Life Lately Relationships

Semana Santa 2017

Semana Santa 2017

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.

Getting There

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!

The Adventure

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.

Semana Santa 2017

Mayon at Cagsawa Ruins

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.

Semana Santa 2017

Hola Cagsawa bell tower! Captured by: Kuya Henry

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.

Sumlang Lake | Semana Santa 2017

At Sumlang Lake with Mayon and Crafts of Albay. Captured by Kuya Henry.

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!

Quitinday Hills | Semana Santa 2017

The hills are alive with the sound of music! | Quitinday Hills

As this is another first for us, we surely did not forget to take photos!

Quitinday Hills | Semana Santa 2017

What pose to do?

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?

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  • Reply
    April 30, 2017 at 5:19 PM

    Well, you obviously know how to spend your time. Love your photos and they make me want to come to the Philippines too. Those ruins are particularly interesting to me since I love history. But the nature seems astonishing too so I might be joining you soon.

  • Reply
    April 29, 2017 at 8:38 PM

    That is time very well spent. 🙂 Good memorable photos from your trip, you will remember this for a long time to come.
    Hopefully I get a chance to visit Philippines some day. All these places are so alluring, I want to visit them.

  • Reply
    Teresa Dumadag
    April 29, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    What a wonderful and memorable Holy Week vacation you had! I’d love to visit your province in the future also. And like what you did, I would love to visit churches as well. It’s my dream to see the Mayon volcano not just in photos. I hope to bring my kids there for a field trip one day.

  • Reply
    April 29, 2017 at 7:18 PM

    Ahhh..Albay! My husband and I had this plan to do a road trip from Cebu to Albay. Looking at your pictures made me giddy to finalize the plan. I was surprised by how the entrance fees were so affordable! Thanks for giving us some tips on where to go. 🙂

  • Reply
    Claire Santiago
    April 29, 2017 at 4:51 PM

    It is also our family’s tradition to go back to our hometown for the holy week celebration. Revisiting our own land’s attractions and destinations is also part of the itinerary. I am from Quezon, Bicol’s very close “neighbor” and it has been long on my bucket list to see Albay, the famous Mayon volcano and the Cagsawa ruins. I have been to the Visayas, why can’t I visit the Bicol region which is closer to home? I hope one day, very soon, on one summer vacation, I could also visit the place.

  • Reply
    Amila Wickramarachchi
    April 29, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    These are really amazing views from your province.Photos over the paddy field and over the lake are really beautiful.Seems you had good time during the Holy Week with your partner.well,all these poses of both of you are simply beautiful! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 29, 2017 at 12:54 AM

    My holy week was indeed great to stay at home and relax for awhile. Since at that time i wasn’t at good shape but i manage to spend time with my hubby’s family and have a fun time with them. Since i have work as well during holy week so we miss to visit the 7 churches near our place. 🙁 Hope next year, we’re all good doing the Catholic obligations to our church. 🙂

    • Reply
      April 29, 2017 at 4:32 PM

      Wow this is a lot! 7 churches. Is that not a bit too much to handle? You know, I think religion should be something that comes from within and not something obligated or something that you actually feel against. I hope you enjoyed your time anyways. It must have been a real holy week for you.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 11:47 PM

    Sad to say, I wasn’t able to visit 7 churches during Maundy Thursday but prior to that, I visited the historical churches during our 1st IG Meet here in Pampanga. I have a baby now and as much as I wanted to bring him, the traffic and the people will surely excites him and he might be fussy again. He’s teething and it’s quite difficult to pacify him. Going to Albay for the church visit is like hitting two birds with one stone. You get to travel and also complete the churches.

  • Reply
    Thelittlelai: Beyond limitss
    April 28, 2017 at 11:38 PM

    Wow, I’m so happy that you have finally brought him to where you really came from, he must be really happy about it. You guys were so lucky to be able to find a cheaper airfare price and you didn’t experience flights delay. I must say that you both have really own a great time during the holy Week as you have started to amble around Albay on Tuesday, which is early than the long weekend. I haven’t been to Albay yet, hopefully soon If I get the chance. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with us.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 4:03 PM

    The bamboo boat is awesome. I would love to go in it. The place looks exhilarating. Looks like a perfect weekend getaway in Philippines. Amazing photos, by the way. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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