Camiguin: Old Gui-ob Church Ruins

Located in Barangay Bonbon, Catarman in the western side of the volcanic island of Camiguin lies the ruins of the Old Gui-ob Church.

Church Ruins

Probably the oldest Spanish church in the province, the church was constructed sometime in the 16th century.
Welcome to the ruins of Gui-ob Church
However, on the night of May 13, 1871, the nearby Mt. Volcan erupted with much ferocity. The eruption destroyed Cotta Bato (former name of Catarman) and claimed countless lives. Plato might have been in Camiguin that faithful day for what happened next was strikingly similar to his description of the final hours of Atlantis. During the catastrophe portion of the town slipped under the lashing waves of the sea.
Convent ruins
Belltower ruins
Gui-ob Church was partially spared. Although it did not join most of its parishioners underneath the sea that day, the wooden and weaker parts of the church either burned or crumbled to the ground.
The small chapel inside the ruins

When the volcano calmed down and the fires died out. The beautiful town of Cotta Bato was almost flattened to the ground. One of those that remained standing was the church of Gui-ob.
Kissing under the giant tree
All that was left of the once sacred establishment was the ruins of its church, bell tower, and convent. Today a small chapel was erected inside the ruins. Once more regular masses are scheduled in its Holy ground.

With the friendly locals
During my visit to the ruins of Gui-ob Church. I was greeted by some old ladies selling lansones. It was from them that I learned about the tragic past of the church. You might laugh at me and point out at the info-marker placed in front of the ruins. You might be right that I could save time by just reading the info-marker but to tell you honestly, I have this passion of interviewing locals. Aside from gaining new friends, I also get the chance to listen to a more dramatic story.

Sweet moments
For sweethearts, the ruins is also a good place to take pictures and of course to get married. Though I didn't marry my wife in the Gui-ob Church ruins, I married her in some other "ruins" somewhere in Manila. Check this out for more of that story: Baluarte De San Diego

Looks like:
The ruins of St. Paul Church in Hong Kong
Most of the church walls are still intact and the facade has long crumbled down

Getting there:

Airline companies offer flights to Cagayan de Oro Airport (Laguindingan Airport).
From there ride a van to Agora Market.  From there that will bring you to the Balingoan Port in Cagayan the Oro.
van fare to Agora: P200
van fare to Balingoan Port: P150
Board a fast craft going to Benoni Port.
Fast craft fare: P550-750
From Benoni Port in Camiguin, you have a variety of transportation choices. 
(It's a wise choice to haggle first before acquiring someone's services.)
Motorcycle: P400-500 a day
Motorela (tricycle): P800-1000 a day
Multicab: P1500-1700 a day
In our case, we had a prearranged tour. We rented a multicab to tour us around the province for two days.

Overall rating


  1. very fascinating and exotic. I'd like to see

  2. I agree. It's one thing leafing through flyers and reading a signage. It's another to get stories from the locals. I've done the latter a countless times and I'd get something extra every single time.

    1. That's true. =) Local stories are like special sauces in a bland food. =)

  3. Beautiful pictures you took as you portrayed this story to us. I have never been to the Philippines, but this blog sure reminds me how awesome it is to travel. The amount of things one learns through this life and the lives of others. I hope to someday travel there to witness these sites in person.

    1. Thanks so much for the wonderful feedback sir Jesse. =) These positive messages keeps me motivated to blog more quality article. Thanks so much!

  4. S tím lze jen souhlasit. Info-cedulka nenabídne víc než strohou informaci, kterou se nejspíš dovíme z každé reklamní brožurky. Co návštěvu dělá hodnotným poznáním je setkání s místním obyvatelstvem, který většinou dá nahlédnout i do své duše. A právě tam jsou největší poklady poznání. Z Prahy zdraví

    1. That's true. Taking it from Prague's Max Health. Why not?


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