Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Caramoan: Bikal Port [Watery & Outdoor Wednesday]

From Guijalo port, we took a tricycle (a motorcycle mounted with a sidecar) to Bikal port to meet our boatman.  The ride took us across Caramoan town---we passed by the municipal hall, the market and center of town that locals call Centro.   Bikal port is the starting point going to the islets of the Caramoan peninsula.  Bancas (outrigger boats)  docked by the pier  waiting for passengers, and mangrove forest thrives at the port's surrounding areas.  I would have wanted to take more photos but it was getting dark as we hurried to board our banca for Tabgon.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cebu Cathedral [My World-Tuesday]

The Philippines is unique in a region that is populated by  Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and other East Asian beliefs.  About 92% of  90 million Filipinos are Roman Catholic, making the Philippines the third largest Catholic nation in the world, after Brazil and Mexico, and the only other predominantly Catholic nation in Asia aside from East Timor.  So if you're a visitor, don't be surprised to see Catholic churches all over the place.  Many of the old Roman Catholic churches that were built during the Spanish colonial period (1521-1898) are still standing across the Philippine archipelago.  And Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the oldest.

It was in Cebu where the first Catholic mission was established.  Cebu City, the oldest city in the Philippines founded in 1565, is also considered the cradle of Christianity in the Far East.  Vicentine diarist Antonio Pigafetta recorded the first Easter Sunday mass held at the island-port named Mazaua  (historians and scientists are still searching for the exact location of the said island depicted in Pigafetta's chronicles; some say it's Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte, others believe it's in Masao, the old name of Mazaua, in Butuan City) on March 31, 1521---possibly the same occasion when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan planted a cross on the island as a symbol of natives' embracing the Christian faith.  

Cebu was established as a diocese in 1595 and initial construction of this church  started in 1689 but typhoons destroyed the incomplete structure.  Funds were not also available  and  it further delayed the completion of the cathedral.  By 1720, preparations for the 4th attempt at construction were underway but funds were again diverted to fight Muslim rebellion in Mindanao.  In 1733, a new bishop started the 5th attempt at construction of the cathedral but he died four years later, leaving the structure unfinished.   The construction was not only plagued by lack of funds but also by the near-absence  of available labor in the city to work on the church. From 1741 to 1886, numerous attempts at finishing the cathedral by various bishops were not successful.  By 1891, the new bishop consecrated the first stone of the new cathedral, it was probably the 7th attempt.  The project proceeds in earnest but halted with the onset of the Revolution in 1898.

In 1904, the only American bishop of Cebu continued the cathedral rebuilding project started by his predecessor.  The cathedral was finally completed in 1909 under the reign of Bishop Gorordo.  The diocese was elevated into an archdiocese in 1934 and the cathedral underwent another renovation.  The newly renovated cathedral was consecrated by Archbishop Reyes in 1940.

The architecture of this church is baroque, with thick walls to withstand typhoons and other natural calamities. The trefoil-shaped pediment is decorated with carved reliefs of floral motifs, an IHS inscription and a pair of griffins.  The Spanish Royal Coat of Arms is emblazoned in low relief above the main entrance owing perhaps to the contribution of the Spanish monarch to its construction.  

A huge part of the cathedral was destroyed by Allied bombings in  1944, with only the belfry, the facade and the walls remaining.  The centuries-old archives and records of the archdiocese were lost forever.  The church was rebuilt in the 1950's. (Sources:  Wikipedia,  Historical Conundrums, CPCBonline)

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral at dusk

Posted for My World-Tuesday

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Roxas Bridge [Sunday Bridges]

Viewed from the walls of historic Fort Santiago in Intramuros is Roxas Bridge, formerly called the Del Pan Bridge, one of the 13 bridges that crosses Pasig River.  Pasig River stretches 25 kilometers connecting Laguna de Bay, a freshwater lake, to Manila Bay.  Roxas Bridge is the last bridge near the mouth of the Pasig River that opens to Manila's Port Area.

Posted for Sunday Bridges

Friday, June 25, 2010

Up on the roof [SWF]

When this old world starts a getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I'll climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space...

On the roof, it's peaceful as can be
And there the world below don't bother me...

~ Up On The Roof by Carole King

Sky-watching from the roof top of my apartment on Saturday afternoon.

Posted for Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jatujak appetizer

 My taste buds were craving for something spicy and I found myself at Jatujak, a Thai resto at Megamall.  Here's the sampler appetizer for our entree---shrimp cakes, fresh and fried spring rolls with 3 kinds of dip.  Everything on this plate was scrumptious, the dips were simply divine!  The spicy dip has a kick that hurts like hell, but in a good way.:p

 Posted for Food Trip Friday and Food Friday

LP: Pagbabalik [return]

Sana ay maaliwalas ang iyong pagbabalik---walang traffic, walang bagyo o baha, walang anumang sagabal sa daan.  Maghihintay ako.

May you have a peaceful return--no traffic to slow you down, no  typhoon or flood, nothing to hinder your way.  I will wait for you.

Posted for Litratong Pinoy

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gloomy Guijalo Port [Watery and Outdoor Wednesday]

They say that into every life some rain must fall...and it did on our way to Caramoan.  After a choppy 2-hour boat ride, a rainy and overcast Guijalo Port greeted us when we finally arrived.  An unforeseen weather in the middle of summer,  it was a bit uncomfortable but it was also preparing us for the good times to come.  We accepted it as a blessing, and it didn't dampen our spirits---after all, it took us almost 18 hours to get here.  We were determined to enjoy our vacation!  Our boatman assured us there would sunshine the next morning---and true enough, a luscious dawn and a golden sunrise welcomed us  when we woke up.

Guijalo Port, Caramoan, Cam Sur
  1st April 2010
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.  May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."
~ Edward Abbey

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dawn [My World-Tuesday]

@ mirandablue
One of the rare occasions when I watch the dawn break and enjoy the stillness of an early morning scene. This was taken from the deck of our cottage in Tabgon, overlooking Paniman Bay at the Caramoan Peninsula.

Posted for My World-Tuesday

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Railroad Bridge [Sunday Bridges]

The Railroad Bridge opened up for an approaching boat at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks---almost always referred to as the Ballard Locks in Seattle. It was my first visit to a lock and I was amazed at how it worked---boats travel from the salty Puget sound to the fresh waters of Salmon Bay, Lake Union, Portage Bay, Lake Washington and vice-versa. The locks were originally built in 1911 for coal and timber transportation.

waiting for a safe passage
August 2009

Posted for Sunday Bridges

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Six [Photo-Hunt]

Pier 66 in Seattle, WA

Posted for Photo Hunt

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Caramoan: drive-by shootings [Watery & Outdoor Wednesday]

@ mirandablue
Hugging approximately 70 kilometers of mountainous coastline from Sabang to Caramoan had revealed the natural rugged beauty of this isolated area of Camarines Sur. We were expecting endless summer sunshine during the trip but got cloudy skies and rain instead. We were tired, and the unpredictable weather made us a bit anxious during the 2-hour boat ride. But the sight of green rolling hills, wild cliffs, quiet coves and sleepy villages relaxed us somehow. These are all drive-by shots---the sea was a bit choppy, and with our small outrigger boat, the ride wasn't exactly smooth. Good thing I got some not-too-blurry photos.:p

@ mirandablue

@ mirandablue

The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. - Marcel Proust

@ mirandablue

Monday, June 14, 2010

Culapnit Cave [My World]

Looking for some thrill and adventure while in Caramoan took me and my friends to Culapnit Cave on Good Friday. We walked for more than an hour (it felt like 3 hours) before reaching the cave at Sitio Bariw in Tabgon. Culapnit Cave got its name from "kulapnit" which means bat in the local dialect. Thousands of bats live inside the cave, good thing they were all asleep when we visited. I've always wanted to see thousands of bats flying out of the cave at dusk--unfortunately, it was in the middle of afternoon when we came out.

Various rock formations, stalagmites and stalactites are found inside the cave, marbleized patterns on the walls; a dried up cascading waterfall left a terraces-like formation. There was fresh, cool water from an underground stream. The cave is well-maintained---it's clean, no musky, damp odor and there were no graffiti on the walls. Some passages were too narrow we had to crawl on our stomachs to get to the other side.

that's me, crawling--my CAT instructor would be proud!:p
the mysterious cave-keeper
our guide/lightman
a croc's mouth?
knee-deep in cold water
climbing to the exit
almost there!

My contribution to My World-Tuesday

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Puente de Malagonlong [Sunday Bridges]

One of the few surviving arch-type stone bridges in the Philippines that was built during the Spanish regime is Malagonlong Bridge or Puente de Malagonlong. A declared historical site by the National Historical Institute, Malagonlong is a 445-foot long bridge built in 1840-1850. This was the longest bridge ever constructed during the Spanish era with approximately 100,000 adobe blocks used. Located in Tayabas, a town in Quezon province 3 hours south of Manila, Malagonlong Bridge crosses the Dumaca-a River and connects Tayabas to towns of Mauban and Pagbilao.

When I took this photo last year, motor vehicles were no longer allowed to pass this 160-year old bridge for safety reasons.
A modern girder type bridge was constructed about a 100 yards from this charming stone bridge.

Posted for Sunday Bridges

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bubbles [Photo Hunt]

"Words are mere bubbles of water, but deeds are drops of gold."
~ Chinese proverb

The new president and vice-president were proclaimed by Congress the other day. People from different sectors are expecting the newly elected leaders to fulfill their promises of reforms and seriously address the issues of corruption that hounded the Arroyo administration. Noynoy Aquino promised "change" while on the campaign trail---I hope he would back it up with actions as soon as he assumes office.

Happy 112th Independence Day, Philippines!

Posted for Photo Hunt