**Warning : photo-heavy post ahead!!!***
Read part 2 here.
We rented a multicab through July’s Haven the night before. The driver was already there to pick us up as soon as we disembarked the boat. It was about 10:45 AM when we started our land tour of the western part of Camiguin.
Our first stop was the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross. Aside from its hot and cold springs, white sand beaches, pastel, and lanzones, Camiguin is also well known for this pilgrimage site.
Since we still have a few more places on our itinerary, we decided to descend after reaching the end of the concrete stairway. We managed to reach the 6th station naman though after seeing a few pictures taken from the summit, I felt somehow disappointed. Haha! If only we have more time, we definitely would have climbed further!
Our next stop is finally the famous Sunken Cemetery. I was really looking forward to seeing this historical site, but honestly, there’s nothing much to see pala. HAHA. When we got there, I thought “…eto na yun (this is it)?” Anyway, it is to be expected as the majestic wonders lie under the sea.
Just a bit of history, Catarman (where this old cemetery is located) used to be the island’s capital during the Spanish era. When Mount Vulcan (a.k.a. the old volcano) erupted in 1871, the cemetery was soaked under water though it still emerge on low tides. Unfortunately, when the volcano erupted again in 1948, the area was buried 20 ft deeper. A large cross was built on a solidified lava in 1982 to mark this old resting place of Camiguin’s ancestors.
In death, there is life. To this day, life has flourished in the Sunken Cemetery as the old gravesite now serves as a marine sanctuary.
Next on our itinerary is the Old Guiob Church Ruins that gave me sooooo much GoT feels. Haha! Before entering the ruins, we were greeted by a refreshing mango-graham ice candy and the addicting kiping (casava cracker).
May 13, 1871, 6:00 p.m. Cotta Bato, the capital of Camiguin Island, was a quiet and attractive town, verdant in its natural wonders. Its peaceful shores provided strolling grounds for its inhabitants as they basked under the gracious moonlight. Suddenly…. tranquility came to a halt as a subterranean rumbling sowed indescribable terror. Hundreds of houses and the churches crumbled into pieces, the land rolled and broke into deep crevices, a horrifying earthquake served only as a prelude to the destructive climax: a cataclysm never witnessed before. Mt. Vulcan gave out its fiercest and most violent outbreak. At 6:20 p.m. Cotta Bato was but a dreadful pile of ruins. The single volcanic eruption buried a beautiful town into obscurity.
As a history fan, I fell in love with the place immediately. The tragic story of the church left a beautiful scar through its architectural remains and serene ambience. It also serves as a reminder of how scary the force of nature can be. It can give abundant blessings but it can also destroy in an instant.
Read Part 4 here.