The Story Behind Camiguin’s Sunken Cemetery

The name of the place itself lays a mystery that is left for you to unfold. I admit that the name; “Sunken Cemetery” sounds scary to me. However, positive feedback coming from people who have gone to such place inspired me to consider such visit.

Sunken Cemetery

Sunken Cemetery

Inside The Cross

Inside The Cross

Sunken Cemetery’s trade mark is the big cross that stands at the middle of the sea. According to the island’s locals, this is only a replica of the old cross the lay underneath the water. Camiguin Island has a volcanic origin and has experienced a lot of volcanic eruptions over the history. This has not only affected the locals living on the island but alters many of its geographical forms as well. One of which is the birth of Mount Vulcan in 1871. This was accompanied by weeks of earthquakes and uninterrupted flow of lava to the sea. As a result, this has submerged some areas of Catarman to about 2,000 feet. It caused certain areas to sink and it includes the Capitol’s Cemetery. You will surely have goose bumps over your body as you imagine the agony of people who died because of such catastrophe. In fact, the only remains that you can see today are the ruins of their ancient San Roque Church in Spanish architectural structure, the bell tower and the convent.

Unfortunately, you can no longer see clearly the gravestone that lies deep in the water since Mount Vulcan’s eruption in 1948. This was the fourth time that it has shown its rage which further buries the remains of their rested locals 20 feet deeper. Hence, to continue to memorialize their departed loved ones buried there, their government officials decided to put up a large cross to mark the gravesite in 1982 on a solidified lava.

To Get There

You can include your Sunken Cemetery visit in your Camiguin tour. Getting to the large cross will only be around 5-10 minutes ride at a cost a half dollar per person for a round trip ride. The large cross is now covered by brown corrals. Such can be identified since it is the most elevated portion in between the replicated cross and the island.


You can also ask the boatmen to help you with the pictorials. They can make you look like a giant or make you appear like flying in the sky with your paddle. You can also enjoy the scenery of volcanoes in the background and the scene of various marine species underneath the water.

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