LEGAZPI CITY (11-Dec-2012/PNA) – Mount Mayon’s normal condition at present has again lured foreign, domestic and “balikbayan” tourists to reach the top and conquer the world’s only perfect-cone volcano.
With this, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is reminding mountain climbers to be in full gear in trekking the steep slopes of the Mayon.
Phivolcs–Legazpi resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta said climbers should bring with them masks for protection against toxic gases from possible ash and small-scale steam driven puffs and to bring functional communication gadgets for immediate contact in case need for rescue arises.
However, over the weekend, a visiting German woman, a Polish and a Filipino balikbayan complained to the Philippines News Agency about what they described as unprepared handling of a paid trek to Mayon Volcano by Legazpi-based tour guides.
The trio related that the hostel where they checked in recommended one Bayron Cepria as guide to the 19-hour Mayon climb and whom they paid P15,000 outright. However, at the start of the climb at Buyuan trail, the trio were simply handed over to four other tourists guides and Cepria did not join the climb.
Aside from the absence of Cepria, the tourists were not provided with safety climbing gears like helmets or skull guard, no medicine kit, no flashlight and not enough water. The lack of safety gears made the Polish tourist weep due to fear of possible falling rocks especially at the steepest part near the crater.
“I think everybody who wants a tour to this wonderful volcano should be extra careful and deserves a better prepared team so they would not have a struggling tour up to the volcano,” the German woman said.
Although frustrated from the services, the tourists remained awed by the majestic cone of Mt. Mayon and the flora along the way to the crater, that the German woman pledged to come back and bring more of her fellow Germans. “I will come back to Legazpi for sure and next time with friends so we can do again the tour on Mayon volcano together”. (PNA)