The Cagsawa Ruins (also spelled as Kagsawa, historically spelled as Cagsaua) are the remnants of a 16th-century Franciscan church, the Cagsawa church. It was originally built in the town of Cagsawa in 1587 but was burned down and destroyed by Dutch pirates in 1636. It was rebuilt in 1724 by Fr. Francisco Blanco but was destroyed again, along with the town of Cagsawa, on February 1, 1814, during the eruption of Mayon Volcano.

The ruins are currently located in Barangay Busay, Cagsawa, in the municipality of Daraga, Albay, Philippines. It is part of Cagsawa Park, is protected and maintained by the municipal government of Daraga and the National Museum of the Philippines, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. The Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin, one of the world's top travel trade shows based in Berlin, has even recognized the site as one of the places to visit in Asia. A preliminary exca...Read more

The Cagsawa Ruins (also spelled as Kagsawa, historically spelled as Cagsaua) are the remnants of a 16th-century Franciscan church, the Cagsawa church. It was originally built in the town of Cagsawa in 1587 but was burned down and destroyed by Dutch pirates in 1636. It was rebuilt in 1724 by Fr. Francisco Blanco but was destroyed again, along with the town of Cagsawa, on February 1, 1814, during the eruption of Mayon Volcano.

The ruins are currently located in Barangay Busay, Cagsawa, in the municipality of Daraga, Albay, Philippines. It is part of Cagsawa Park, is protected and maintained by the municipal government of Daraga and the National Museum of the Philippines, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. The Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin, one of the world's top travel trade shows based in Berlin, has even recognized the site as one of the places to visit in Asia. A preliminary excavation of the Cagsawa ruins by the Bulacan State University, show that the Spanish incorporated Mesoamerican influences in constructing the complex.

 Church PHC historical marker

The baroque church of Cagsawa was originally built in 1587 in the small town of Cagsawa (spelled as Cagsaua during the Hispanic era in the Philippines). The church, however, was burned down by Dutch pirates on July 25, 1636.[1] In 1724, the church was rebuilt by Franciscan friars under Father Francisco Blanco.[2][3]

On February 1, 1814, the strongest eruption recorded to date of the Mayon volcano buried the town of Cagsawa and its surrounding areas under several hundred million cubic meters of tephra and lahar,[4][5] killing an estimated 2,000 people. Hundreds of inhabitants of the town of Cagsawa purportedly sought refuge in the church, but were also killed by pyroclastic flows and lahar.[6][7] Only the belfry and some parts of the convent survive today,[8][9] though parts of the crumbling facade were still standing long after the 1814 eruption as attested by photographs. It is believed that the facade of the structure collapsed due to earthquakes that hit the area in the 1950s.[10]

Survivors of the 1814 eruption resettled into the nearby Daraga, which was then a mere barrio of the destroyed town of Cagsawa, and decided to merge the two.[2] However, the Cagsawa church should not be confused with the intact church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria (locally known as the Daraga Church), built in 1773 and also located in the municipality of Daraga.[11]

Cagsawa was also subjected to the Super Typhoon Durian (designated Typhoon Reming by PAGASA) in 2006. The ruins were unharmed even as the typhoon devastated the surrounding countryside with mudslides and lahar that killed at least 1,266 people.[12][13] The incident is similar to another catastrophe in the same region in 1825, shortly after the 1814 Mayon eruption.[4]

^ National Historical Institute (1994). Historical Markers: Region V-XII. Ermita, Manila: National Historical Institute. p. 16. ISBN 971-538-069-7. Retrieved March 3, 2020. ^ a b Albert Speer (1967). "Plaque on church steeple, Cagsawa ruins, Philippines, (1967 picture)". Eruption of Mt Lamington, Papua New Guinea, 1951. National Library of Australia. Retrieved April 7, 2011. ^ "Overview of the Region: Province of Albay, Where To Go And What To See". Department of Tourism, National Statistical Coordination Committee – Regional Division V, Republic of the Philippines. Archived from the original on September 21, 2016. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference BBCMayon was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ "Mayon". Global Volcanism Program, Department of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved April 7, 2011. ^ CP David (September 17, 2014). "What kinds of volcanic eruption should we worry about?". GMA News. Retrieved September 25, 2014. ^ John Mark Escandor (July 3, 2014). "1814 Mayon Volcano eruption emits lesson on handling challenge of destruction". Balita. Retrieved September 25, 2014. ^ Jaymee T. Gamil (March 23, 2008). "Young tour guides bring depth to Cagsawa experience". Inquirer. Retrieved April 7, 2011. ^ "Mt Mayon Volcano Eruption, 1814". Fabulous Philippines. Retrieved April 7, 2011. ^ Jaucian, Michael. "Tourism execs cry SOS for Cagsawa ruins". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved January 2, 2015. ^ Jaymee T. Gamil. "History of Daraga". Parish Church of Nuestra Senora de la Portera. Retrieved April 7, 2011. ^ "The Cagsawa ruins". NewsBreak: Independent Journalism. December 20, 2006. Retrieved April 7, 2011.[permanent dead link] ^ Emily B. Bordado (2006). "Rummaging through the ruins of Typhoon Reming". UMAsenso. Department of Agriculture RFU 5. 15 (4). Archived from the original on August 12, 2011.
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Ayanvillafuerte - CC BY-SA 3.0
Alienscream - CC BY-SA 3.0
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