It’s quite sad that an illegal activity should happen first before this place is realized that it has more to brag than its fine beaches. Barangay Sula, which is 20 km. NE of Legazpi City was the center of the lucrative Spanish galleon trade and provided safe haven for ancient ships during typhoons centuries ago. November last year, a 22-wheel truck was seized for carrying 14 square old logs with a total volume of 16.47 cubic meters. The owner failed to show legal transport documents.
Early this year, national and local media visited the site to investigate the illegal logging activities but a bigger story surprised them. In Sitio Picadero 7 km. from the town proper, this place used to be a shipyard or where the Manila galleons were made during Spanish time. Evidence of sturdy logs was dug under the soil and under the ocean sometimes seen floating but the residents don’t mind at all saying these are ordinary sight to them. The barangay chairman said that he knew about this since he was a kid but it seems nobody cares to explore about this either because of lack of interest or they thought these logs has a curse.
From talisay, narra, apitong, molave, makiling and mapilig trees, these logs according to carbon-dating testing done by a US-based laboratory, were cut and buried from 1650 – 1950. These may no longer sturdy therefore not useful anymore except the mapilig logs which even if it’s exposed to elements still achieve better quality but the historical significance is priceless with a length of 15 – 20 feet. Aside from the logs, spoons, forks, plates, axe made of gold and more antiques has been found in the site too.
A formal case has been filed and a hearing is currently on going against the persons involved. Now how about these ancient logs… is there or will there be people who would have the heart to make a difference at these historical treasures that a source once said “FEW WRECKS HAVE BEEN FOUND SO FAR OF THESE WITHIN THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO BECAUSE OF TWO REASONS: either it sank in the deep, hard to explore waters or the Philippine Law discourages active exploration of these historic wrecks. “
Image from Galleon Andalucia, a replica of a ManilaNews sources:
‘Centuries-old’ logs found in Albay, Maricar Brizuela, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Sula Channel Sa Bacacay, Albay, Mayaman sa Century Old na mga Kahoy, Bicol Peryodiko galleon from Spain that visited the country during International Dia del Galleon, Oct. 2010