My previous posts on Sagada were focused on activities and places outside the town proper. However, Day 1 in this town always starts at the poblacion or the town’s center. Of course, the bus terminal and the tourism office are located here! However, within the urban core it lies some of Sagada’s cultural and historical treasures—and yes that includes the famed Hanging Coffins!
The Hanging Coffins is the first destination to go whenever someone goes to Sagada. It’s in every guide book, magazine article, and blog posts! It may be a bit creepy (or as some say, Goth) as it may sound, but this cultural site has important significance to the Sagada Kankana-ey Igorots.
Cebu is known for being the oldest European settlement in the Philippine Islands, home of Magellan’s Cross, the Santo Nino, Sinulog, and where Lapu-Lapu once ruled and killed a Portuguese explorer-conquistador. However, there is more to Cebuano history and culture than meets the “mainstream” eye, even for the locals themselves. Hence, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Incorporated (RAFI) initiated “Gabii sa Kabilin” or “A Night of Heritage.”
While traditionally it has been seven Catholic Churches that has to be visited during the Visita Iglesia on Holy Week, I’ll be featuring only two…yet these are the closest to both my heart and soul. The first one would be the Philippines’ first Catholic Church, a pilgrimage site, a historic site, and a bastion of devotion for millions—Basilica Minore de Santo Niño de Cebu.
Bukidnon Provincial Capitol stands majestically in front of a wide football field, backed up by pine-covered hills, misty after rains. While we look to Luzon and Visayas for anything colonial heritage structures, Mindanao has handful of them as well. In Northern Mindanao, we thought that most civic structures were built during the contemporary times. We were wrong. …continue reading
Because its the Halloween season or nearing Todos Los Santos, I’ll be featuring several Spanish era cemeteries of the province of Iloilo within this week. Known for their unique camposantos, construction and baroque features, these has stood the test of time and an addition to the heritage sites that manifested Ilonggo, Spanish, Chinese and mestizo creativity along with its century old churches and houses.
Located 59 kilometers southeast of Iloilo City towards the province of Antique, this laidback southernmost town of Iloilo of San Joaquin is our first stop for the tour. It was believed to be one of the places of the mythical “Barter of Panay” where Bornean datus traded the legendary golden hat and long necklace to the native Ati or Aborigenies for settling in the lowlands.
Being the farthest town down south, it has maintained its rustic charm with a century old church featuring the relief of the Battle of Tetuan. Maybe a manifestation of the Christian settlers here against the marauding Moro raiders during the Spanish colonial era.
If you ask any elementary school student in the Philippines, the red tiled and almost circular house in the middle of the city, with a cross inside it, they’ll answer—Cebu! Then ask what it is, they’ll answer, Magellan’s Cross po! If Manila has its Rizal Monument in Luneta as its most important landmark, then Cebu City has its Magellan’s Cross. As what they say, “You haven’t been to Cebu if you haven’t seen it.” You can even see it in the City’s Official Seal. (Dong, wa pa gud ka kaanha sa Sugbo kon wa ka pa makahapit sa Magellan’s Cross!)
I was supposed to write about my personal Visita Iglesia last Holy Thursday, but I couldn’t help but notice the journey that we took, the characters and faces that the streets of Manila shows that Thursday. In this blogpost, I would like to go back to two streets which are two streets that are contrasting with each other, yet a mirror of Manila’s character: Escolta and Carriedo.
Manila has been the capital of the islands since the Spanish colonial era, and it has been a hub of political power and of commerce. From the northern banks of Pasig River, just across the walled city now called Intramuros, this became Manila’s economic hub because it’s near the docks. Between the districts of Binondo and Santa Cruz, Escolta’s prominence rose. On another side, connecting Quiapo to Santa Cruz is the busy street market of Carriedo.
San Beda Abbey Chapel (of Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat) was our last stop last Holy Thursday, probably an unexpected one since we thought that there are no other churches beyond Mendiola. Then we followed the crowd entering San Beda College, at the heart of the Benedictine Monks’ hub of education. The San Beda Abbey Chapel as locally called, is located in Mendiola Street, right within its campus. Its façade is covered with trees, which its architectural design is predominantly neo-Gothic, with two belfries that remind me of those old universities in UK.
Last week, we were in Batangas for a visita iglesia in Taal’s prominent religious structures—the Basilica Minore de San Martin de Tours and Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine. Today, we fly all the way to the Visayas to visit Iloilo. Our first stop would go all the way to the southernmost town of the province, San Joaquin. This town is known to be one of the landing sites of the mythical Ten Bornean Datus. However, the crowning jewel of this southern town would be its 19th century church and its cemetery. The church however tells the story of the San Joaquin’s history, carved in stone.