Ruined: The Cherry Hills Tragedy and Cagsawa Church Ruins

Cherry Hills Tragedy

This was taken at the exact location of the Cherry Hills Subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal, a suburb in east of Metro Manila in 1999. I was there wearing the black shirt and my bestfriend Christine with the red backpack. I know we looked happy but actually we were nervous trecking those rocky terrains. Those were what’s left of the subdivision when the mountainside collapsed during a landslide because of non-stop raining.

I was there to cover the event, I even smelled the stench of death, it was not a very pretty sight. The story of the people who survived was chilling.

As many as 109 people died in the Philippines when Typhoon Olga provoked torrential rains and flooding throughout much of South East Asia in early August. The areas worst affected were Manila, Pampanga, Rizal and Pangasinan. Over 73,000 people were forced to leave their homes and seek shelter and food in local halls, schools and clubs. Some 900 families were evacuated from the town of Valenzuela as flood water rose to dangerous heights.

The majority of the deaths were concentrated in one small housing estate—the Cherry Hills subdivision in Antipolo, a Manila suburb, and home to hundreds of families paying off low-cost, concrete houses. On August 3 the subdivision became a death trap when its foundations filled with water and the whole complex slid down the hill on which it was built. (More of this story here)

Cagsawa Ruins

This was a very old photo of how the Cagsawa Church in Albay Province, Philippines before an eruption of the Mayon Volcano occured in 1814.

This is what’s left of the church now we call the Cagsawa Ruins, shot was taken in May 2007.

This is what remained of the Cagsawa church, whose bellfry has remained standing as a mute testimony of the enormous disaster caused by flowing lava. Some 1,200 people sought sanctuary in the church, thinking that they would be saved from the fury of Mayon volcano. All of them died. One could imagine that, in their last moment, they struggled to climb to this bellfry as others below tried to pull them down. It must be a tragic, horrifying experience.
Mayon Volcano remained active until now and is dubbed as the perfect cone because despite many eruptions since that big one it still kept its almost perfect cone shape very specially prevalent when photographed. It is also nominated in the New 7 Wonders of the World.

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I am a storyteller. Enabler. Fashion, Beauty, Travel and Lifestyle Blogger. An advocate of autism awareness, women's and children's rights and the environment. A single parent of a person with autism. A former Journalist. I am not an expert I am experienced. I do what I love no regrets.If you need anything email me at : earthlingorgeous (@)


  • aryzel 04/19/2010 at 11:52 pm Reply


  • Annie 11/17/2008 at 1:52 pm Reply

    Very nice. I love seeing photos of places in the world where I’ve never been. Thanks for visiting mine and have a great week! Annie

  • Annie 11/17/2008 at 1:52 pm Reply

    Very nice. I love seeing photos of places in the world where I’ve never been. Thanks for visiting mine and have a great week! Annie

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