Our van snaked along the road, ever upwards; our driver, still unable to believe that we were climbing the perfect cone of one of the country’s deadliest volcano. Our current destination was a park halfway through its slopes, the Mayon Skyline View Deck.
Mayon Volcano has erupted forty-nine times in recorded history, the most recent of which was in 2008. According to Wikipedia, it is currently weakly erupting since January this year and may be building up to a massive on some time in the near future.
Located on the eastern side of the Mayon Volcano, 2,700 feet from sea level, the Mayon Skyline View Deck recreational area has a grand view of Albay and the Pacific Ocean. From its numerous gazebos, you can clearly see the towering mountains of Malinao and Masaraga; shift towards the east and you’ll see the panoramic Tabaco Bay.
The weather here is cool, somewhat similar to that of Tagaytay City, due to its high elevation. Aside from the weather, the abandoned buildings on the lower level of the Skyline, the zipline, and the gazebos with its sweeping panorama all remind me of Tagaytay.
But, of course, our purpose here was to see Mt. Mayon; this might be the closest I can be to the famed (or infamous, depends on who you ask) volcano. Unfortunately, thick clouds obscured the view of its peak at the time, leaving us scratching our heads.
I tried climbing a bit higher, walking through a short trail upwards, but still no joy. The cloud cover was really too heavy. There was nothing to do but climb back down and check out the cafeteria and the planetarium.
The former was just that, a cafeteria serving cafeteria food; nothing special here. There was also a gift shop inside, but it can be hardly called one due to lack of items for sale (dang, no ref magnets for me).
The latter, the dome-shaped blue planetarium was ripe with visitors, which were mostly kids. I haven’t been to a planetarium before and was interested in seeing what was inside, unfortunately we were really not gonna be staying long, so I contented myself in taking a few photos of its lobby which were decorated with huge photos of stars and nebulas.
I then proceeded down a winding concrete stairs outside that leads to an old abandoned building, and further on to a gazebo field, which is mostly a view deck where friends and family can share a snack or lunch. I climb back up using the road we passed on the way to the park and passed by vendors selling knives and bonsai plants. It seems bonsais thrive in cool weather, as there were a lot of them and they were being sold at cheap prices too (PHP50.00).
I bought a PHP10.00 macaroni crackers from a vendor, poured in some vinegar and continued uphill where I passed an old concrete stairs leading up into the mountain. I asked one of the locals and she said that it leads to the old PAGASA station. No time to explore it though as my celphone beeped that it was time to go.
Mayon Skyline is actually a good place for an inexpensive family outdoor fun. Besides the grand view and cool weather, here you can share a picnic, climb a wall, hike, zip down the mountain and do all sorts of outdoorsy fun you can think of. Bring your own food and all you’ve got to spend is time (and some baby fat too, if you plan to hike all the way to the park).
Mayon Skyline View Deck
Address: Mayon Volcano, Tabaco City, Albay
Entrance Fee: None