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Touring the Historical Cagsawa Ruins in Legazpi City, Albay

Updated on November 7, 2013
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Renz may not be travel junkie, but he is very eager to share places he visited and adventures he experienced all for the love of traveling!

The Cagsawa Ruins is where a church was built. It is still there but only buried deep under.
The Cagsawa Ruins is where a church was built. It is still there but only buried deep under.

The Cagsawa Ruins

After the onslaught of the Mayon Volcano, several towns were buried deep beneath the lava. This terrifying phenomenon became one of the worst natural disasters Philippines experienced. However, although it was pure madness, it created the famous Cagsawa Ruins which is now one of the top tourist destinations in Legazpi.

Check out the panorama shot of Cagsawa Ruins with the Mayon Volcano:

Panoramic Shot of Cagsawa Ruins and Mayon Volcano
Panoramic Shot of Cagsawa Ruins and Mayon Volcano
Entrance Fee in Cagsawa Ruins
Entrance Fee in Cagsawa Ruins

Entering the Ruins

Contrary to what initially comes into mind when we say ruins (just like in the famous The Ruins in Negros Occidental), the Cagsawa Ruins simply look like a peaceful and refreshing park. The main attraction, of course, is what was left of the church after the eruption of the volcano known as the Bell Tower.

Entrance Ticket

For the preservation of the place, there is a minimum entrance fee of P10 (less than 0.25$). Upon payment, you will be given an adorable ticket which may serve as a souvenir already. If you are coming with a group, you will be receiving something like the photo below.

For keeps: Entrance Ticket of Cagsawa Ruins as souvenir
For keeps: Entrance Ticket of Cagsawa Ruins as souvenir

Brief History of Cagsawa Ruins

Cagsawa was a baroque-inspired church built by Franciscan friars back in the 1724. After 90 years, it was destroyed (i.e. burying beneath the lava) by the most destructive eruption of the Mayon Volcano leaving only the bell tower and part of the facade of the church behind. There are no photos in the internet which show us the Cagsawa Church before the disaster. However, there is one showing that the facade was once indeed intact with the bell tower.

The Cagsawa Church with parts of its facade still intact along with the bell tower.
The Cagsawa Church with parts of its facade still intact along with the bell tower. | Source

It is believed that the remaining facade of the church collapsed due to failure to withstand earthquakes. Now, what has remained is the bell tower, as shown in the photo below. These interesting history and facts of the Cagsawa Church made this place highly fascinating and attractive for both local and foreign tourists.

Cagsawa Ruins: the only thing that was left after the Mayon Volcano eruption
Cagsawa Ruins: the only thing that was left after the Mayon Volcano eruption | Source

Capture Memories through a Lomo Camera

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Strike a Pose with the famous Mayon VolcanoPhoto taken with the Historical Cagsawa Church Bell TowerPlaying with perspectives in Cagsawa Ruins The hub author trying to ride along with the trend of perspective play
Strike a Pose with the famous Mayon Volcano
Strike a Pose with the famous Mayon Volcano
Photo taken with the Historical Cagsawa Church Bell Tower
Photo taken with the Historical Cagsawa Church Bell Tower
Playing with perspectives in Cagsawa Ruins
Playing with perspectives in Cagsawa Ruins
The hub author trying to ride along with the trend of perspective play
The hub author trying to ride along with the trend of perspective play

Picture Perfect Moments

A park was constructed within the area where the Cagsawa Ruins are, thus making the place more prominent, and of course more catering to some picture perfect moments. Here are the top three photo opportunities in Cagsawa Ruins:

Photo with the Cagsawa Bell Tower

The Cagsawa Bell Tower, including the story behind it, was what made the place really famous, so it will be a shame if you won't have your photo taken along with it.

Photo with the Mayon Volcano

There are ideal places within Legazpi where it is awesome to take photos of the volcano, and Cagsawa Ruins is one of those. In fact, this is perhaps the best place to have your photos taken with the Mt. Mayon considering the great view and surroundings.

Photo with Friends

A trend started wherein you take into account varying perspectives (e.g. optical illusion of size) in taking your photos. To do the trick, you may ask one of your friends to do the sacrifice of taking the shots. However, there are people around who you can ask assistance with. However, these people are expecting monetary tips. As a suggestion, you may want to give tip of P10 to P20 per person in your group. That's generous enough.

Exhilarating View of Mt. Mayon from Cagsawa Ruins
Exhilarating View of Mt. Mayon from Cagsawa Ruins | Source

For more stories, reviews and interesting things about Legazpi, you may check this out my blog posts about our Legazpi Experience.

Cagsawa Ruins in a Nutshell

There are places that you should not miss going to when you visit Legazpi, and those definitely include the Cagsawa Ruins. Not only will you be mesmerized by the fascinating story behind the ruins, but also be enthralled by the beautiful sights including the famous Mayon Volcano.

Map to Cagsawa Ruins

A markerCagsawa Ruins -
Cagsawa Ruins, Daraga 4501, Philippines
get directions

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    • denden mangubat profile image

      denden mangubat 3 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

      I thought that the facade was also buried and the tower only remained.Thanks to the info that the eartquakes were responsible for deteriorating the facade.

    • yougotme profile image
      Author

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 3 years ago from Manila

      There is no strong evidence yet that the collapse of the facade was due to earthquakes, but at least we are sure that there was once a facade. Thanks for dropping by, Denden!

    • profile image

      Richard 3 years ago

      i don't think its the evidence. but research. there are many old settlements buried over the courses of eruptions. budiao,cagsawa. the places are still the same they're just rebuilt over or abandonded you can still see some of the ruins around the volcano. budiao,cagsawa and santo domingo. the church of cagsawa could be later destroyed by further lahars,typhoon. i live here.

    • profile image

      Richard 3 years ago

      typhoons,earthquakes,eruptions are a natural occurrence. although i would not put assumptions. no record has been found what happened to the remaining structure.

    • yougotme profile image
      Author

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 3 years ago from Manila

      Yup, I agree. Thank you for the shared information and insights. I highly appreciate them!

    • tastiger04 profile image

      tastiger04 3 years ago

      I love history, and I love the Philippines! This was a great read. Thank you for the great information :) Voted up and interesting

    • yougotme profile image
      Author

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 3 years ago from Manila

      You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed this hub! Thank for giving time to read it!

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