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From the Author

Let us pause for a while and take a peek at the fascinating wonders of nature, the majesty and the glory of God's creation and the spectacle of human engineering. Unfortunately, I cannot go to these places in as much as I want to so, I’m just taking this virtual expedition. I hope you can join me in this online adventure.

-Arnel S. Oroceo, the Author

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano is one of the most famous volcanic landmarks in the entire Philippine archipelago, particularly in the Bicol Region. It stands majestically with an almost perfect cone shape, which no other stratovolcano anywhere in the world can match. It is 15 kilometers from the city of Legazpi, Albay Province.

Its base measures 130 kilometers in circumference and rises to 8,077 feet from the Albay Gulf, which has a distance of ten kilometers. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) maintain a 6-kilometer permanent danger zone from its crater because it remains to be the most active volcano in the Philippines if not in the entire Pacific Ring of Fire.

Yet, in spite of the danger of its erratic activity, it allures people from different places with its enigmatic magnificence only God can create. It is sometimes ironical, even unsympathetic that tourists would come to see the volcano at the middle of its activity just to watch and wait for what it would do. The red-orange crater glow in a clear night sky, which molten rocks and lava flows create at the crater summit are amazing images of the wonder of nature.

Several days ago, on November 11, 2009, Phivolcs has placed Mayon Volcano in alert level 2 after manifesting activity. With rumbling and earthquake, it spews grayish ash two times in a day.

However, the most devastating eruption of Mayon on record happened in 1814. Molten rocks and flaming lava flowed down its slopes reaching towns below. An estimated 1,200 people took refuge in Cagsawa church in the town of Daraga, Albay. However, the fiery flood submerged the entire town and the church, killing all the people inside. Only the bell tower of the church remained standing.

Today, the Cagsawa Ruins (bell tower) have become a memorial monument that reminds the tourists and visitors of the cruelty of the volcano’s anger behind its calm and pristine appearance. The Cagsawa Park is under the management of the municipal government of Daraga, Albay.

You can reach Albay, either by train or bus from Manila.

This is a Wikipedia photo of Mayon Volcano taken from outer space
For more information and photos of Mayon Volcano,

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