Your visit to Albay will not be complete if you don't stop by the Cagsawa ruins in Daraga. Mt. Mayon's most violent and deadly eruption was on February 1, 1814. That fateful day, about 1,200 people sought refuge in the stone church of Cagsawa. Sad to say, they all perished when the church was razed and buried with lahar and pyroclastic flows. Only...more
Another typical sight in the park is the presence of boys selling postcards/pictures of Mayon Volcano (P25 a piece). Some even volunteer as guides and photographers for trick shots in the area. They are really nice kids, not offensively irritating; they are not hard-sell in their approach.I bought 4 postcards and the boy voulunteered to take my...more
At last, we saw the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria (Our Lady of the Gate), known to be "the crowning glory of religious architecture in the province of Albay" and highly regarded for its luxurious baroque architecture. Its huge, massive structure stands majestically on top of a hill overlooking the progressive town of Daraga, and it has...more
Cagsawa Ruins is a testimony on the fury of Mayon. The church, except for the bellfry, was buried with stones and lava during Mayon's most destructive eruption in 1814. It is believed that more than a thousand people perished at that time because they used the church as their refuge.Today, it has become a popular tourist destination. Cagsawa Ruins...more
Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church...also known as Daraga Church. It is a baroque-style architechture built in 1773. The material used for this church are volcanic rocks and the outer walls looked very unique with intricate carvings of angels and saints.According to the folklore...the name Daraga (maiden) was given in honor of the maidens who...more
Exquisite coffee and great costumer service. You can use their computer for free. Try their Cafe Bicolano (strong coffee!) and pili bread (delicious! the syrup is not too sweet). Perfect combination! Cafe Bicolano kept me charged throughout my stay in Albay. Also, their Pili shake is highly recommended.more
7 Degrees is a roofdeck-type grill restaurant right beside the Daraga Church, offering a good view of Mt. Mayon. I noticed the attractive table parasols and professional-looking uniformed waiters and chefs. There were very few diners at the time I passed by, so the waiters and chef gathered at the front of the restaurant, people-watching and...more
Alternative to car rental: From Legaspi City, take a jeepney bound for any of the towns in the 3rd didtrict: Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Libon, Polangui or Oas. Get off at the junction of the hiway and the road going to Cagsawa in Barangay Busay. Watch for the Cagsawa signage at the right side of the road. Walk to the Park.more
Several souvenir shops can be found in the park offering various souvenir items and native products made from indigenous materials like abaca. You can buy bags, mats, t-shirts,handicrafts and even pili delicacies. We bought some t-shirts. The bags were more expensive than those we bought from Tabaco shops. I also saw exotic flowers and orchids on...more
Postcards and pictures...especially that of Mayon with flowing lava. From experience, I was not able to get a good photo using my ordinary digital camera.Buy those from the kids inside the Cagsawa National Park. The children is very persistent but come to think of it, they only get small commisions for their cards and the prices do not differ...more
They sell an abaca products, Albay’s prime souvenirs creatively crafted into infinite creations such as home decor, office and personal paraphernalia and exported worldwide. Abaca is considered the world’s strongest fiber. There were also a stalls that sells a wide variety of orchids. abaca products, orchids, wall decors, pili nuts,...more
If there is the 7 Degrees Grill & Restaurant, there is the street BBQ Foodcart for budget travelers and locals. Aside from the usual pork BBQ, there are other types of BBQs with funny/unique names that only streetfood eaters are familiar with: Adidas for chicken feet, Betamax for Solid Blood, Helmet for chicken head, and IUD for chicken intestines....more
Ask any local, and they will gladly relate to you the legend of Mt. Mayon.Mayon was derived from from the Bikol word “Magayon” meaning beautiful. It is the world’s most perfect cone-shaped volcano and despite its fiery eruptions for the past years, it still attracts tourists and projects a spectacular view for photographers.Known for its perfect...more
Locals use the church as meet up place or standby site. Unlike in other places where locals usually step aside when they see tourists trying to take shots, in Daraga, the locals will just stare at you and linger long where they are, in fact showing signs that they want their faces included in the pictures. Our driver said they must be eager to be...more
You might not see the original beauty of the church walls anymore. Catholic and non-Catholic tourists come to see the church's massive facade which was carefully carved from volcanic stones, as well as the walls which were made of volcanic stones. At the parking area, I was shocked to see that the walls with some volcanic stones showing through were being sloppily plastered with a rough coating of cement. I was even more shocked to see that some volcanic stones and slabs of concrete were removed from the walls and buttresses in the process of cementing the wall and reconstrcuting the buttresses.
Since we didn't have a chance to go back to the town to see the outcome of such repair job done, I dread to think that the walls would lose its antique/heritage look and I fear that cracks on the facade showing some stones were also plastered with cement. I wish the NHI was consulted by the local Parish and government for the proper restoration of a National Historical Treasure. I really wish the parts of the church that need restoration would be done so with proper, meticulous attention, as they have done on the Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte.
Everybody loves getting a good picture right? I'm no exception. So for my ultimate Cagsawa photo, I entered the belfry. It looks beautiful outside but the hallow tower and the thought of the numerous people who perished inside gave me the creeps.
Please see the photos I took...inside and outside of the bell tower. It took some huffing and puffing to get into that window :0)
Note: Be careful with your steps, the rocks inside the tower is slippery.