Albay is so special to me as it is where I had my very first solo adventure in 2010. This trip is actually my 3rd time to visit Albay and it never fails to amuse me. So just before lunch time, I checked out of my hotel in Sorsogon and took a public van bound for Legaspi City (PHP 90). Since I still have time to burn, I decided to drop by Daraga Church to have a very nice view of the lovely Mayon Volcano.
After about 1.5 hours, I reached the town proper of Daraga and walked towards the location of the church which is on a hill. The Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church was built in the 18th century after the destructive eruption of the Mayon Volcano that buried the original church of the town at Cagsawa.
I rested for a while and enjoyed the view of the Mayon Volcano as it is being caressed by huge clouds.
Then I walked around to take photos and had small talks with some locals. The church is quite different from what I saw in 2010. As mentioned by a local, it is colored white as it is now covered with lime or apog to preserve the church from deterioration. Eventually, it will return to it's old rustic feel, just like the bell tower.
I also asked, why is the bell tower not restored? She said, it's because of lack of budget.
As you can see, the covering is slowly turning black.
I even tried rubbing my fingers to see what really is it. See my fingers? It's not a paint.
I sat on the side of the church facing the Mayon Volcano while munching on a spicy Bicol express fried siopao that I bought in Sorsogon. I was staring at her and she's really incomparable.
After about 2 hours, I went down and proceeded to the airport for my 4:00 PM flight back to Manila. I am so glad to have a very nice view of the volcano before I boarded the plane. Magayon indeed!
I thought that was it. But a surprise came! I had a closer look at Mayon as the plane flew near it. Woohoo!!!
It was an ecstatic experience. I can't believe that I am this close to one of the Philippines' iconic beauty. If only I could touch it from where I am seated, I would have done it. Hahaha!
Truly, the Mayon Volcano is one of the world's best!
HOW TO GET TO DARAGA CHURCH
From Legaspi City, take a Daraga bound jeepney and get off at the town proper. Travel time is about 10-15 minutes and fare is around 10 pesos. From there, you could just climb towards the church.
If you're coming from Sorsogon City, the van will pass by the town of Daraga. Get off at the town center and walk towards the location of the church on top of the hill. Travel time is about 1.5 hours and fare is around 80-90 pesos.
This is part of my solo adventure in Sorsogon that happened last October 21-23, 2011. Sorsogon is the 43rd province on my list. It's my 12th solo trip and marks my 4th time to set foot on Bicol Region (Region 5). Join me as I discover the different sights I saw, places I've conquered and activities I did in this southernmost province of Luzon.
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