Mayon Skyline Hotel named Covid-19 quarantine area by LGU-Albay

LEGAZPI CITY---The Albay provincial government has designated the former Mayon Skyline Hotel located at the shoulder of Mount Mayon in Tabaco City as quarantine area for Covid-19 patients.

Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) said hotel can accommodate 24 ppersons.

“We are expediting the rehabilitatation of the facility that can accommodate 24 persons. We will assign trained medics that will look into possible Covid-19 patients,” Daep said.

The Mayon Skyline is owned by the provincial government. It is located halfway or some 3.5 kilometers to 4 kilometer away from the crater of Mayon volcano.

The Mayon Skyline Hotel, formerly known as Mayon View Deck also known as Mayon Rest House ceased business operations in the late 90’s due to the unpredictable outbursts of Mt. Mayon, but the place was preserved and converted into a nature park with cold weather condition like in Baguio City.

It has a multi-purpose hall used for parties and some recreational activity with library and historical data including photo exhibits and documentaries of the world’s symmetrical historical eruptions.

Adjacent to the nature park’s multi-purpose hall is the Mayon Planetarium and Science Park built and funded by Rep. Edcel Lagman, where documentaries about volcanoes are being shown to the visitors.

The Mayon Skyline is the region’s top tourist destinations specifically in Albay where tourists can see the breathtaking view of Lagunoy Gulf, Pacific Ocean, the entire first district towns of Albay including the islands of San Miguel, Cagraray Island, Corangon Shoel, the dormant Mount Malinao, and Asia’s first geothermal field in Tiwi toTourists could also see the best vista of Mayon volcano. The park is the region’s favorite destinations for picnics and field trips among students due to the science planetarium with awe-inspiring view and cooler temperature due to high elevation within the eastern slope of the volcano.

The area is accessible via Sabloyon area in Tabaco City or about two hours drive from Legazpi City and not accessible to any public transportation.

Downhill of the park are the variety of vegetables and root crops planted by the local farmers wherein vegetables thriving in Baguio City are being sold and harvested due to fertile soil and cool weather condition.

Adjacent to the science planetarium and of the Mayon Skyline is the Phivolcs seismograph stations being manned by Phivolcs scientists.

The station is operating 24/7 sending data regarding the volcano’s activity beneath the surface to Phivolcs regional office for assessment and monitoring.

Historically, the Americans built the seismological instruments being used by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology here.

Since time immemorial the eastern slope of the volcano where the planetarium, the skyline and the chapel are located are spared from the volcano’s deadliest and more than 50 episodes of eruptions.

A chapel which houses several images of Virgin Mary with giant white cross and rosary was also built adjacent to Mayon Skyline, a popular place for pilgrims visiting the Stations of the Cross during the Holy Week.

The yearly trek was started in 1990 by a late businesswoman Eugenia “Tia Genia” San Pablo.

San Pablo a native of Tabaco City who came from a pilgrimage in Medjugorie, Yugoslavia built the chapel and put up the images of Virgin Mary with giant cross and rosary after she dreamt of deadly eruption of volcano that caused numerous villagers to perish.

Upon her returned to Tabaco City in February 1990 after the pilgrimage in Yugoslavia she built the chapel to pray to prevent her dream from happening.

San Pablo told this reporter few years before her demise in 2018 that she could not think of anything then but to walk up Mt. Mayon praying the rosary.

Tia Genia is a very religious woman who led her employees to pray rosary before the work starts. She owned the roll-on-roll-off ferries cruising Tabaco-Catanduanes vice versa. She personally financed the construction of chapel at the volcano’s shoulder.

It was Tia Genia and her employees who started the bare-footed procession up to Mayon Skyline Hotel in the eastern slope of the volcano as a form of sacrifice to Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The trek is about 16 kilometers form Barangay Buang in Tabaco City up the volcano. The yearly trekking to repent sins has been going on for nearly 30 years.

The Way of the Cross is done on Good Friday yearly that lures thousands of devout Catholics from all walks of life participated even by the balikbayans trekking the hill as a way of penitence and atonement.

But with COVID-19 virus, the Mayon Skyline Hotel within the belly of the volcano, thed Bicolanandia’s icon the area will be used as quarantine site.

The site used by the pilgrims during lentern season as holy mountain as devotees trek on barefoot during Good Friday as a way of repentance here.