With Albay now under MGCQ, Cagsawa Ruins reopens for local tourists

Photo taken from Legazpi City Facebook page

After three months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Daraga Albay’s famous Cagsawa Ruins reopened to local tourists on June 20. 

Tourists intending to visit the tourism spot that features the majestic view of Mayon Volcano have to undergo health and safety procedures before they will be allowed to enter the area. 

According to the PNA report, quoting Daraga Mayor Victor Parete, visitors are required to sign health declaration forms, submit to temperature check, and wear masks at all times while roaming around the Cagsawa Ruins.

“We have to follow the minimum health standard at all times. Food and souvenir stalls inside the ruins are still not allowed to operate,” he said.

Albay is part of some areas in the country placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) with strict local action starting July 1. In MGCQ, localized community quarantine will be strictly imposed along with zoning and minimum health standards.

Mayor Parete said the three months closure of the tourism area amounted to P2.5 million of revenues lost. He said it could take up 11 months for Cagsawa Ruins to recover. 

Remnants of a 16th-century church, the Cagsawa Ruins is a historical landmark of Daraga and one of the most visited tourist sites in the province.

For almost two centuries, the Cagsawa Ruins has stood as a symbol of the Bicol region’s impressive landscape, rich history, and the people’s strength and resiliency.

It is widely believed that the ruins were caused by the eruption of Mt. Mayon in 1814, one of the worst recorded eruptions of the volcano—as some 1,200 people who took refuge in the church all died when the church was buried by the flowing lava.

Only the Cagsawa church belfry remains today. The place is now called Cagsawa Park, managed by the municipal government of Daraga, Albay.

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Raquel P. Gomez
Special Features writer at Philippine Daily Inquirer. She is tasked to write anything under the sun, but certain topics appeal to her personally, like technology, gardening, cooking, food, movies, TV series, heritage and historical areas, and travel. You may email her at rgomez@inquirer.com.ph