Semana Santa 2017 has been a great one since I was able to bring Sam to our dear province. Here I’ll share our adventures during Semana Santa.
Semana Santa 2017
This year’s Semana Santa (or Holy Week in English) has been a very special one for me. One reason would be, I was able to bring Sam to our lovely province. Another was that he was able to see and experience our traditions.
After celebrating our 6th anniversary last March, it taught us that having adventures and misadventures together is one of the greatest things ever!
To be honest, he was somehow shy since it will be a first for him. When we went to our dear province, it was either for a quick vacation trip or to attend an event. This time, it was about experiencing and immersing himself (or ourselves) with the tradition that our ancestors did during their time.
Now, here I am sharing our lovely trip with you. Let me start by telling you how we got there despite this peak season.
It was timing that airfares were more affordable a month before our travel date. Luckily, I was still able to spot a cheaper rate than booking right before the travel dates.
Evading the long hours on the road, we opted to fly in from Manila. As usual, Cebu Pacific is cheaper than Philippine Airlines. We chose Cebu Pacific. We’re fervently praying that there be no delayed flights for us since we booked an evening flight.
Lo and behold! There was no flight delay! However, the plane we rode was a tiny propeller plane.
It was tiny that there were only two seats per side. All hand-carry bags must be placed in the overhead bins. So people who had a hand-carry trolley had to check it in. Eventually, wait for it at the baggage carousel for claiming.
We were fetched by my mom and aunt at the airport. Immediately we went to Bigg’s Albay to have dinner and also exchange stories!
Since we arrived on Tuesday night, we had our adventure the next day. We had to make sure that we would bond with nature while we were there. Luckily, we were accompanied by an amazing pilot. Thank you, Kuya Henry!
First Stop: Cagsawa Ruins (Daraga, Albay)
For a person who grew up there, this is the most popular tourist destination. This is where you get to see Mayon and the church she somehow burnt during a massive explosion back in 1814. Sam’s first time here was back in 2012 during his first visit.
Back then, the road to Cagsawa was not nice at all since it was just recently destroyed by a typhoon. Now, the road is better and less rocky.
So you’d be able to join our adventure, here are some of our photos.
This photo of Mayon was capture moments before she hid behind the clouds. As we locals say, she tends to become shy at times to tourists. In this case, she may be hiding from the tourists that were there that day.
Isn’t it amazing that we had an amazing photographer? Kuya Henry works in an advertising company together with my cousin. I’m glad he got how we wanted our photos to turn out.
There is a fee of Php 20 when you park and another Php 20 to enter the vicinity. Php 20 = $ 0.40.
After Cagsawa Ruins, we headed onto our next stop.
Second Stop: Sumlang Lake (Camalig, Albay)
This is a lake located in Camalig, Albay. It is somehow a 45-minute drive from Legazpi but just a few minutes drive from Cagsawa Ruins. This has been in my travel destinations ever since I heard of it.
People may ride balsas to tour around the lake and take photos with Mayon. Again, if you’re lucky and she’s not shy.
At this place is also where you will see that people are striving to support local products. There’s a showroom where handmade crafts from Albay are being displayed. From rattan tables to chairs, Sam’s industrial design heart was thumping and leaping with joy!
For the handmade crafts, please browse Crafts of Albay. As I searched, they don’t have a Facebook page.
There’s a Php 10 ($ 0.21) fee upon entering the area. Another Php 25 ($ 0.50) per head for the balsa ride. The fees are for the maintenance and improvement of the whole barangay and Sumlang Lake.
There are other activities like aqua cycling, kayaking and you may event rent a whole balsa for Php 300 per hour.
So this is our way of reconnecting with nature. We were even lucky to witness ducks who were reunited with their mother duck! How cute is that?
Third Stop: Quitinday Hills (Camalig, Albay)
The hills are alive with the sound of music.
That is actually the words I thought of when we reached the hills. It was nature talking to us, treating us to a magnificent view and experience.
To be honest, it was a bit far from Sumlang Lake and we thought we will never reach it. Thank you to our amazing pilot, Kuya Henry, we did reach the place!
There is a fee of Php 10 ($. 021) before you can trek or climb up the hills.
I haven’t climbed up a hill in ages. The last one I climbed was Ligñon Hill and it was years ago. So, just imagine how I tried to catch my breath.
There were people specifically told us to be careful and to bring lots of water. Imagine, we climbed around 11am to 12nn! The blazing sun really challenged us but we ultimately reached our goal!
As this is another first for us, we surely did not forget to take photos!
All photos were captured by Kuya Henry the great!
It’s really nice to have a travel buddy that understands you completely. That’s what struck me when we went on this adventure. I know it was during the Holy Week but we made sure we participated in the religious activities.
We accomplished seven (7) churches for the Visita Iglesia on Maundy Thursday. Prior to that, we celebrated mass for the Washing of the Feet.
On Good Friday, it was Sam’s first time to participate in the procession. Our family takes care of Maria Jacobe, the wife of Cleofas who is the mother of St. James the Less. It was amazing since we were all able to see the pasos that joined the procession.
Even if we weren’t able to take photos of the pasos individually, we remembered it in our hearts and minds.
On Black Saturday, we joined the Paschal Vigil. Another first for Sam.
Then Easter Sunday came, it was our free day. We went to buy pili nuts for pasalubongs, visited my piano teacher together with a close friend.
In short, even if we had an adventure with nature, we did not forget the purpose of going home. It was to be with our family celebrating and doing our traditions.
How did your Holy Week go?