16th Century Old Church Ruins in Catarman, Camiguin

Camiguin may be recognized more for White Island and the Sunken Cemetery landmark, but there is another thing you’ll surely love about the island province, and that is the existence of century old buildings. One of these is the Guiob Church Ruins or also known as the Old Church Ruins in the town of Catarman.

As you may already know, the island of Camiguin has a tragic history with volcanoes. It is said that when the first volcanic eruption took place in early 1870’s, the town of Catarman was badly destroyed making a portion of it sank into the sea. The ruins of Guiob Church is all that is left of the old town.

Old Church Ruins at Present

Located in Brgy. Bonbon, Catarman, the Old Church Ruins is presently under the care of the local government. Upon arriving at the location of the ruins, the only thing that made me recognize it as a church are the candle (and other religious crafts) vendors outside. It just looks like a big old brick wall from the outside, with nothing interesting beyond.

Old Church Ruins Altar
The Old Church Ruins Altar


As we made our way beyond the premises’ entrance, we saw the remains of a once beautifully structured Spanish-era buildings: a church, a convent and a bell tower. The moss-covered and cracked coral stone walls are evidence of how old it was and a tragedy that came with it.


On the church building’s east where the convent can also be found, there are trees beautifully lined up on the side of the wall that look young. They look young to me considering there is actually a century old tree confidently standing next to the convent ruins.

The Century Old Tree and Convent at Old Church Ruins
The Century Old Tree and the Convent
Bell Tower of the Old Church Ruins
Bell Tower at the Old Church Ruins

Northeast of the church stands the bell tower which itself was not spared from the catastrophe. During our visit, the grass in tower’s surrounding looks all dried up (compared to other photos I’ve seen from other travelers) probably due to drought the entire region was experiencing.

Old Church Ruins and a Lighthouse

The well-maintained green grass carpeting most of the ground added to the beauty of the place.

I’m always attracted to ruins and historical places, so I must say that the Old Church Ruins is one that I enjoyed most on our Camiguin trip.

READ ALSO: Camiguin: A Guide To The Island Born of Fire

Leave a Reply