Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin Island

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin Island marks the swept remains of the island’s rested locals. Driven underwater when Mt. Vulcan Daan erupted in 1870’s, the large cross has served the town’s people, as well as the tourists, a scenic spot to memorialize the departed buried there.CATARMAN, Camiguin — This island’s famous Sunken Cemetery, marked by a cross standing in the middle of the sea, resulted from the birth of Mount Vulcan in 1871.

The island of Camiguin is of volcanic origin and composed of four young “stratovolcanoes” overlying older volcanic structures. These include Mt. Vulcan and Mount Hibok-Hibok, still considered active having last erupted in 1953.

History records show that Mount Vulcan started as a volcanic fissure on April 30, 1871 after weeks of earthquakes on the island. After continuously spewing out lava into the sea, it gained a height of nearly 2,000 feet and submerged areas of Catarman, including the former capitol’s cemetery.

Today, all that remains of old Catarman are the ruins of an ancient Spanish San Roque church, a convent and a bell tower.

Remnants of the structures and gravestones of the cemetery were still seen during low tide until 1948 when Mount Vulcan erupted for the fourth time, which buried the area deeper by 20 feet. In 1982, a large cross was built on the solidified lava to mark this old gravesite.

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