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Santo Domingo, AlbayMar 28, 2009

Santo Domingo, Albay

On a Short Leash in Legazpi
With my return flight in Legazpi, I couldn't stray too far away, but I've seen enough of the city and wanted to venture elsewhere. Looking at the map, one of the nearby towns saw Santo Domingo. Internet research said there was a beach and it gets you closer to Mayon! I was off with my snorkeling gear, just in case there might be some corals.

By the Beach
from Wikipedia Upon reaching poblacion, I bought mangoes (my idea of a cheap, sapid and nutritious lunch), and asked the tricycle driver to take me to the Reyes Beach Resort, perhaps the cheapest resort along the coastal strip. I took under a hut and started devouring my mangoes just chilling out and watching people swim in the black sand beach.

Getting Company
Not too long into my mango dalliance, I noticed 2 locals mounting their paddle canoe. I asked if there was a coral reef and they said yes. I asked again if I can piggy back on their boat. The problem about being just on my own when snorkeling, is that the reef is usually too far off the coastline. If I cramp or get biten by something, I'd be in trouble. Having a boat nearby is like having a lifesaver on standby.

Spear Fishing
I felt their initial reluctance to give me a ride, and later on, it became obvious. They were going spear fishing. I guess it's forbidden by the municipality...I don't know. I myself wouldn't spear fish, but I'm not passing judgement on people who have to rely on spear fishing to put food on their table. Obviously, they were poor people and perhaps selling off a catch might afford them even a beer or two for that night. At any rate, I'm just glad to have company as I've had my share of travails snorkeling by myself with no immediate help at hand.

Don't Miss the Wreck
What's cool about this dive, just like in Donsol, is that Mayon Volcano is always gracing the background. It's presence is so imposing. The reef wasn't much to go out of the way for. It supports a few corals and some marine life, but the wild colors or marine diversity were not there. At about 15 feet, it was also a bit too shallow for me. But hey, I'm not about to complain. A dive reef is better than just a sandy bottom. What I didn't know at that time is that there's a galleon wreck on that same Albay Gulf just 5 fathoms deep...darn!

Ending Thoughts
Santo Domingo beach resorts provide a great getaway from city life. The coastal area is scenic and quiet. If I need some alone time to read a book or do some dedicated writing...and I'm in Legazpi, I would certainly default to Santo Domingo.

--- TheLoneRider

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