Thursday, March 15, 2012

Albay: Tricked in Cagsawa


The Cagsawa Ruins located in Barangay Busay, Daraga is probably Albay's most popular tourist destination. The ruins are remnants of the Cagsawa Church built by Franciscan Missionaries in 1724.  When Mayon Volcano erupted in February of 1814, lahar and pyroclastic flows buried the stone church along with some 1,200 people who took refuge inside. Only the church's belfry remained standing and has since then survived the test of time. Today, the Cagsawa belfry is Albay's most famous landmark. It's image with Mayon looming on the background is a picture-perfect scenery often featured in postcards, calendars and magazines. 

From Daraga town proper, Malou and I boarded a jeepney going to Guinobotan. We told the conductor to drop us off at the Cagsawa Ruins entrance. Distance from Daraga to Cagsawa is about 2 kilometers. We disembarked at a road junction with this huge signage:


From here, it is about 500 meters going to the Cagsawa Ruins Park. We would have no problem walking this distance but since it has been raining on-and-off that day, water partially submerged major portion of the road. We chose to ride a tricycle for 20 pesos. There was an on-going repair of the main bridge going to the park, so we have to cross a makeshift bridge:



There are several souvenir shops along the road going to Cagsawa Ruins:


We paid the 10 pesos (per person) at the entrance and upon entering the gate, I immediately observed plenty of people roaming all around. So what I've read is true, Cagsawa Ruins Park is indeed Albay's most touristy destination.


Our mission to view Mount Mayon's perfect shape again hit a snag in Cagsawa as the shy volcano was covered with even more clouds. Aargh!




While Malou and I are staring at the belfry, a young man approached us and politely asked if we want to buy some souvenir postcards. When we refused, he then offered to take our souvenir photos and showed us his sample shots. It was then that I recognized him as one of the park's trick shot photographers. I asked him how much is the charge, and he simply answered "TIP lang po sir". So with nothing much to do around the park, we accepted his offer. At first, he pointed out to us various parts of the church which were destroyed by the Mayon Volcano eruption. When I handed out to him my Nikon D3000, I set it on auto mode, thinking that he may be not familiar with the other settings. After taking an overexposure in his first shot, to my surprise, he switched it to Program mode and even changed the white balance setting. Hahaha! This guy is good, I said to myself. What followed next was half-hour or so of really fun photo shoot:



Malou and I really had some good laughs while posing in various positions and upon viewing the pics on the camera's display later on. After the shoot, I gave the photographer a hundred peso tip and interviewed him briefly. He told me that he started out as a delicacy vendor in the park before becoming a photographer. He has been doing this for six years now and when I asked him who taught him the trick shot techniques, he answered "nasa angle lang po 'yan sir." Whoa, nice!

Our trick shot photographer--Eduardo Mirasol

Though we failed to see Mayon's full glory in the park,  the fun photo shoot we had certainly made our visit in Cagsawa Ruins fun and memorable.  It may be the most touristy thing to do but at least for a day, I helped someone earned an honest living. So if you ever visit Cagsawa Ruins someday, don't refuse the offer of a trick shot photographer. I am sure you will have a really good time!

Travel Tips:

1. If you're coming from Legazpi City or Daraga, take a jeepney going to the 3rd District (Camalig, Guinobotan, Polangui, Ligao, Libon, Oas). Cagsawa is about 8 kilometers away from Legazpi City and 2 kilometers away from Daraga. Jeepney fare is 16 pesos from Legazpi and 9 pesos from Daraga. Tell the driver or conductor to drop you at the road junction going to the Cagsawa Ruins.

2. From the highway road junction, Cagsawa Ruins Park is about 500 meters away. If you don't want to walk, you can hire a tricycle for 20 pesos.

3. Entrance fee to the park is 10 pesos per person.

4. There are plenty of souvenir shops and fastfood eateries in the park. According to my wife, the souvenir items in Cagsawa are a bit cheaper than those sold in the Embarcadero de Legazpi.

This is the fifth part of my Chasing Mount Mayon Series. This series chronicles our quest to see the perfect cone shape of Mayon Volcano. Follow this series to know if we were able to accomplish our elusive goal.


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18 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. pang-come on lang ang title.hahaha! but we sure did have fun with those trick shots.

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  2. Galing. :) ang kukulet ng mga shots. :) pero, mas maswerte ako earl kasi nag pakita sa akin si Mount Mayon sa Cgasawa Ruins. hehehe. :) sa inyu, parang shy sya dito. Hehehe. :)

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    1. Olan: Sayang talaga, di nagpakita sa amin ang Mayon sa Cagsawa. But we did have fun with the photo shoot.Kulet nga! hehehe.

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  3. medyo cheesy bai pero na lingaw kaayo ko. hehehe

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  4. nakakatuwa yung mga bata dyan na magagaling talaga mag-take ng mga trick shots! hehehe!!! sanay na sanay na sila... ^_^

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    1. i was really impressed mervz.my wife and really had fun with the shoot.nakakatuwa talaga!

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  5. Hahaha. Lingawa nako da. Giant na si malou, lol,:-).

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    Replies
    1. hehehe! lingaw kaayo na photo shoot.

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  6. hi Earl! Karon lang ko naka-browse sa imong travel blog. It's really great and very helpful. Keep 'em coming!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Arbie! Thanks for appreciating my blog. I hope this could somehow help you in your future travels. : )

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  7. maayoha mokuha uy hahahaha... walay standard nga tip? lolz.

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    1. @lakbay: wala dwin, depende lang sa imo. lingaw kaayo mi sa ako asawa.mura mig nag pre-nup shoot.hahaha!

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  8. Haha! Akala ko rin tricked talaga. FUN shots!

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    1. @gay: my wife and I did not have a pre-nup shoot in our wedding 5 years ago, so parang 'eto na yun! nyahahaha!

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  9. Ang cute niong dalawa,.. :D,Astig ng mga shots,.. pa post nmn poh ng blog q http://jersonluna.blogspot.com/ about Albay din poh,. tnx,.

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  10. We will be visiting Legazpi this Holy Week and it's always great to read more information specially about the place, rates and what to try. Thank you so much!

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