Monday, July 20, 2009

Palo Cathedral just quickly!

From Tanauan, I rode a jeep bound for Tacloban but got off at the highway intersection in Palo where the big cathedral is. As said earlier, I had no particular purpose. More of just roaming around to see whatever comes by! So, I did not even have any idea what I wanted to see or experience in each of these places I was visiting! All right, I have seen that big big Hispanic era house and I was diagonally across it from the intersection. It is huge and imposing in its olden appearance. From where I was, I could clearly read the sign that says “PIO & LUISA PEDROSA CULTURAL CENTER”. Whatever that is, I crossed the road to go near and see what’s inside. As I skirted the building, checking out on the two entrance doors, I discovered I was not lucky that time. It was/is closed! A tricycle driver told me that it has closed for some time now.

So. I crossed to the Palo Cathedral. Standing outside and in front of it, the cathedral looks very big as the two bell towers on either side are themselves huge plus the road in front is narrow. Across its frontage still is the big grassy park where kids play. Unfortunately, moving towards the center of the park for a better view even more obscures the cathedral due to thick foliage from many big trees. But I am not complaining. It had better be like so!

Like elsewhere, it has many names such as “The Palo Cathedral”, “Metropolitan Cathedral” or “The Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration” etc., I prefer to call it the Palo Cathedral. Yep, this cathedral also fares well in history and I particularly like about the changes in its “management” through the years! It was erected by the Jesuits, then by the Augustinians and later the Franciscans. Like many other churches in the country, it also became a hospital by the American Liberation Forces during the war.

Similar to that in Tanauan, I like it that this cathedral’s outside look belies the modernity of its insides. The entire floor is covered with fairly new ceramic tiles sporting a generally yellow floral design. What immediately called my attention were the rows of television setts and speakers that line the sides together with the usual electric fans. Hmm, this cathedral must be enjoying the generosity of Palo residents. Looking closely at those gadgets, I noticed they are not just so so equipment but from notable brands especially the speakers. In fact, the only other people inside the church as I roamed were two men and a woman testing the sound system in the entire church. And indeed it is good. Now that made me think… how does the church use those television sets? Telecast their masses? I wonder hehe! Good for those with poor eyesight probably so they could clearly see the priest. I still wonder hehe!

Oh, also like in Tanauan, the stations of the cross are also carved in varnished wood slabs. However, all are just various facial expressions of the Lord instead if the beautiful carved colored tableaus in Tanauan. But I like it that the captions here are written in the local dialect (Waray-waray). And its not just the common daily waray vernacular, it is the kind that is very “deep” kind and would usually be encountered in books and poetry.

Skirted the church and saw that there are big parish offices. There is even some kind of an auditorium or gymnasium. The garden at the back of the church is also spacious and shaded by a lot more trees. Saw some teenagers practicing a dance routine there. Hey, the back and sides of this cathedral also looks clean and good that one might even mistake it for the front!

And then there was the glass tower that took most of my time. No one could tell me what it was originally supposed to be meant for – except for five elderly women who said it was meant to be what it is – a chapel. I do not want to readily believe that though! The tower is circular and three levels high. There is a steel spiral staircase inside and the walls are made of cube class all over. Yep, the glass cubes that you would see in bathrooms and other parts of some houses where the owners want more light but not necessarily seen from outside. For a chapel, the maker and designer must have been stupid enough since it is very cramped even for just ten people to pray. I imagine it cannot also have been envisioned to be a bell tower since the glass would probably break at the sound. I do imagine that the thing would look fantastic when lighted from the inside during the evening since it is glass all over. Ah, whatever that glass tower is/was for, it looks interesting!

Darkness was fast approaching so I walked to the road and hopped on a jeep bound for Tacloban City!


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