Article written and posted with permission from Mr Bernanrd Supetran
The province of Albay is celebrating this month the Cagsawa Festival to showcase the rich cultural heritage and tourism potentials of Daraga town.
Coinciding with the 199th anniversary of Mayon Volcano’s destructive eruption on February 1, 1814 which buried an entire town when they sought refuge at the baroque church of Cagsawa.
The scenic Cagsawa Ruins Park which offers a panoramic view of the perfectly cone- shaped Mayon, is a must-see spot for local and foreign visitors when touring the Bicol region.
It was built in 1724 by Franciscan friars in the town of Cagsaua, the forerunner of the present-day Daraga town where the survivors of the 1814 eruption put up a new township.
Now in its second year, the festivity is inspired by the folk legend of Cagsawa which is connected to the very own immortal legend of Mayon Volcano itself.
The festival will also usher in Albay’s yearlong series of tourism- and cultural-oriented events to promote the province as the Bicolandia’s leading destination.
Spicing up the month-long celebration are cultural sporting tourneys, musical and entertainment concerts, and cultural events around the iconic ruins of the Cagsawa church belfry.
Noted celebrity chef Boy Logro will lead a cooking fiesta on Feb. 23 using local Bicol ingredients as part of Culinaria Albay, the province’s culinary tourism program.
The locus of the month-long fete is the Cagsawa Legend Theatrical Competition on Feb. 22 and the street dance tilt on Feb. 27 which will both portray the local legend in popular forms.
Albay governor Joey Salceda and Daraga municipal mayor Gerry Jaucian forged partnership last year for the inception of the festival.
Salceda said that the 1814 tragedy, the most destructive in the volcano’s recorded history, demonstrates the resiliency of Albayanos which has to adapt to frequent typhoons and volcanic eruptions.
Today, Albay is a United Nations global model in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, while Salceda is a constant resource person on international forums on the same concerns.
For details on the festival, add them on Facebook (Daraga Tourism).