Albay · Philippines · Travel Tales

Travel Tales: The elusive Mayon and the black sands of Bacacay

There was a light rain when we got to Daraga, Albay to see the Cagsawa ruins. I’d expected this, but it was still disappointing to find that the Mt. Mayon I always saw in postcards, encyclopedias, and my elementary textbooks was hiding behind thick clouds.

Not exactly the picturesque sight I’d pictured in my head.

Still hoping the sky will clear up, we had breakfast in a nearby eatery and explored the ruins. Then it rained again. We went back to the eatery and talked about our options — we decided to go to Embarcadero de Legazpi to freshen up and wait for the sun.

Loving the retro movie look of Bigg’s diner

It was positively pouring when we got to Embarcadero. We had lunch in Bigg’s, where the food was — um — not backpacker-friendly, but the decor was cool. And finally, the sun showed up, and it seemed to make up for our morning by drying up the pavement in minutes.

A quick stop for supplies at Pacific Mall and we went to the central terminal to take a van to Bacacay. Roaming around Legaspi, we still couldn’t see Mayon in its full glory. It was as though it remains the maiden in the legend who coyly hides her beauty from would-be suitors.

My last view of Mayon in full daylight. She remained draped in clouds.

(I did see a glimpse of the perfect cone of Mayon — it was when we were on the bus on the ride home. It was evening, there was a full moon, and Mayon was silhouetted against the bright moonlit sky. It looked beautiful. Or perhaps the idea that it still keeps itself hidden from travelers like me, who would walk that way only once or twice, makes it seem more mystical. In any case, I couldn’t take a picture. It didn’t matter.)

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Bacacay promised black sand beaches the likes of Maui in Hawaii. The black sand comes from eroded volcanic rocks from nearby Mayon. Bacacay delivered, I should say, except that it also gave us —

Trash!

These were either left behind by beachgoers that day or washed ashore after the recent typhoon. We walked some meters away to another resort where the sand looked cleaner. Interestingly, the water did not seem dirty — it was clear, and we could still see our feet even when we waded out to waist-deep waters. It’s a shame. It’s a lovely beach.

Bacacay at dawn
Playing with the shutter speed of my camera during sunrise.

We stayed in Bacacay overnight and had dinner and breakfast cooked.

Pancit bato, our breakfast and a local delicacy. This batch lasted us till the afternoon — in another province.
This dog never stopped giving us the puppy eyes, and we almost couldn’t stop giving him our bread.

Soon, we were off to the next province — Sorsogon. 🙂

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