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Albay: Cagsawa Ruins

Located in the municipality of Daraga in the province of Albay, Cagsawa Ruins are the remnants of the Cagsaua Church that was destroyed by the eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1814.

Cagsaua Church was built sometime in the 1720s in the supervision of Franciscan Friars. The church was said to be the replacement for the church that was burned by the Dutch in 1636.
NHI marker
The church was said to have been built with a baroque architectural design like most old churches in the country. The design was said to protect the structure from damages that could be done by earthquakes.

However, given this "earthquake-proof" design, the church was not designed to withstand tons of ash and pyroclastic flow from Mayon Volcano. The 1814 eruption of Mayon Volcano that killed an estimated 1200 people also spelled the doom for the church. 
One part of the ruins
Another part of the church ruins
The story goes that hundreds of villagers sought refuge inside the church during the eruption. These people perished when they were trapped inside the church by the hot pyroclastic flow that would eventually swallow both man and church.
Adding fun to pictures

To date, only the belfry and the ruins of the convent remains. The ruins are now part of the Cagsawa Ruins Park.
Ruins of Cagsawa Church decades ago...

The ruin has a very picturesque backdrop
Since my dad is from Albay, I have the privilege of visiting the ruins every time we go to the province. It's nice to see that the place is well maintained and taken care of by the park's management. However, what bothers me the most are the visitors who seem to have no care of this "national treasure". During one of my visit there, I saw one family leave behind a pile of trash after their picnic. Another one is a teen who stuck gum to the ruin of the convent.

Little Ella with my sister Aya

I hope these visitors learn to value what's truly theirs.

Getting There:

From Manila, ride a bus heading to Legazpi City.  Tell the conductor to drop you off the Cagsawa Junction it is already near  Cagsawa Ruins. Once you board down, you may choose to walk to the ruins or ride a tricycle.

You may also choose to ride a plane going to Legazpi City International Airport. From there, you can ride a van or jeepney going to the ruins.

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