Bumpy Plane Ride, A Rainbow and First Glimpse of Mount Mayon

In a trip that that took ten months to materialize, my wife and I embarked on our first travel together in the island of Luzon. It was in April of last year when I was able to score cheap round trip plane tickets for the Cagayan de Oro-Manila-Legazpi City route through Cebu Pacific's promo fare. Albay is our destination and the primary goal is to personally witness Mount Mayon in its perfect cone-shaped glory.

Exit door of NAIA Terminal 3

Our journey started on the night of January 15 when we left our home in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon and took a bus ride to Cagayan de Oro where we stayed overnight before our 6:15 AM flight to Manila the following day. We stayed at D' Morvie Suites, a budget motel which I once featured in my previous post. After sleeping for barely 5 hours, we checked out at 4:30 AM and hailed a taxi to Lumbia Airport.

Our flight went on as scheduled. It was a cloudy morning, probably due to the low pressure affecting Mindanao, Visayas and some parts of Southern Luzon. Though the plane ride was a bit bumpy, I enjoyed reading the SMILE inflight magazine which featured write-ups, photos and travel tips of my fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers. Since these adventurers are among the travel bloggers I looked up to and followed, this issue is a collector's item for me. So upon landing at NAIA Terminal 3, I slipped a copy inside my wife's backpack.

NAIA Terminal 3 Airport Chapel where we asked for God's protection to keep us safe in our travel.

From NAIA 3, we boarded the airport shuttle bus all the way to its terminal in Pasay Rotunda. I wanted to familiarize myself with the bus route since we still have plenty of time left before our afternoon flight to Legazpi. We ate breakfast at the nearby McDonalds, ordered take-out burgers then rode the bus again back to the airport.

Rainy afternoon in NAIA Terminal 3

Our 12:55 PM flight was slightly delayed and it already rained before the plane took off. The rain did stopped when the plane departed. It was still very cloudy though, and we had our second dose of bumpy plane ride for the day.

Flying in an airplane, looking out the window, watching the clouds go by...

Rainbow after the rain

Flying over Bicol, my eyes are kept glued outside the plane's window hoping to catch a glimpse of Mayon. And finally moments after the captain announced our descent, Mayon appeared before my eyes. She was still shrouded in clouds but her tip was exposed a bit making me almost jump off my seat in excitement.

Mayon Volcano, finally!

In a little while, the sky became clearer exposing more of the famous volcano which looms over the vast green fields of palay and coco trees. Though it was still a far cry from the perfect cone shape I wanted to see I am so glad that I am almost face to face with the beauty that I used to see only in books, magazines, postcards and lately the new 100-peso bill.

Magayon ("beautiful") Mount Mayon... and I fell in love at first sight.

By the time we landed in Legazpi City, Mayon was already covered with thick clouds. I failed to see the "most beautiful airport view of the Philippines" in this particular moment. So we walked outside the arrival area and checked in at the nearby Legazpi Airport Hotel.

Touchdown Legazpi City Airport

This is the first part of my Chasing Mayon's Full Glory series. Will I ever see Mount Mayon's perfect cone shape? Stay tuned for my succeeding posts. : )

✍️ Earl E. Bolivar
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