A visit to Legazpi City in Albay is never complete without dropping by the church ruins of Cagsawa. The ruins is what remains of the 18th century baroque church after it was destroyed in Mayon Volcano’s most violent eruption 1814. During the eruption, more than thousands of people sought refuge in the church, but were not spared by lahar and pyroclastic materials from the raging volcano. At the Cagsawa Ruins Park, you get the best view of Mayon Volcano. There are times of the year, however, that the volcano is almost always covered with clouds, so better visit in summer when the skies are clear. When you find that perfect moment, take a postcard-worthy shot with the celebrated volcano and the belfry in the background.
Then, after all the photoshoot, don’t forget to grab some items from the souvenir shops. There are just many stuff to take home, from t-shirts to key chains, pumice rocks, bags and a variety of handicrafts, bolos from Tabaco City, and wild orchids. Go on a food trip, too, since the park has a number of restaurants that sell native food and delicacies. Try Bicol express, a dish of pork cooked in coconut milk and flavored with the hottest chili the Bicolanos can ever find. Also, don’t miss the sili ice cream, the cheesy halo-halo, and of course, pili nuts.
HOW TO GET THERE From Legazpi, take a jeepney (the ones going to Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Polangui, Oas) and ask the driver to drop you off Barangay Busay in Daraga, eight kilometers from Legazpi City. From the highway, you can already take a walk and make your camera busy, or take a tricycle to the Cagsawa Ruins Park. There is a minimal entrance fee at the park.