TWHS: Mayon Volcano Natural Park, Philippines

After getting back to the Philippines, our first stop was at Legazpi east of Manila to visit the beauteous yet dangerous, like all good things in life,

Mayon Volcano Natural Park (MMVNP)

Good Morning, Mayon

photo credit: petervandever

The Mayon Volcano is situated in the southern part of the main island of Luzon, 500 kilometres south of Manila. Towering at a height of 2,462 meters above sea level, it is known for its perfectly conical shape whose natural beauty has inspired a number of legends and art. The most active volcano in the Philippines and one of the most active in the world, having erupted over 51 times in the past four centuries, the most destructive of which is in 1814 when five towns in its periphery were destroyed. Nevertheless, it has developed a culture of resiliency among the inhabitants of its vicinity, who always rebuilt their towns and cultivated their fields after each destructive eruption.

For its height, unrivalled shape and remarkably symmetrical contours, Mayon Volcano was believed by the pre-hispanic Bicolanos to be the abode of their ancestors and thus its confines were subjected to taboo, including violation of its natural resources and even climbing its peak. It was also held as the sacred mountain of both the deity Mayong and Gugurang, the supreme god of Bicolano animist beliefs…

Now, as you note from the credits above, that’s not our photo. Because it’s beautiful. The day we were there, of course it was covered in clouds all day, plus any close access was closed off because it was being dangerously rumbly…

… so this is our best photo.

Mayon Volcano Natural Park, Philippines

Good for one of those “Expectations vs. Reality” slideshows, there’s that.

Any-ways, in the vain hope that things would clear up, and hey we had the whole day to kill, we tooled around to some of the various adventuresome activities on offer in the lava flow hinterlands, like ziplining,

Mayon Volcano Natural Park, Philippines

and ATVing,

Mayon Volcano Natural Park, Philippines

and in general all the allegedly exciting ways to separate tourists from their money that we generally can’t be bothered with. But hey, if you do like the canned adventure experience kind of thing, this is a good place!

And yes, we did eventually get an almost clear look at the famously symmetric Mayon Volcano majesty … well after sundown on our way to the airport.

Mayon Volcano Natural Park, Philippines

Definitely, this would be an interesting hike or ATV right up the volcano —

— there’s a 6 hour all day ATV trip that goes as high as ATVs can, apparently —

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p dir=”ltr”>— on a clear day not a cloudy raining day, and when you’re actually allowed to get closer to the mountain than the helicopter pad/zipline launch our trip got to. So yep, consider Legapzi for your Philippines visit, but leave more time than we did!

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Alex Curylo

Alex

I go places.

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  1. […] stopping by Legazpi for our rainy and cloudy visit to the Mayon Volcano, next on our Philippines meanderings was a late night hop down to […]

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