MAYON VOLCANO & CAGSAWA RUINS “Famous Mountainside Settings”

December 14, 2014

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“Famous Mountainside Settings”

Municipality of Daraga, Province of Albay

Bicol Region, Island Luzon, Philippines

Captured by: Olympus Tough Stylus TG-630

 Beautiful Philippines, when was the last time you experienced the beauty, the thrill and the relaxation afforded by straightforward travel? Whether you are in need of a breathing space, in search of trip adventure or looking for nature inspiration, there’s so much to see in and around the Philippines. Explore what the country has to offer, in my navigation lifestyle 2 features and highlighting one of the best Philippine destinations – MAYON VOLCANO!

 Mayon Volcano shot from Olympus Digital Camera

The Province of Albay has a distinction of having the world’s most perfect cone – Mayon Volcano, because of its almost symmetric conical shape; the mountain was declared a national park and a protected landscape on July 20, 1938, the first in the country.

 Mayon Volcano Albay

Also known as Bicol’s fiery maiden. Her name was derived from the Bicol word ‘Mayon,’ which literally means beautiful. Clouds urging first-time visitors to stay longer to admire her charm often conceal the peak, likened to the legendary beauty Daragang Magayon. Despite her enigma, which has left a trail of death and destruction brought about by almost 49 eruptions in the past 400 years, her tantrums has become spectacular fireworks displays to behold.


But how can you not seek Mayon?

It was my second time to visit in this panorama and not once did the fiery beauty with the world-famous landscape show its entire face to me. I was beginning to believe that aged folk legend, that those who seek Mayon Volcano most are bound not to see it!


Towering 2,462 meters (8,077 feet) above sea level, its cone nearly perfect. The volcano is geographically shared by the eight cities and municipalities of Legazpi, Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Tabacco, Malilipot and Santo Domingo (clockwise from Legazpi), which divide the cone like slices of a pie when viewed from above.

This stratovolcano, also known as composite volcano is a mountaineer’s dream without end present but happening repeatedly or all the times mysterious. While its terrain may not be the most challenging, its mood, it has erupted many times and since, commands when and how it can be approached, like the Daragang Mayon whose tragic love story gave birth to the legend of Mayon’s existence.


Last September 14, 2014 – PHIVOLCS-DOST declared the alert status of Mayon Volcano from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 3. This means that Mayon is exhibiting relatively high unrest and that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks. (Mayon Volcano Bulletin – ALERT LEVEL 3 15 September 2014 10:00 PM)

Whether the famous volcano hides or reveals, its friendly home, Albay, is always welcoming and has all the other necessary ingredients to whip up on adventure, one of this is the CAGSAWA RUINS, I also visited.



The Cagsawa Ruins was a lavish Spanish church before it was buried by the 1814 eruption of Mayon Volcano, the worst in history. For almost two centuries the Cagsawa Ruins has stood as a symbol of Bicol region’s impressive landscape, rich history and the people’s strength and resiliency to face and to rise from the ravages of Mother Nature.

The Park is one of the most visited places in the area. From this point tourists are afforded with an unhampered view of the majestic Mayon Volcano with its world-renowned perfect cone.


To date, as I seen, only the belfry and several volcanic rocks remain as reminders of Mayon’s unpredictable fury and devastating strength. The Cagsawa Ruins Park (Php 10/person for entrance), however, has become a tourist stop as it offers an unhampered view of the volcano from the ground. It’s also a great place to grab native souvenirs. The park is easily accessible from Legazpi City. You can ride a jeep to Malabog, Guinobatan or Camalig and just ask the driver to drop you off at Casagwa.



Only the Cagsawa church belfry remains today. It is a grim reminder of the events that took place and many people come to see the belfry as a reminder of times past. Through all the developments done by the local government, the Cagsawa church belfry remains standing, with the giant stones spewed by Mt. Mayon around and with the history of the region buried underneath.

The Municipal Government of Daraga, Albay, manages Cagsawa Ruins Park. (11+17+14)

Until next time!