6th Cagsawa commemoration celebrates rising from disaster
DARAGA, Albay --- Second District Rep. Joey Salceda of this province believes that the resilient spirit of Albayano especially the Darageño is the best weapon in rising from disaster and to start a new life with strength and unity during the opening rites of the Cagsawa commemoration held at Cagsawa Ruins here Thursday morning last week. He said the festival “commemorates the passing of the residents here from life to memory.” Salceda said the annual event also celebrates the resilient spirit of those who survived, started a new life and prospered in the town of Daraga. He added it also showed the ability of the people of Daraga to “rise from disaster to renewed lives.” The Cagsawa festival commemorates the worst eruption of Mayon volcano that occurred on Feb. 1, 1814, when a huge volume of superheated volcanic materials covered the former settlements known as Budiao and Cagsawa. Thousands of people were estimated to have died, including the 1,200 who sought shelter inside Cagsawa church and were buried alive. Subsequent eruptions further covered the church until only the bell tower remained above ground. Salceda said the people who died in Cagsawa taught Albayanos to be ready for different disasters brought by movements of the earth. “Focus on the welfare of the evacuees since for more than two weeks now, Mayon eruption continues,” Salceda added. The Albay solon said what happened before will serve as an inspiration as it provides lessons that strengthened the Albayanos. “Let’s commemorate the February 1, 1814 eruption [and] at the same time let’s celebrate our unity---let’s celebrate what we stand for because we stand for something, we stand for our future, we stand for our children and we stand for everyone, no one is left behind... everybody must be given an equal chance to achieve their God-given talent as well as their aspiration” Salceda said.