Tuesday, April 1, 2014

finding the lost city of Bantil in Negros Island

A favorite topic spoken in hush-hush tone among historians is the missing chapter of Antonio Pigafetta's chronicle on the fabled city of Bantil in Negros Island.

The well-guarded chapter is an account on how Ferdinand Magellan and his men discovered and consequently obliterated a thriving city deep in the jungle in an island west of Zubu (present-day Cebu) and northwest of Isla del Fuegu (present-day Siquijor).

The hard to find entrance to the city has been a puzzle for years. There are many versions but the most popular one is that it could be accessed by going deep into a cave with hot spring water that ran through it. 

The missing chapter according to a well-known archeologist at the National Museum mentioned that before the carnage Bantil was a prosperous city in the sky that turned red during summer because of the blooms from fuego trees that covered all the vacant spaces in the city. The houses were all built high, either on top or around massive acacia trees, had thatched roofs and interconnected by intricately designed bamboo bridges. The heart of the city was the resplendent house of its head priestess Margaja-- a house decorated with diamond beads and strung together in gold thread at the main entrance. Below this opulent house were four tubs with turquoise water. An active volcano which all the natives worshiped stood as the backdrop of the prosperous city.

After years of research, all clues lead to a small barangay called Baslay in Dauin, Oriental Negros.
(to be continued)
*printed with permission from the National Museum of the Philippines 


What's your two-cents about this travel adventure and/or misadventure? Do leave a comment here. Thank you.