|The famous large cross in the sunken cemetery in Catarman, Camiguin|
Like any other travelers or local tourists in Mindanao, one of our planned trips in 1997 was to visit the Camiguin Island. But in most cases, planned trips or vacations were not even realized because of unexplained intervention. May it be that intervention is divine or human, still we have to follow our intuition and vibration just to do away from possible uncertainties on the road.
The idea to visit this most visited Island in the Northern Mindanao was already conceived 10 years ahead, until the final decision cave-in in 2007, when my friend Lui Mamino's mother visited his family which was coincided with the visit of my mother-in-law. These two important people in our lives, are both from Luzon.
The invitation by my Kumpareng Lui happened as we bumped each other in the Monastery Church, here in Malaybalay Ciy. Since we have already in our mind the plan to visit this island, without second thought, we accepted that invitation.
After having been through in many tourist spots here, from the Katibawasan Falls to Ardent Hot Spring, we then headed to this most photographed large cross of the Sunken Cemetery of Old Catarman.
|The Mount Vulcan|
The sunken cemetery is part of the Old Capital of Camiguin, and they called it as the Old Catarman, which was devastated by the spasmodic eruption of the Mount Vulcano in 18th Century period. The sunken land and the graveyard reached up to 20 feet was due to the molten lava that burst out from the said volcano.
In 1982, the large cross above was built on the solidified lava as its foundation to mark the site that became the graveyard of the ancestors of the Camiguin People. When we learned all these things from our van driver which was also our history teller, especially the density of people who died of that eruption including those who were buried alive, my wife and other companion that time including me felt so uncomfortable in taking pictures on this site.
|The Ruins of Cotta Bato or the Spanish San Roque Church|
Especially when we chose the ruins of the San Roque Church, also known as the Cotta Bato (as inscribed on the tablet of the retained wall of the ruins right at the entrance) as our backdrop. It seemed that for every click of our camera, we felt gruesome that there is somebody looking at us from the third dimension and shivering my spine as we passed-by the waving trees caused by sea wind.
Every time I heard terrible stories of this kind, my imagination would tend to bring me back to their time, a feeling like I was there, hearing those people yelling for help which you can not give to them since you felt also so helpless to save yourself, watching fireballs spewed along with volcanic ash, the tremor because of shaking ground caused by earthquake, swaying of tall trees, seeing tidal waves and things like rolling boulders from the slope, burning houses and so on. It is indeed so intensely horrifying.
So, what I did to calm down that intense mode was I prayed silently to ease up the energy that dragged me in so ghastly. A feeling that we have to control in order to transform a negative vibes to a positive one. Nevertheless, what I showed to my companions and my family was a cheerful father with a positive vibe in order for them to feel comfortable. I didn't showed to them, that in a short moment while exploring the ruins, I was horrified with what we learned from our driver on what had happened to this place, and why it was called a sunken cemetery.
By then, I remembered my Uncle Andy told me when he visited us here in Bukidnon, that every time we happen to pass by a cemetery, do not be scared but instead pray for the eternal repose of the departed souls and that they will "REST IN PEACE".
|Sunset in Camiguin after we've been through in Catarman|
And I said to myself silently, as we passed-by this beautiful and striking sunset while remembering those departed ancestors of Camiguin people,
"Do not be weary of sunset that tomorrow will never come, be revitalized that sunset is a good sign of tomorrow to come into our life".
"The Resurrected Memories In the Sunken Cemetery" is my 2nd entry to the Blog Carnival of the Pinoy Travel Bloggers for the month of October 2011, with the theme Dark Tourism: Philippines in Focus hosted by Gael Hilotin of ThePinay Solobackpacker.