Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dumaguete Cathedral and Bell Tower

Walking straight from Silliman via Hibbard and now Perdices, I reached the ‘Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria’. This is a fairly sized cathedral and the oldest stone church in Negros built in 1754 – so the signage says.

Unfortunately, this is one of those I call “sunrise churches”. It faces the east, so visiting it in the afternoon; I did not like the pictures I took of its frontage. But, as it is a sunrise church, stained glass designs in the altar and dome take advantage of the afternoon sun so that they look beautiful!

Roamed around the church, even asked permission of the church-cleaner to go up to that elevated “choir area” where I had a breathtaking view of the church inside’s entirety. Oh hey, don’t count on the “breathtaking” thing as you will really have to hold you breath while there. The wooden floor of that high loft is already decayed and I thought some parts easily broke when I stepped on them. I think that area is not anymore being used and just serves as a stock area for church decors that can be re-used. Plus, the spiral staircase is not easy to climb up or down. It’s very narrow. Who told me to go there anyway hehehe!

I like the altar of this cathedral. It’s tastefully simple and uncluttered where nothing commands your attention but just the crucified Jesus. There are no other saints or pedestals for other saints that might distract or entirely catch your focus. This altar is reminiscent to me of the many protestant churches I have seen all around the country – they don’t have too many intersecting lines nor many other figures, colors, designs to divide your attention and spiritual devotion.

The top of this cathedral has an interesting fixture that look to me like a lighthouse with greenish glass panels reminiscent of the Cape Bojeador lighthouse! But am sure its no lighthouse, I know that whatever that is for, it gives the altar area an interesting wash of green light. Now I think that adds to the serenity of the place – if I may call it that!

Looking out from the main entrance of this church, the trees and greens of the Quezon Park are a nice view and I could see that a fair number of people were already lounging by the shades.

The bell tower is fairly normal to me and nothing much for a beautiful photo op. It’s either blocked by trees on one side, electrical wires and posts on the other or the roof of the fruit market at the back. Plus, during my visit, the street intersection was being repaired so I could not find a better angle at that time of day. But am not complaining hehe.

For a chronology of stories on this trip, click the following article numbers:
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18
19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35


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