Blast from the Past: Trip to Mayon Volcano

PauTravels with friends in Cagsawa Ruins and the Mayon Volcano

After my short trip back to Manila a few weeks back, I was able to get some old pictures of my previous trips.  I’ve brought these pictures back to Singapore and scan them to write up for those trips from way back.  I was able to get old pictures from albums of my Hanoi and Ha Long Bay trip to update my old posts for both trips.  I’m happy the digital era made me stop expensive photo printing and making those heavy albums.  I also got another set of pictures from my trip in Leyte which I’ll write about later.

Anyway, this blog is about the trip I made back in 2002 with my colleagues to Bicolandia in the Bicol Peninsula on the southern end of the island of Luzon.

Bicol Peninsula is composed of four different provinces composed of the people called the Bicolanos.  Bicol is best known in the Philippine for being the site of one of the most majestic natural wonders in the country, the Mayon Volcano in Legazpi City.  Also since a few years ago for a place to swim with the whalesharks in Donsol and a place for the extreme sport of wakeboarding in Camarines Sur (CamSur).

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Family Picnic in Tagaytay

PauTravels Family Picture in Tagaytay

Early November this year, my family and I went out on a family picnic with my in-laws. This is the second family picnic that we did with all my wife’s sisters and their family and her parents. We made our way to Tagaytay and had a gathering at the Tagaytay Picnic Grove.

Tagaytay has been known to be among the country’s famous places to relax and enjoy with the family. Also, it is famous for having the best viewing points of one of the most scenic places in the world, the Taal Volcano and Taal Lake. Taal Volcano has a unique geography that it was dubbed as having a ‘Lake within a Lake’. This is due to the volcano sitting within the Taal Lake and having a crater lake within it.

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A Trek To Mount Pinatubo

PauTravels at the Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake

It is still fresh in my mind, more than a decade ago when news broke about a sleeping volcano waking up in Central Luzon.  A mountain called Pinatubo is suddenly showing signs of stirring after about 500 years of slumber.  Actually it was the first time that I have heard of a Mount Pinatubo.

And so June of 1991, we witnessed the most destructive eruptions in recent times, considered as among the worse in the 20th century.  Well from my residence in Novaliches about 50 miles away, we saw the gigantic volcanic mushroom cloud it spewed to the skies.  We saw ash fall in our doorsteps.  I even remember some news that the ash fall even reached as far as Hong Kong because of high winds.  Its eruption buried nearby towns with ash and with the monsoon season brought down the mud deposits in the form of lahar.  Also, this major disaster came after a major earthquake in July of 1990 in the city of Cabanatuan about 100km from the volcano.  Pinatubo remained active for a year with minor eruptions, but with the deposit of ash from the mountaintops, lahar kept of pouring to towns below every rainy season in the early part of the 1990s making the towns around it desolate and desert like.

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