Cagsaua Ruins: Two (Tragic) Sides of the Same Coin

Lone belfry of Cagsaua

As they say, every story is like a coin — it has two sides to tell — just like the tragic case of the Cagsaua Ruins in Legazpi, Albay, Bicol Region.

As we all know, or shall I say, we have been brainwashed for almost two hundred years of belief that the sole and terrifying reason about the tragic incident happened on February 1, 1814 that took place in the town of Daraga, Legazpi, Albay was when Mt. Mayon violently erupted and claimed the lives of some 1,200 townspeople who took refuge in the church of Cagsaua and were perished by the volcano’s raging, hot-flowing lava engulfing the town including the church they were in. Faithfully believing that this place of sanctuary will save them — not only for their souls but also for their flesh from mother nature’s fury.

Not until recently when I visited the Cagsaua Ruins turned park, I have discovered the other side of the same coin. I was been enlightened by a mysterious boy in white shirt and jeans, earning a living as a local tour guide for tourist, who just suddenly popped out behind my back from nowhere and told me that it wasn’t the flowing lava from the volcano that took the lives of all 1,200 townspeople as we all knew. Actually, it was a typhoon of February 2, 1814 that turned the lava into a ravaging river of mudflows or lahar that engulfed the whole town of Daraga including the baroque church of Cagsaua. And this new-found information reminds me of another unfortunate event back in 1991 — I was in our room in deep sleep then — when Mt. Pinatubo erupted. It was history repeated itself once again.

Hearing that tragic story, the mysterious boy in white shirt and jeans was by far still gives me the creep.

Now that you’ve heard both sides of the story, it’s up to you which side of the same coin you will take or believe in. Or, you might have two sides of a different coin to tell.

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About battlefield_man

Jocas A. See. Visual journalist. Visual communication designer. And a casual tourist

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