So the previous night, I set my phone's alarm for 4:15 AM, since the cab we hired to drive us would arrive at 6 AM. Unfortunately, my inner sleepy head got the better of me and I snoozed the alarm 5 times. YES. This has become a "tradition" since summer vacation started, and as much as I tried to get out of bed, my body would't cooperate. To speed things up, I got up at around 5 AM instead. I applaud the cab driver though - he was in front of our house at exactly 6 AM. O___O Much to my embarrassment, he had to wait for another 30 minutes before we were all set.
The main purpose for our trip that morning was the renewal of my passport, which was going to expire that very same day (mom had been taking day-off's during the previous four Friday's, but something always prevented us from leaving). We left at around 7 AM and got past Pili at around this time:
(Gah, I'm a bit on the hairy end. >__< Pardon the "fluffiness".)
The day was going to be awesome, and it took me a while to remember I brought my DSLR with me. Figures, huh? When I finally did get the camera out, very few "photographic" landscapes remained.
(This was taken from the car so it's a little blurry. It was a really bumpy ride!)
There wasn't enough scenery to bother with, so I stopped snapping photos at this point.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (a.k.a. DFA)
We arrived at the mall (since it was stationed inside) at 9:45AM, but when we started to enter, the guards told us that the mall wasn't open yet. That explained the number of people waiting outside, haha. We drove around until 10AM and went back to the just-opened Pacific Mall.
I mentioned "just opened", right? Well, imagine our surprise when we saw the long line in front of the DFA office. I peeked inside and saw a number of people already waiting in the processing area, and there were around 50 more in line! I wanted to document the rest of the way, but the sight of the guards by the entrance and the stares of the other people prompted me to keep the camera inside.
We were behind two other ladies (perhaps mother-daughter) and that would've been a normal thing, if it weren't for the rudeness of the mother. Really! She had a sort of "sequence" going on: She'd hiccup, then cough, then clear her throat really, really loudly. I know - she might have a cold or something - but she could've at least covered her mouth or turned away from other people! I was eating waffles as she did that so I had my back to her instead. People.
When I finally got inside the office, I spent around 30 minutes waiting for my turn in the Processing area, 5 minutes in the Cashier window, and another 15 minutes in the Encoding side of the office. Oh, and 5 minutes in paying for my passport home-service delivery. (By the way, the two ladies I mentioned earlier couldn't wait for their turn long enough so when their numbers were called, they were MIA. I got to skip a few minutes of waiting because of their little impatience.)
I finally finished after three hours at 1PM.
Before going off to another place in Legaspi, we went to McDonald's for some fries and flavored floats (yum and refreshing!). That certainly aided the heat.
Here, the fun begins!
Legazpi City is a 2-hour drive from Naga, so with the time on our hands and with mom wanting to use every minute of our stay to the maximum, we asked the driver to bring us to three different places: Ligñon Hill, The Wildlife Park, and Kawa-Kawa.
1. Ligñon Hill
The road was a steep one, with a great view of the city below the mountain on one side. We saw a very thin bridge (who would even dare go on that fragile looking thing?) and a cable for Zip-Lining, a sport that has become very popular here in the Philippines. We had to turn off the air conditioner on our way up to save fuel, as the drive burns enough as it is. A few more minutes and we made it to the top!
Say hello to Mt. Mayon!
Isn't it lovely? We had a perfect shot from Ligñon Hill, and the fine weather gave way to this picture. It would've been 100% better if the top of Mayon actually showed from under the clouds, but all's well.
While the wind blew and the sun shone, we happily ate our lunch and our fries/floats. :)
Right after lunch, the photo taking galore started!
The epic jump shots! Hahaha. This was hilarious. It took us around 3 times to take good enough shots! All this while the sun was blazing. Worth it.
Photo-loving people! Hahaha.
This side of Ligñon Hill overlooked the Legazpi airport, and we caught a glimpse of a plane on touch-down. :)
The vast, blue ocean. Relaxing place.
More photos and other stories in Part 2!