FB Page Dr. Dave’s Filipino Scene recounts :  Until now I have never seen a pic of the Cagsawa Church in this condition. This is an old photo of the Cagsawa Church with the Mayon Volcano in the background. ** This pic shared with us by Sophia’s lolo **
What is unique about this, for me, is that the exterior of the Cagsawa Church [ located in Daraga, Albay in the Bicol region of the Philippines ] is still intact…  Known around the world as “The perfect cone,” the name of the volcano came from the local word for beautiful, (maayon).On February 1, 1814, the volcano erupted, burying the nearby Cagsawa Church under volcanic debris. This eruption is considered the most devastating eruption of this volcano.I visited the Mayon Volcano and Cagsawa Ruins on my very first trip to the Philippines.

 The locals told me that the church used to be a place of spiritual refuge. And when the Mayon Volcano erupted in 1814 the people of the area sought shelter inside the church, praying to be spared from the wrath of the volcano.  Today we now know that their moving to the Cagsawa Church would be their last, as the molten lava from the volcano engulfed the church, burying all the people inside. 😦  After the disaster, 1,200 people were dead and this once pristine landscape was a wasteland of black lava and rocks. Although I do not have a confirmation on when this was taken I am confident it was was taken after 1827.  I can say that with absolute certainty since the first camera and photographs were not invented until that time.  No matter when this was taken it is a rare pic. And the Cagsawa Ruins did NOT look like this when I visited there over 20 years ago.


  1. Love your post. I found yours by way of Zemanta and have added yours to a related post of mine. Hope you could take a look and leave your insight. Thank you.


    I’ve been to the ruin a few times, and have always felt emotional, knowing people are buried there. There is a museum, a small one, and I remember looking inside to see bones of human beings. I believe they were called Burial Jars.

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