Most folks in this island still believes and respects the “unknown”. Infact, when we had to explore certain places that locals deemed sacred or mysterious (such as caves, unexplored rivermouths, hidden nook in the mountains), my grandmother would have us keep a handful of salt in our pockets to ward off playful spirits and would let us drink saltwater mixture upon returning home. The island is still full of mysticism and myths even up to this present day. One fine day, armed with salt in our pockets, we visited this eerie ruins in San Fernando Sibuyan.
We were eating homemade icecream after we visited a 400-year old church in Azagra when a nice lady told us that we can find a ruin of a huge Spanish Casa from World War II in the town proper of San Fernando. Right! Visiting old and abandon houses makes perfect sense.
From Azagra, we took a tricycle going to the town capital for P10 per head.
San Fernando is one of the three main municipalities of Sibuyan (the other two are Magdiwang and Cajidiocan).
San Fernando’s town capital is way crowded compared to the outskirts but you will notice that there is a particular mood present in the entire island – an atmosphere of simplicity and a dreamy quality to it.
We walked pass the Townhall and just behind that building is where you will find the ruins.
In the onset, you will realize how huge this property is. I remembered standing there and imagining how this once powerful house looks like, with all its glorious lights and elegant structures, with faint music coming from the main room, with well dressed elites flocking the balcony. Such a sad scene to see this house dilapidated, almost being eaten by the jungle that is slowly consuming the property.
Look for the entrance so you can have a better view of the ruins. There was a man who talked to us and gave us a brief history of the place. He said that this Spanish Casa was built even before World War II and was used to accommodate Spanish and Filipino elites. He doesn’t t know who used to own the Casa but told us it has been like this since he was young and there was no attempt to restore or even preserve what’s left of it.
The authentic wall made from pebbles and sand is still intact. Window frames and columns are still visible.
Destroyed as it may seem, the place still exudes an otherworldly feel to it.
Because there’s too much rubble within the area, I cut my foot and a small wound started to bleed mercilessly. This later became a scary joke between me and my cousins, telling me that the ghosts from the old casa will follow me home after I summoned them with my blood. Hence, I had to drink more saltwater mixture at home.
We roamed around the town proper, ate street foods and watched people go on their usual island lives. It was a refreshing experience to discover a town capital as simple and as unassuming as San Fernando.
Have you been to Sibuyan? How was you’re experience? I’d love to know about it!
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