More from my archives. I was looking through my pictures drive on my PC, I realized that I had trips from my backlog dating way back to early 2009 (since before I started the Lakwatsero Travel Blog). I discovered that I hadn’t blogged about our trip to Mayon Volcano and Donsol.

I started my travel adventures on a “dare” to visit Taal Volcano in December of 2008. This was followed a week later by a trek to Mt. Pinatubo in January 2009. Thus was born a temporary love affair with volcanoes. I thus decided that I wanted to finally see the iconic Mayon Volcano. So after the Pinatubo trip, we went to PAL and booked flights to Legazpi City for a weekend trip from March 14-16, 2009. On this trip with me are Jasper Jugan (The Backpack Boy), Kent Macatangay, and Dru Leonardo.

View Legazpi City Airport in a larger map


Landing in the Legaszpi City Airport already gives a great view

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Upon exiting, we looked for the shuttle to our hotel, Hotel Venezia. Much to our surprise, the hotel was literally just outside the airport. As in the right in front of the airport entrance.

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As we arrived quite early, we decided to settle into the hotel as we made arrangements for our trip around Legazpi City, Cagsawa Ruins, and a trip around the area.

Of course, for us… settling in means sleeping… watching TV… and logging onto Facebook.

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At around 10am, we proceeded to start touring around with our first destination being the famous Cagsawa Ruins.

When we got to Cagsawa Ruins, I later realized that as far as pictures are concerned… you have to know your weather and cloud behavior. Similar to a post a made when you visit the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the clouds roll in during mid-day and tend to cover the volcano. If you noticed from the above picture while at the airport, at around 6am, the sky was still relatively clear. Hence, visiting the volcano at noon time was not a smart move.

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Not to say that the trip to the famous Cagsawa Ruins and the majestic Mayon Volcano was any less awesome. The photos were just a little blah.


Also… be sure to check your exposure settings.


The sun was really high.

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We decided to proceed with the rest of our tour. We had lunch and wanted to visit some of nature spots. Apparently, the area was known for some of these great waterfalls.

En route, since the volcano itself is visible for miles around, we decided to stop a few times for more volcano moments. As we went “around” the volcano… we got better views of the volcano where the clouds were no as annoying.


In this view… the clouds were like gentle arms wrapping the volcano.

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Mayon Volcano seen up close is truly majestic. It is known for its perfect cone… more prefect than Mt. Fuji… and bigger. Mt. Fuji just has two things going for it… it’s snow capped peak… and the fact that it is Japan. I’ve seen Fuji… and it isn’t that great. Hehe.

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As we went on,,, we found another view of “ruins”. Apparently this was supposed to be a hotel which was never finished.

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Vera Falls

This was a hard-to-get-to, but beautiful waterfall in a hidden away in Mt. Malinao, around an hour away from Legazpi City. What was really great was the fact that when we got there, we were the only ones there. We spent some time swimming and a lot of picture taking! Talk about a hidden paradise.

From the empty parking lot (we were the only car/van in there) we had to trek down several stairs.

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Then we got to the bottom… wow!

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The water was so clean and not that cold. We probably stayed around an hour just relaxing in the water.

Jasper has this thing about water, so he didn’t get wet.

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It was great day… so we proceeded back to the hotel. Had a heavy dinner and preppared for our Whale shark adventure the next day.