Mass held in Budiao Ruins for the first time in 204 years
ALBAY, Philippines – Hundreds of people gathered at the excavation site of the Budiao Ruins on Friday, May 11, to attend the first Mass to be held in the historic area in 204 years.
Bishop Joel Baylon of the Diocese of Legazpi concelebrated the holy mass attended by residents, archaeologists, and tourism officials in Albay after the first phase of the excavation on the site.
Baylon said that the excavation of the Budiao Ruins is done to understand the story of the past and to uncover national treasures. The church was buried under volcanic debris during Mount Mayon's eruption in 1814.
The Budiao archaeological project is the first attempt to investigate and better understand the structure of the buried church – its building materials, technique, furnishings and fittings.
Leee Anthony Neri, excavation site director and the Philippines’ first PhD archaeologist, said that the excavation team has not yet recovered any valuable materials, so far.
Neri said that the second phase of the excavation will be done by professional archaeologists from multiple disciplines. It will also include the participation of renowned volcanologist Christopher Newhall, formerly with the United States Geological Survey.
Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda lauded the move of the Diocese of Legazpi to allow the excavation process in partnership with the local government of Daraga.
“I am very happy that the Diocese of Legazpi is working hand-in-hand with local authorities to create awareness on our glorious past and our native culture. Projects like this enable us to take a deeper look into our history and enhance our vision of our humble beginnings,” Salceda said.
“In this way, we are able to have a clearer view of the ways of life, the beliefs and the dreams of our ancestors and thereby have a better understanding of our fellow Albayanos. Directly, we are as well able to understand ourselves, why we think and act this way,” he added.
Newly installed Mayor Carlwyn Baldo of Daraga said that the Budiao Ruins will be Daraga’s newest tourism attraction, after the Cagsawa Ruins and Our Lady of the Gate Parish, more popularly known as Daraga Church, which was declared as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines in 2007.
Baldo said the Daraga town council has declared Budiao Ruins and the Daraga Catholic Cemetery as local heritage sites.
The local government of Daraga has provided funds for the excavation of the Budiao Ruins. – Rappler.com