The Cagsawa Ruins are the remains of a 17th century church built by the Franciscans. The first church was erected in 1587 but was destroyed by Dutch marauders in 1646. The church was reconstructed in 1724 by Fr. Francisco Blanco. In February 1, 1814, Mt. Mayon began its most violent and deadly eruption in recorded history. Unfortunately, the church, along with most of the town of Cagsawa, was destroyed by lahars and pyroclastic flows, killing thousands of inhabitants.
For more than two centuries, the church ruins has withstood the test of time and the elements to become one of the most recognizable landmarks of Albay Province. Today, the site of the Cagsawa ruins is now a park managed by the municipal government of Daraga and is now the most visited tourist spot in Albay. In 2015, the site was declared a national cultural treasure, the Philippines’ highest designation for a cultural property.
What to see and do in Cagsawa Ruins National Park
Capture the classic postcard shot of Mt. Mayon
Enjoy the classic view of Mayon Volcano with the Cagsawa belfry in front that has graced thousands of postcards and souvenirs over the years.
Take a selfie or a trick shot with Mt. Mayon!
A visit to Cagsawa is one of the best times to whip out that selfie stick and capture a memory for your Facebook or Instagram. You can also try getting a trick shot with the help of local guides.
Learn about the site’s history and geology
The site is also home to a branch of the National Museum of the Philippines where you can find interesting historical, archaeological and geological artifacts and documents.
Shop for souvenirs
You can find several souvenir shops offering a colorful assortment of native products such as handbags, mats, shirts and handicraft made from indigenous materials like abaca. Exotic flowers and orchids are also on sale.
Go on an ATV adventure
A more thrilling way to enjoy Mayon is by riding an ATV up its slopes! Cagsawa is one of the jump-off points for ATV adventures to Mayon. ATV rides are provided by Mayon ATV Tour and Bicol Adventure ATV.
Enjoy a refreshing dip (with a view of Mayon)
There is a small resort with a pool beside the ruins where you can enjoy swimming under the watchful gaze of Mt. Mayon.
Photos and videos of Cagsawa Ruins
Cagsawa Festival 2016
From Legazpi: Ride a jeepney bound for Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao or Polangui. These will all pass by the junction leading to Cagsawa where you can walk or hire a tricycle to take you to the ruins.