I SUPPOSE it was the perfect time than any to travel to Albay, especially given that Tourism Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano is batting for Mayon Volcano to be among the “New 7 Wonders of Nature.” It would be my second time in Albay, and I just couldn’t take enough photos of the grand volcano with its sweeping curvaceous slope ending in a near-perfect cone.
As soon as she came into view as our plane was descending into Albay, I started clicking away on my trusty camera-phone through the plane’s window, and again as I got out into the Legazpi airport tarmac, then everywhere else we went. I have so many photos of Mount Mayon: its enormity shrouded in clouds, a breathtaking one with a clear view of its entire magnificence, and—past sunset—its brooding figure looming in the darkening horizon.
In a way, I envy the residents of Albay for having the volcano in their midst. I mean, how cool it must be to wake up every morning with Mayon visible through your bedroom window, or have coffee and breakfast while gazing at it from your kitchen? Even the locals say they are constantly awed by her presence, and never get tired of looking at her.
Of course, I’m sure the people living around the volcano’s 6-kilometer permanent danger zone have a different view of Mayon, gripped by sheer terror when she rumbles and growls, and then spews off her anger and spite at the world. They then pack up their belongings in a rush and flee, heavy with worry if their houses and farms will survive yet another of her legendary tantrums. (Click here for the rest.)