Mt Mayon getting ready to rumble

duptours-shuttle-tacloban-016Mt Mayon near Legaspi in the Philippines is restless and has been burping lava and smoke for the past few days.

A major eruption is expected any time but the evacuation centers are preparing to house displaced people for up to 4 months.

pic at left from Dec 18 2009

duptours-shuttle-tacloban-019duptours-shuttle-tacloban-024Mt Mayon

duptours-shuttle-tacloban-023Mt Mayon – I didn’t get any pictures of the lava which was bubbling from the top the previous night. I just didn’t think it would show the magnitude and beauty of the event. Wish I had tried but wasn’t thinking clearly after my 14 hour motorbike ride up from Ormoc.

The next night was overcast – oh well!

duptours-shuttle-tacloban-028This postcard girl has been selling postcards at the Cagsawa site for the past 10 years.  I bought a set of 4 postcards from her – with the hope that she doesn’t get caught up in the eruption, if it does indeed happen.

duptours-shuttle-tacloban-027Virgilio, the t-shirt man,  is such a sweet guy and was clearly tense with the whole situation. He has built up a nice little gift shop over the years and there is a good chance that it will all go up in smoke.

I just hope that he has time to get away if Mayon blows in this direction. I did buy a few shirts from his because he is one cool guy and has a good product at a good price. He just couldn’t stop thanking me because he had not had any customers that day.

duptours-shuttle-tacloban-012This is the Cagsawa site where the town was covered in lava in 1814 and over 1,000 people perished. The bell tower of the church is still standing.

donsol-whaleshark-detour-0081pic taken Dec 1 2009

This is the river that runs past Cagsawa. On the 18 of December, workmen were still digging sand and gravel from the riverbed. It’s really a tough call to know what to do because everyone has to eat and pay the bills.

flat-tire-001-168x225Mt Mayon at dusk in mid 2009 – seen from the highway on the way to Manila.

thumbs_b5560_capul-samar-047thumbs_b7607_capul-samar-0591Mt Mayon


Capul Island

Mt Mayon as seen from Capul Island in northern Samar – it’s the perfectly shaped cone in the center of the picture in the above right photo.


Cagsawa , Mt Mayon Feb 2009

mayon-mayon-mayon-003Picture display in the observatory at the Mayon Resthouse about a third of the way up the mountain.  Closed at this time.

mt-mayon-mayon-039Dec 31 2009 – I went back to Daraga to have another look at the volcano. The best lava flow was on the Dec 24 and 25 but I was celebrating Christmas down in Leyte and missed it. The best vantage point seems to be from the road leading to Tobaco from Legaspi – the lava flow seems to be heaviest on that side of the mountain and runs down almost to the base.

mt-mayon-mayon-040There is not much activity now but the top still glowed the past few nights and there is the occasional trickle of lave – it’s still beautiful!

mt-mayon-mayon-004Workmen are still gathering sand and gravel from the river by Cagsawa.


mt-mayon-mayon-011I took a ride up the river.


mt-mayon-mayon-033Vic Ajero has decided to make the best of the situation and set up shop selling sculptures that he makes from lava rocks left over from previous eruptions.




Tourists don’t seem to be deterred by the threat of an eruption – it just doesn’t seem menacing.


mayon-observatory-001I decided to make one last trip up the mountain on New Years Eve.

Mayon Observatory


mt-mayon-mayon-046Dec 31 2009 3pm


mt-mayon-mayon-053Happy New Year! 2010

mayon-jan-mayon-020Mt Mayon.

dutchpickle logoMinor Eruptions

Dec 22, 2009

13 responses to “Mt Mayon getting ready to rumble”

  1. Great report DP, this is one of my favourite places in RP. having climbed the volcano about 2 years ago I can testify to the majestic beauty of same. lets just hope the authorities have managed to clear the area OK. My one wish if it blows would be that it retains its beauty of the almost perfect cone, how ever unlikely.

    My favourite spot was the restaurant opposite the daraga church, sitting on the terrace enjoying a wine and just watching the shear magnificience of mayon. Great memories.

  2. Hi again DP yeh would be happy to put it down, just need a bit of time.

    I am also thinking of a trip back to Albay aroung febuary, depending if beautiful mayon has blown or not. I am a little familular with the area having been there many times and know some great vantage points to watch and get pic opps.

    Will follow your site with interest to get the latest updates.

  3. Wow DP, this is quite the interesting perspective in contrast to the news reports we’ve been getting from the other side of the world. And you’ve got some incredible photos too! I particularly like the one of the caribou with Mt. Mayon in the background.

    Enjoy the beautiful sites, but please be careful! That church bell tower poking through the ground is a sobering reminder of the devastation caused by the eruption in 1814…

  4. Hope you were able to get a bed OK DP, according to reports the city is all booked out.

    What about the old church in Daraga, is it still possible to go there, it offers in my opinion about the most spectacular view of all of mayon, especially sitting in the restaurant opposite with a red.

    Don’t forget the unpredicability and the power of Mayon, be careful, no risks, your site is to important to many for you to take risks na lang……

  5. Hi dp great story and pics of Mayon,we were staying
    in a hotel by the airport in legesspi with a perfect view of mayon.early in the morning what a site we say
    just the tip of mayon showing threw the fog with a little steam shooting stait up,what a perfect way to start a morning.that was mid nov.2008 and we plan on staying the same place on our next drive to samar.
    katmai is still poping its cork from time to time
    in fact one trip from kodiak to anchorage the airplane pilot came on the intercom to say we were detouring as katmai had erupted,we could see the grey sky as we passed by.

  6. Very nice it

  7. Hello

    Well hoping that the flood in Bicol will be stooping.

    Bicol is very nice place for the tourist.

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