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Amazing Facts About The Mayon Volcano

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

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Mayon Volcano

Nowadays when you ask young people about the Bicol province, they will probably tell you about the gorgeous resorts in Albay or the spicy specialties like Bicol Express and the Sili Ice Cream. Or perhaps they will tell stories about how they enjoyed watching the whale sharks in Donsol. But before all these attractions mattered, the Bicol Region on our Paradise Philippines was already a popular tourist destination primarily because of the Mayon Volcano. This active volcano is located in the northern boundary of Legazpi City and is renowned for its almost symmetric conical shape. Here are some facts, figures, and other trivia about the country's most famous volcano.

  • Local folklore refers to the volcano as 'Bulkang Magayon' or beautiful volcano, after the legendary heroine Daragang Magayon, which in Bikolano translates as 'beautiful lady'. She is said to be very attractive, loving and kind, but also capable of violence when provoked.
  • Mayon Volcano is classified as a strato volcano or composite volcano. Stratos are characterized by their steep profile and periodic, explosive, and quiet eruptions. Mayon is only one of the 18 active volcanoes scattered among the 7,100++ islands that make up the Philippine archipelago.
  • Mayon's measured height is 2,462 m or 8,077 ft above sea level. It also has an estimated base circumference of 62.8 km, encompassing multiple towns like Camalig, Malilipot, and Sto. Domingo.
  • The volcano's most disastrous eruption occurred in February 1, 1814, affecting thousands of lives and submerging the church of Cagsawa. Only the belfry and some parts of the convent survived. The ruins of Cagsawa remains to be one of the most visited Albay attractions today.
  • The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or PHIVOLCS deploys electronic distance meters, precise leveling benchmarks, and portable fly spectrometers to monitor the volcano's daily seismic activities.
  • The last reported height of activity was in the end of 2009. Mount Mayon released moderate lava flow that caused panic and evacuation among the residents living near its base, though it did not cause very serious damage.
  • In the year 2000, the government proclaimed the area as a protected landscape. Hence, the establishment of Mayon Volcano Natural Park.
  • There have been debates among netizens about Mayon's claim of being the world's most perfect-shaped volcano. Some argue that Japan's Mount Fiji fits the description better. In defense, Filipinos pointed out that the Mayon maintains that coned-shape image regardless whichever side you view it.
  • There are restaurants in Albay, specifically in Daraga, attract travelers because aside from the food, they offer a good view of the volcano.
  • If there is one place that could challenge Mount Mayon as the premier tourist destination in the region, the favorite would be Misibis Bay. This resort accommodation in Bacaycay, gained worldwide acclaim when it was prominently featured in different versions of the popular international reality series, The Amazing Race. Misibis Bay is also a good destination for water sports enthusiasts.
  • It is one of the most photographed natural wonder in the Philippines. It has been featured in many books, postcards, stamps, posters, and other souvenir items. There are galleries and resorts in Albay that have portraits of the Mayon in their halls and rooms as fixtures.


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