L I G A O C I T Y S I D E T R I P
Viewing the Mayon Volcano is now made more interesting in the province of Albay from the plantation of sunflowers found in the city of Ligao. The area in California Village in Kawa Kawa is starting to be a favorite tourist attraction by Filipinos who love to see the flower farm with the distant Mount Mayon.
Getting off a tricycle, I found it odd that the tricycle driver discouraged me to go further near the Kawa Kawa Hill to see the part of the farm with sunflowers that have bigger heads and taller stems. He explained that with the summer heat, the stay would be unbearable. Since I was also going to visit a few relatives in the area, I heeded his advice and reckoned that I can always go back to Ligao City for it and even visit two more attractions next time -- a waterfalls and Kawa Kawa Hill's Stations of the Cross.
I felt fortunate that the sky was clear and Mount Mayon was in full silhouette. I was previously told by a friend that February to March is the best time to visit the farm as the flowers are in full bloom during this time. It was almost April during my visit and the florets were beaming in yellow splendor against the sun from where I was standing -- under the shade of a tree.
Seeing Up Close
Since the flowers in the area were not as big as those near the foot of the Kawa Kawa Hill, I proceeded to check a few flower heads up close. I tried to be extra careful as to not step on anything except the soil partitions. It was interesting to see that all flower heads were facing the direction of the Mayon Volcano as if paying homage to the latter's majesty.
A few minutes later, my Ligao City-based uncle fetched me in a motorcycle and we headed to his family's house where I would spot three stems of sunflowers on their dining table. My gracious auntie shared that the flower cost P10 a piece from the farm. I have a hunch that aside from using the sunflowers as a residential ornament, some locals also use it for native delicacies. This effort may be something new as the sunflower farm only came to be in Ligao City a few years ago thanks to the initiatives made by Albay's former Governor Gonzales.
C O M M U T E T I P T O T H E S U N F L O W E R F A R M
From Naga City
Ride a van or bus bound for Legazpi City and get off at Kawa Kawa along the highway.
From Legazpi City
Ride a van bound for Ligao City and get off at Kawa Kawa along the highway.