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Albay Mountains Philippines Sightseeing Travel

Bicol | Albay: A Ride to Reminisce

Albay has a special place in my childhood. I have fun memories of many summers spent in Albay. My mom hails in Daraga and we would visit her home often. No matter how long the drive, it’s always the majestic Mayon, the imposing Daraga Church and enjoyable time with cousins and siblings. My last visit though was drenched in tears like the heavy rain that poured upon us the day we said goodbye to my dearest lola (grandma). I was close to her. Relatives always say I’m her favorite apo (grandson). That was more than a decade ago. When an photo assignment from InFlight came recently, I thought I guess it’s time to come back. Not only to retrace the steps of my youth but to re-discover Albay.

Mt Mayon seen from Daraga Albay
Mt Mayon seen from Daraga Albay

Retracing Daraga

Daraga, Albay was exactly where we usually stay when in Bicol during summers. We had cousins there (who are now mostly in Manila). And just in the neighbourhood is the remarkable Daraga Church properly named as Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church. This Roman Catholic church standing on a scenic hill was built in 1772. Several sections of the church were declared a National Cultural Treasure in 2007.

Coming back here on our third day on assignment, I fondly saw myself running around the church during my childhood days and ending up looking at Mt Mayon in amazement. The church may look spruced up with its newly painted white facade, the grounds have better paved roads and new establishments overlooking the municipality and Mt Mayon but the look of awe haven’t changed. There’s comfort in the familiarity yet movement in the changes. It good to be back in Albay.

Facade of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church
Facade of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church
Mt Mayon overlooking Albay
Mt Mayon overlooking Albay

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