Experiences and Stories of Biyaheng Palos

Experiences and Stories of  Biyaheng Palos
A Personal Travel Journal

Sunday, June 03, 2012

"Tawiran" and the road to the Ancient Story

According to myth as told by one of the locals in Sta. Elena, "once upon a time", there came an underprivileged lady stranger in their town and brought with her is the vision that the town will soon be vanished. Happening together, a rich visitor of the town came and the town people gathered and welcomed the rich visitor.

The town people disregarded the revelation of the poor lady. 
Days come and go, one cold night, the earth trembles, forming a devastating wave. That tsunami wiped out the old town of Baler, and only a handful of survivors; one of those are the wealthy Angaras and the Bihasas.

Learning from manong, who told me this story while sipping a soda, the person who told them of this story is still alive, I wish to meet the person but it's getting dark, and it's a long walk back to the lake.

Walking along, I came to this structure and found out this is a 15th century edifice, long before the Spanish arrived, used as watchtower. This ancient escape tunnel with opening in the chapel at Sta. Elena and ends in Ermita Hill, devised by the people of Baler to elude raiders in the old days.


The Hill where the survivors of the tsunami in 1735 fled, now known as Ermita Hill, was made into a state park in recognition to the courage of the survivors; and  remembrance of the people who lost their lives in the natural tragedy. 
The ancient escape tunnel used by the people of Baler in the ancient times, to get rid of the raiding moros are still visible. But the bridge was left behind in a bad way.

It is said that in the early 70's, archaeologist flock this town of Baler where the ancient escape tunnel was located and found ancient pots, gems and other accessories while the other items found by the locals was sold at P300.00 at that time. Today, many of the houses erected in that particular town of Sta Elena hold many olden mementos of the ancient days.

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