Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mayon Planetarium in Tabaco City, Albay

After a heavy lunch in Waways, we proceeded to the Mayon Planetarium in Tabaco, Albay. Its about 1 hour trip from Legazpi City. We passed bridges and residential areas which showed boulders and volcanic debris from previous volcanic eruptions. 

We also passed the town of Malilipot, the main source of nice abaca bags sold in Manila and abroad. After a long climb to the zigzagging road with stations of the cross, we finally saw the signature dome of a planetarium.

The Mayon Planetarium is situated on the "waistline" of the volcano, or midway to its summit. This is the closest thing you can get to the volcano's crater. Near the site is where PAGASA's seismological instruments are installed to monitor the volcano's activity. 

Based on Mayon volcano's known eruption history, the planetarium's site was never hit by lava flows, so its just appropriate to build the complex on this side of the volcano. There used to be a Mayon Skyline Hotel on the same area, but its not operational now.

The planetarium is unique on its own way, since it educates visitors on the behavior of volcanoes, particularly  with Mayon volcano. The place does not focus on the planets or astronomical matters, despite its name. There are photo exhibit of other Philippine volcanoes as well, like the Taal and Pinatubo volcanoes.

They have a continuous short video presentation of Mayon volcano's activity since its recorded history 400+ years ago, included on the Php 10 entrance fee per visitor.

This sample photo below is what enticed me to visit the place, to be able to see the volcano's peak, the smoke, and lava path created by the previous eruption.

However, the weather is still uncooperative while we are checking the place. In fact, there was a downpour when we arrived, so we stayed in the van for 5-10 minutes until the rains have stopped. We tried to wait until the skies clear up, but the heavy cloud continue to cover the volcano's peak, so this is the only closest picture I can get to the volcano. 

Failing to see the full Mayon skyline, we are still rewarded with the nice panoramic view from the parking lot and from the huts below it. The micro climate is also cooler on this elevated area, so its a good place for a picnic.

There is the cloud-covered Mt. Malinao, which is also a volcano but less active. 

On the right side is part of the Pacific Ocean, and San Miguel island which according to our driver also has nice beaches.

There are some local kids who will offer you sayote fruit vegetable grown on the slopes of the volcano. Will their taste differ from those grown in Mountain Province?

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  1. Albay is a one of the best spot for family outing, it has a refreshing view that calms your inner self, stress reliever place, thanks for posting your inspiring Photos.

    philippine trivia | tourist spots in the philippines

  2. Hi, Philtrvia. Thanks for visiting my blog posts.