The province of Albay in south-eastern Luzon is blessed with numerous sacred spaces established by the early Franciscan missionaries in the late 1500. Most of these sacred spaces are Spanish colonial churches built more than four hundred years ago. Some of which are already ruins, dilapidated and abandoned for several years. Eight kilometers from the crater of Mount Mayon is located the ruins of Budiao. Three kilometers away from barangay Budiao is situated the Cagsaua ruins. These two Spanish colonial churches were destroyed and ruined by the violent eruption of Mount Mayon in 1814. For many years these church ruins were abandoned by the people. During the 90’s the ruins of Cagsaua church were gradually rehabilitated by the local government of Daraga, Albay. On the other hand, the Budiao ruins was rediscovered and partially excavated in 2018 by some Filipino archaeologists. The ruins have two salient interests in Bicol region: being an archaeological sites of Spanish colonial churches and sacred spaces as spiritual refuge of many pilgrims from different walks of life. The methods applied is mixed or a combination of archival research, observation, and interviews with concerned individuals. This paper shares new challenges on how to sustain the cultural heritage in the midst of the changing climate and volcanic disturbances. It suggests that the two ruins should be preserved and conserved as emblem of Catholicism as product of Spanish evangelization and Christianity in Bicolandia.
Professor, College of Social Sciences & Philosophy, Bulacan State University, Bulacan, Philippines
Cagsaua, Budiao, Ruins, Cultural heritage, New challenges
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