I realized that during my “Bicolandia Exploration”, my first solo backpacking trip in the Philippines in late March 2011, I have taken several photos of the majestic Mayon Volcano (Mt. Mayon) at different angles and locations.
Of course, the first photos of Mt. Mayon that I took were at the famed Cagsaua Ruins.
On that day, the majestic Mayon decided not to show herself to me. No matter how much I pleaded.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of this myth or folklore that the Mayon only shows herself to people she likes. Of course, my Japanese boss will not hear of it but hey, that’s what people believe in!
My first encounter with Mt. Mayon was in Grade 6 (long time ago!) as part of a field-trip-cum-retreat at Acquinas University, a Diocesan school, in Legazpi. I could still remembered how I fumbled with the instamatic film camera when sitting out in the soccer/football field, “she showed herself” to us!
So, you could probably just imagine my frustration when, even after climbing Lignon Hill, Mt. Mayon still hid from me! Ugh.
I mean, WHY?! It was a bright sunny day. No threat whatsoever of raining. Or typhoons. And yet, the Mayon volcano still wouldn’t let me behold her in her full majesty!
Neither did she reveal her beauty while I went ziplining at Lignon Hill nor when I did a short trek at the lava flow/ash floored area. Even with the effort!!!
I know, I probably sound like a disgruntled customer right now but when you have a DSLR and a digital camera in place of a slow and manual film one, you kinda hope for the best shot possible!
It was only after four days, when I was heading back to Legazpi from a great beach time in Tikling Island at Matnog, Sorsogon that Mayon decided to show up! And I was on a moving bus!!!
I mean, cmon! The bus was moving and I didn’t know yet how long it will take until we stop at the terminal. Or if Mt. Mayon would still be clear and “picture-perfect” by that time! So, hard as it was, I snapped away without thinking much about composition, lighting, creatives, etc.! That was the moment and I had to capture it!
I even managed to take a photo of the crater, once said to have been perfect—which is also why Mt. Mayon, an active volcano, is among the most famous in the Philippines and the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Luckily, when I got off at the central bus and shuttle van terminal in Legazpi, she was still waiting for me to get my shot—and have it done right! Capturing the different images of Mayon volcano and seeing it from different angles was definitely one of the highlights of my first backpacking trip!