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Cagsawa Ruins, Daraga, Albay
Part 11 of a series.
After a quick tour of Legazpi City, we bought pasalubong and souvenirs and without holding back, we exited the city. We then headed to the next town, Daraga, which is famous for the Cagsawa Ruins.
The Cagsawa Ruins (shot from the direction of the Mayon Volcano)
On February 1, 1814, The Mayon Volcano erupted and buried the town of Cagsawa in lava flows. About 1,200 people sought refuge in the town’s church, thinking they would be saved but all of them perished when it was engulfed in the red-hot lava flows. Now all that remains is the church’s bell tower, and it remains a mute, but solid symbol of Mother Nature’s wrath. Although it is a gloomy remembrance of the events that took place during that momentous day, the ruins also stand as a representation of Bicol’s breathtaking sceneries, valuable history and the people’s resiliency and strength to face and withstand the devastations brought about by Mother Nature.
The Cagsawa Ruins Park is just a few minutes away from Legazpi City. I think this is the most visited place in the town of Daraga. It is also among the best vantage points for viewing the Mayon Volcano.
The Cagsawa Ruins with the Mayon Volcano
The park is now being maintained and managed by the municipal government of Daraga. Through the efforts of the local government, the belfry remains well-preserved and facilities are being added to the area to complement the experience.
Municipal Hall of Daraga, Albay
As you enter the park, you can easily find a lot of souvenir shops and stalls which showcase native products, handicrafts and delicacies. You can also choose from a wide variety of tee-shirts with native scenes and designs. I personally prefer the hand-painted shirts and I got one for myself. You also don’t need to worry about being caught by hunger while in the park since there are restaurants and food outlets which makes available most of the products that you can find in a typical convenience store.
Worm’s Eye View of the Cagsawa Belfry
Plants and flower enthusiasts will also be enthralled with the array of exotic flowers and orchids that are on sale.
While taking shots in the vicinity of the park, some kids came near me and offered that they narrate the history of the Cagsawa Ruins. So I said, why not? One little girl (about five years old) then began describing in detail the events that happened on February 1, 1814 and other interesting stuff about the Cagsawa Ruins. After the whole narration, I was about to leave when the kid ran after me and said, “Konting barya naman sir.” (Please give us some coins sir). Ouch. I was quite turned off when I heard that but since I had a lot of coins in my pocket, I gave them all to the kids. I realized that I only go there once in a blue moon so it wouldn’t hurt to share some of the blessings I receive to the less fortunate. After that, the kids had huge smiles on their faces so deep inside myself, I also felt happy for them.
(…to be continued)