill is my next destination! From the church, take a Legazpi-Daraga Loop 1 jeepney that will bring you directly to the foot of the hill. It is right after the Albay Parks and Wildlife. Fare is 8.00 pesos.
Ligñon Hill is another prominent landform in the city located behind the Legazpi Airport Tower and beside the Albay Wildlife Park. Aside from the Mayon Volcano standing serenely behind it, this hill is one of the first landmarks that greet visitors upon stepping down from an airplane. The hill stands 156 meter (511 feet) tall. Ligñon Hill’s summit offers a breathtaking 360 degree view of the City of Legazpi, the deep blue Albay Gulf, nearby towns and islands, and of course the majestic Mayon Volcano. It is becoming one of the most popular destinations for locals and visitors alike. (http://wowlegazpi.com/2009/02/19/lignon-hill)
Entrance fee to the park is 20.00 pesos. There are also motorcycles that will bring you to the top of the hill for 20.00 pesos. But I opted not to get their services, akala ko malapit lang. Hahaha!!!
Ayun, I ended up trekking the hill at pawis na pawis na ako pagdating ko sa taas. Hehehe!!! Mayabang ako eh, Mountaineer ako, kaya ko 'to! Hahaha!!! Pero okay lang, na-enjoy ko naman ang view and I was able to take pictures of the WWII Japanese-built tunnel, Kapit tuko trail and the Legazpi City airport on my way up.
There are a lot of activities that can be done here. You can ride an All-terrain vehicle to the Mayon Lava watch area, do rapelling, play paintball and airsoft and zip line with the Mayon volcano as the back drop. I wanted to do the zip line, kaso wala akong mapag-iwanan ng bag ko. So ayun, pinanuod ko nalang yung iba na nag-zip line. Hay... Sayang!
There are motorcycles that also offer a tour to the different tourist spots around the city and nearby towns. I was offered by one of them and told the driver that I want to go to Daraga Church and Cagsaua Ruins. We had a deal for 200 pesos. I hopped into his motorcycle and we're now heading towards Daraga Albay. Cool!!!
Now I have a driver, a tour-guide and a photographer. Hahaha!!! Thanks Kuya! Lolz!
The Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church in Daraga, Albay is an 18th century baroque church poised on a hill with commanding views of the sea and Mayon Volcano. It's stone masons suffused the facade with statuary, carvings, alcoves and niches at different levels. This Church was built after the eruption of Mayon Volcano which covered the original church of the town at Cagsawa. (www.waypoints.ph)
Unfortunately, I didn't get a nice picture of the church's facade as it is being re-constructed during that time.
Few minutes from the church is the Cagsaua Ruins. Entrance fee is 10.00 pesos.
Cagsaua Ruins - In February 1, 1814, Mt. Mayon began its most violent and deadly eruption to date. During the eruption, some 1,200 people took refuge in the stone church of Cagsawa. Unfortunately, all perished when lahar and pyroclastic flows engulfed the church. Only the belfry of the Cagsawa church remains as a grim and silent reminder of that fateful day. For almost two hundred years, it has withstood the test of time and the elements to become one of the most recognizable landmarks of Albay Province. (http://wowlegazpi.com/2009/02/26/cagsawa-ruins)
This is how I always picture out Mayon volcano in my mind. Eto yung nakikita mo lagi sa mga posters at post cards. And eversince nung bata pa ako, gustong gusto ko na makapunta dito and have a souvenir picture taken. Wahahaha!!! Natupad din ang pangarap ko. Hahahaha!!!
Next stop is Save More Terminal back in Legazpi City. This is where I took a van going to Naga City. Fare is 150 pesos and it took me nearly 2 hours before I reached Naga City.
I'll do another post on my trip to Camsur later.
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