Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin

by MSO

Islanders bring flowers and candles to the monument as an offering to those who are buried there.

On February 16, 1871 earthquakes began to be felt by residents of Bonbon on the island of Camiguin which lies in the Bohol Sea in the Philippines. Camiguin has always been known as the island “Born of Fire” as there are seven volcanoes located on it. By April of that year a volcanic fissure opened up and began pouring lava onto surrounding areas and into the sea. When the eruptions ceased four years later, Mount Vulcan was born and had reached a height of 1,950 feet (590m).

Much of Bonbon, which was founded in the early 1500s during the Spanish Colonial era, had been sunk below sea level including the cemetery. Most residents at the time had fled the area as soon as the earthquakes began.

A huge cross marker was installed in 1982 by the Provincial government to stand guard over the community’s cemetery that sunk during the eruption.

In years past, gravestones were visible during low tide but subsequent volcanic eruptions have sunk the cemetery even deeper. Today Camiguin is an interesting diving site although diving is “officially” not allowed. Divers claim that the underwater cemetery is eerily beautiful as the tombstones are now covered with colourful coral.

Read more:

Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin Island | Philippines Travel

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