Cagsawa Ruins is not to be confused with Daraga Church, both situated in the municipality of Daraga. The ruins consist of not only the bell tower, , but also a grim reminder of the Feb 1, 1814 catastrophic eruption that killed approximately 2,000 people and destroyed the entire town.
At present, Cagsawa Ruins is part of the Cagsawa Park, only 11 kilometers away from the Mayon Volcano, and interestingly, 3.3 kilometers from the Legazpi Airport. Last time I went here in 2009, there’s only just a plain entrance, and a number of photographers selling pictures of the volcano. Fast forward to 2017, the place is teeming with Cagsawa Pasalubong Center, carinderias, and the major highlight of this trip: the ATV tour.
|Beauty level: (4.5/5) – “Captivating!”
While looking for a place to eat, a man approached me and my siblings and walked us through their ATV offerings. I was pleased with Sir Julio of Mayon SkyDrive ATV Adventure because he is really nice to talk to. I didn’t even negotiate with him because he gave us a fair price of P400 / person, good for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Everyone is so used to pesky negotiators in Boracay who would typically offer their highest rate first and suggest activities and add-ons that the group might not enjoy, but they are doing so just so they “scam” people of their hard-earned money
(real talk: I heard a negotiator in Boracay once offering an American couple P4,000 / per person for a whole day of island hopping! However for Filipinos, their cheapest rate is P800. Just so you know guys don’t accept island hopping rates in Boracay higher than P1,000).
|Beauty level: (5/5) – “GO! Highly Commendable!”
There are a lot of trails available, some would last 2-3 hours and would include an optional zipline activity but we didn’t go for it because we are with our special kids who might not enjoy the experience. That’s why we decided to take their basic offer.
Before we embark, we get to practice and familiarize ourselves with our ATV vehicle on their parking area.
|The first part of the trail is the river trail. Don’t fret, your feet won’t get submerged in the water, unless you revved up your ATV engine.|
|We were in good company. There are two guides who assisted us. The first person leads the way, and then the other person would be the lookout person for the entire group / photographer at the same time.|
|The second part of the trail mainly consist of the grass lands trail, with a bit of river flow. All throughout our ATV adventure, Mayon Volcano didn’t bother to show up. But it’s alright. We were able to enjoy her majestic glory later on.|