Old Barcelona Church & Ruins
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Seven kilometers south of Gubat, lies the town of Barcelona... Yes, we have our own Barcelona here in the Philippines... #taray
Barcelona was originally called Danlog, where a small tribe settled at the Danlog River. The tribespeople were mostly hunters and fishermen. They were pushed out by the Spaniards in the early 1800s, who laid claim to the settlement and named it after their then capital town Barcelona (Cataluna), Spain.
Visitors are welcomed by the red and white sign that announces the name of the town. Prepare to take pics! It lies near the ruins of the Presidencia and Stone buildings.
The Presidencia building served as a seat of the municipal government headed by the governadorcillo. It was meant to be a fortress against marauder attacks with an underground tunnel leading to the church on the other side of the street. At some point in it's history, it served as a garrison during the Japanese occupation. However, the building finally succumbed to the typhoons that ravaged the town.
The Stone building, on the other hand, served as a school building for the children of the illustrados. The roof of the bulding was likewise destroyed by typhoons; despite this, it remained to be the barangay's high school until 1965... Amazing!
While you are at the site, do check out the St. Joseph Church, a 19th century structure with walls made from coral rocks taken from the sea and cemented together using a unique mixture of egg whites, native coconut wine (tuba), and lime. The Barcelona church is considered the most well preserved church in the province with its original walls and bell tower unaltered and relatively intact. Try climbing its belfry for a great view of the ocean. Just don't look down!
The only modern structure in the park is the solar powered lighthouse. This was constructed through a grant by the British government in 1994. The computer, which lies inside, is linked to the Central Operating Center in Manila. It serves to guide ships navigating the municipal waters of the town.
Getting to the Barcelona Ruins Park is either via van-for-hire or by jeepney from Legazpi. There is a tourist assistance office in the park in case you have questions...
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