Bicol Region has become synonymous to its main attraction - the famous Mayon Volcano which is known for its perfect-cone shape. Since my home province, Masbate, is a part of Bicol Region, I have gone to or passed by Legaspi City many times during my elementary and high school days on my way to student conferences and quiz contests. The volcano is, therefore, no longer an extraordinary sight to me and to majority of Bicolanos.
Mayon Volcano is active and for the past 20 years has scared nearby villages by erupting "mildly" on several occasions. When I was in high school, we could see from Masbate (at dusk and on clear nights) the red lava flowing down Mayon's slopes during one of its minor eruptions. Tourists delighted in the "harmless" spectacle and, in one of Mayon's fireworks-like displays, got so carried away that some were even heard shouting "More! more!" to the locals' chagrin.
|This picture shows the ruins of Cagsawa Church which was buried during a major eruption of the volcano in the early 1900s(?).|
|My officemate in Legaspi, Gerry Adivoso, and I are barely recognizable in this picture but the shot was taken from afar to get the whole facade of the Daraga Cathedral. The church sits on top of a hill and visitors have a panoramic view of Legaspi City from here.|
|This is the Legaspi City Airport.|
|This is the shot I took of Mayon which I like best except that the volcano itself is hazy because my automatic camera thought that my main subject is the buffalo on the foreground. :)|
|The Daraga Cathedral again. At the right side of the cathedral, almost attached to it, is a building which holds the parish office. We intentionally excluded it from the shot because it looks incongruous beside this old structure.|
|Mayon volcano in all its splendor. Despite the several minor eruptions it went through the past 100 years, it is able to preserve its perfect-looking cone which is its main attraction. Despite its beauty, it poses a great and real risk to the locals living nearby -- even to Legazpi City itself.|
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