The Walks of Kulot

December 3, 2009, 3:46 pm
Filed under: WOK in LUZON | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Drawing has been my passion during my elementary years. I really love to draw, that I even joined our school’s art club to hone my skill. I am not a “technical drawer” as I call artists who are good at drawing or painting the human figure or detailed structures but most of my subjects are leaning towards abstraction or nature. I find mixing colors of blue and green relaxing reason why most of drawings have trees, waters and mountains in it. Anyway, I joined this art contest in school in celebration of HEKASI week and the theme was to draw a famous “magandang tanawin” (beautiful scenery) in the Philippines and I chose to draw the Mayon Volcano. I told myself: It must be easy drawing it, because it’s just a perfect cone, add smoke near its craters, a splish-splash of blue for the sky and green at the foreground, draw a bell tower to accentuate the artwork and wala – a postcard perfect drawing! But unfortunately I lost, because I thought adding hot-red lava and magma in my drawing would make it look better.

The perfect cone Mayon Volcano (Photo by Marc Flordeliza)

Last November 28, I had the chance to visit Bicol to attend the 11th year anniversary of a prayer group which my grandmother initiated and headed by Mr. Badong Camelo in Bicol. It was my first time in Bicol and I was in awe to see my artwork come to life sans the magma and the lava. Mount Mayon is really massive and I can imagine how powerful it can be when it feels the urge to dismiss its wrath. We were lucky enough to see Mayon Volcano in its perfect cone shape when we arrived because according to the locals, it is very rare that the volcano shows its magnificence because most of the time it is concealed behind clouds. Indeed, the sight of green pastures and massive igneous rocks makes the Mayon Volcano a perfect backdrop for this natural work of art.

The remnants of the church bellfry at the Cagsawa Park

"...ash lands was transformed into green pastures - maybe nature's subtle reminder that there's always hope for the Bicolanos."

These kids are enjoying the serene atmosphere at the park.

The year 1814 was known to be the most devastating and destructive eruption of Mount Mayon. Thousands of lives were lost and many of the Bicolano’s livelihood was immersed and destroyed with hot flowing lava. In the city of Legazpi, a testament to this massive destruction remains. A church belfry stands strongly against the picturesque Mount Mayon – where remnants of the past serve as a living testament of the Bicolano’s gloomy past. Today, the Cagsawa Park serves as memorial to the 1814 eruption, but unlike before, ash lands was transformed into green pastures – maybe nature’s subtle reminder that there’s always hope for the Bicolanos.

The Lord of Pardon grotto at the Cagsawa Park.

A crowd of Little Infants.

An oxymoron: The tallest Little Infant.

At the back of church belfry in Cagsawa Park, a grotto of the Sto. Nino, Crucifix and Mother Mary can be seen. My grandmother, who is a missionary started the Lord of Pardon mission here in the Philippines and abroad which encourages the recitation of the rosary daily. Through the efforts of Mr. Badong Camelo, the Lord of Pardon Mission was brought into Bicol and the grotto at the Cagsawa Park was built.  It serves as a reminder to the Bicolanos that prayer is a powerful tool to overcome all adversities in life. Today 200+ prayer groups are all over Bicol, and images of the Santo Nino are given to recipient families to propagate the devotion to the Holy Infant and the Holy Rosary. With the Bicolano’s religiosity and strong faith, I believe that God will shelter them against another wrath of nature.

"Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko"

Small Christmas nipa huts - a truly Pinoy depiction of this much awaited season

Small Christmas nipa huts - a very Filipino depiction of Christmas in the countryside


During our visit in Bicol, we are lucky enough to witness a Christmas installation near the town of Malinao in Albay. Small bahay kubos (nipa hut) were adorned with Christmas lights and at the middle an image of the Holy Family is displayed. The words “Bro, ikaw ang star ng Pasko” (Jesus, you are the star of Christmas) completes the whole set. This just shows the Bicolanos jovial attitude in celebration for Christmas.

With my brief stay in Bicol, I discovered two things: 1) That a natural wonder such as Mount Mayon can be deadly as it looks but 2) You can look at it without fear and plain beauty if you have immense faith such as the Bicolanos. By the way, don’t come home without buying Pili nuts (may it be pili tart, sweetened pili, or just plain pili – it’s worth munching!) or if you want to buy something for your home, native products made from abacca (baskets, magazine holders, hampers etc.) and ceramics can be bought in Bicol for a very cheap price. Try to visit stalls in front of the Christ the King church in Tabaco City for great finds. Till then, Bicol! Mabalos inti-ag!

Till then, Bicol.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

nice photos…

Comment by gracie

Hi gracie! Thank you for the kind comment. Hope you can visit WOK again soon.

Comment by walksofkulot

[…] more: I WOK'd in BICOL. « The Walks of Kulot Share and […]

Pingback by I WOK'd in BICOL. « The Walks of Kulot | Planet Bicol

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