A day trip to the Cagsawa ruins park and two more churches

After spending my first day in the Philippines exploring Legazpi City, the plan was now to see the Cagsawa ruins park, which lies about 5 km outside of the city. I had the choice between booking an expensive guided tour online, get a Grab taxi, or ride on a jeepney. Since I didn’t feel comfortable on how the jeepney operated, I decided to get a grab. While standing on the street to enter the necessary data for the grab taxi, an empty jeepney stopped and the driver asked me where I wanted to go. And that’s how I learned how to travel on a jeepney.

So off I went with it, as Cagsawa was on this jeepney’s tour. The problem was that you have to tell the driver, where you want yo get off, otherwise he will just drive on. I thought as a foreigner the driver would remember my destination for sure, but I overestimated my importance. I went too far with the jeepney and then had to get another one in the other direction. The interesting part was that the first driver even gave me money back. At least by then I knew the deal and could ask for a stop at my station. The price was cheap, I think I paid about 25PHP (about 0,40 Euro). Compared to the 150PHP the day before for the tricycle, this was really a bargain.

From the station it was a short walk to the entrance of the ruins. The church in Cagsawa lies in a small park with the Mayon volcano as its backdrop. It’s quite a dramatic picture to see Mount Mayon in all its glory for the first time, especially since the top was visible that day through shrouds of thick clouds.

first impression of Mount Mayon @Cagsawa

The church lived through some monumental history. It was first burned and ransacked by the Dutch in 1636 and then later basically submerged, except for the tower, by lava after an eruption of the famed Mount Mayon in 1814. 1200 people sought refuge in it from the eruption, only to be entombed alive. Certainly God has a dark sense of humor.

Cagsawa ruins @Legazpi City

The tower is still impressive with the volcano in the background. Too bad that the weather hadn’t been in my favor. Mount Mayon stayed enshrined in clouds. There was not much else to do here at the park, except going on an ATV tour.

Pollybert while sightseeing @Cagsawa church

Since that was not something I cared about, I decided to start on my next adventure after a coffee. Even though I looked for another church, this time it was still whole. Daraga church was just around the corner.

saying goodbye to Mount Mayon @Legazpi

I marched back to the main road and got a jeepney to Daraga Church. Apparently the church Nuestra Senora de La Porteria is in baroque style and constructed from volcanic rock. It looked interesting from the outside, but the humidity is not really helping. I can’t really say what’s volcanic rock and what’s blacked by through time.

Nuestra Senora de La Porteria @Daraga

Inside the church was empty, except for 12 small paintings depicting the stations of the cross. It reminded me a lot of the Italian chapel on the Orkney isles. That one was made of Nissen huts and has therefore a rounded shape. The church in Daraga looked similar from the shape of its roof on the inside. It was very plain, but still some people were inside in the early afternoon.

inside @Daraga church

Since I was already on a church tour I figured that the third time is a charm. Therefore I got off at Albay Cathedral, when I was back in Legazpi City. Unfortunately another letdown, although I probably shouldn’t speak thus about places of worship. But Albay cathedral was again promising from the outside, and boring on the inside. Yours, Pollybert

Albay cathedral @Legazpi City

inside @Albay cathedral

Let me know what you think

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