A city that was submerged to build one of the biggest dams in South Asia in the 1970s has re-emerged.
A 300-year-old town that was submerged to build a dam in the 1970s was visible again.
It is after drought caused the water to recede. The once-bustling Old Pantabangan town in Nueva Ecija province, the Philippines, was sunken and not seen for almost half-a-century.
However, a chronic lack of rain across parts of Southeast Asia has caused water levels in the reservoir to plunge.
Former residents and tourists are now returning to the ruins, while Catholic devotees organized a mass in the old Augustinian Church.
Some superstitious residents believe that the emergence of the town is a sign of hope.
Nowadays, locals and tourists alike visit the spot for water activities such as jet skiing, kayaking, and rafting.
But on 26 Jul 2020, Pantabangeño Krystha Recio found the site under a completely different light. Evident in their photos that quickly went viral, Krystha and her sister Kashiee captured a dry Nueva Ecija Pantabangan Dam. Its low water levels paved the way to the reemergence of the sunken old town of Pantabangan.
During summertime, the water level of the Pantabangan Dam decreases enough to reveal the cross of a sunken Catholic church. “Dati po, yung lumilitaw lang is yung krus,” Kashiee confirms. “Pero ngayon, lumitaw na rin po yung lumang sementeryo, bantayog ni Rizal, gate ng lumang school, at iba pa.”
In 1974, the government announced the submersion of the old Pantabangan town to create one of the largest dams in Asia.
Along with the construction of the Pantabangan Dam, the town center and seven other barangays were submerged. Submitting to this development, thousands of residents were forced to relocate to higher ground.
What can you say about this?