Friday, April 9, 2010

Tubigon Town Center

Hey, I’m not done just yet on this last Bohol tour!
I promised I will have my take on Tubigon, right?
So here I go to cap this series…

What is/was there to see at Tubigon’s town center for me? Nothing much really, if you based everything from the world wide web. All I encountered on the net were bits ‘n pieces of this and that. Nothing that would describe for me what to expect inside the town’s center. Hey, even their very own government’s website just lists sandbars, caves, rivers and beach resorts at their tourism page. Did that mean Tubigon’s town center had nothing for me the tourist who always wants to start at center of town? Well, deep in me I said ‘that’s just impossible. I am sure there will be many things worth my while at this town’s center’. And, I will stand on this… I was never wrong and here I go!

Municipal Hall. Its not big, but it sits in its olden glory. Or that’s what it seems to me anyway. If ever this building may have seen some sprucing up, I will still say it retains its original form, at least on the outside. Look at that seal with the eagle atop the center façade of the building! It reminds me of some old Philippine coins. Well those that I have seen from my father’s and grandfather’s collections. That seal is circa the American era Philippines, right? Yeah yeah, I didn’t see it but it reminds me of a then ubiquitous tagline… “In God We Trust” hehe. Not sure too, but I think those two conical embellishments flanking the “Tubigon Presidencia” letterings are siren lights or something. Something similar to those at lighthouses I guess. Interesting hehe. I wish someone could describe those for me. Anyone please?!

All around this building is concrete concrete concrete, except for a few patches to the right where the PNB and the tennis courts are located. Hey I like it that some of the ‘extensions’ are at the back of this building. Example? That pinkish little ‘building’ that I think are public comfort rooms. You can see that clearly if you are on the side of the public market. But there is a park just across the presidencia. Ah I love the ‘bandstand’. Am sure it is old and has just been accorded a new roof, and rightfully so, because it stands at the very center of the park facing the municipal hall. Concrete paths yes, but the place is peppered with plants, trees and little patches of grass. Nice town plaza actually. Something that children and adults would not hesitate to come to in the afternoons.

By the way, if you were facing the municipal hall from the park, to your left would be part of the wide expanse of concrete that is supposed to be part of the road that circles the park. Yeah yeah, just before the 'cultural center'. However, it is more like a parking area or ‘station’ for VHires plying routes to Tagbilaran and elsewhere. But watch out for this place at sunset. Wohoooa, it and to the back of the park suddenly converts into lively rows of eateries serving mostly barbeques and beer (of course). Do I like it? No, I luvvit! Lively safe place where everyone sees all the activities in well-lit eateries near the police force. Than hide your night-out places somewhere by the secluded and mosquito infested sides of town? I would rather have it Tubigon style! And hey, in the mornings, you will hardly find any trace of those ‘instant’ little eating places! I like it and I think the townsfolk too, since we had a hard time one night trying to look for vacant seats hehe!

The public market. Well well well, move over Novaliches, BF Paranaque, Nepa Q-Mart or even Araneta Center Farmer’s Market. Sorry, those are the only such markets I have seen in the metropolis. But for comparison’s sake, ah, Tubigon’s is like a mall. Nice building clean and generally dry everywhere. And there is a second floor with more shops, restaurants, and I think even internet cafes! The phones and the DVDs rule of course. They are just everywhere! I couldn’t really say where is front of this big facility cuz there seems to be two hehe! One front is that side facing the road that goes all the way from the church to the pier, while the other front is one that faces the right side of the municipal hall. Generally clean. I just wish they’d be more strict with the stores placing their store names just anywhere as its starting to look like just another Baclaran. Hey, that wide space between the market and the presidencia? [first picture above] It also becomes a parking area cum transport terminal during the day. This is where we saw buses and in fact the very place where we spotted the two habal-habal drivers who brought us around.

The church. Ah well, that grand old church is rightfully the best landmark of the town. You can see it from out at sea while riding the RORO. And it perches elevated a few feet just above the center of town. Its obviously old and must have a claim on pages on the history of Bohol or at least the catholic faith in the island. It must have received a number of facelifts since its original construction, but most of it remains to look like how it had been in the past… massive! Its belfry is a bit receded unlike Baclayon’s that stands tall even front of the church entrance. Well yes, companion and I agree there is that new building they have built out front that seems to be an eyesore. I think its an activity center or offices of the parish or the likes. The façade of that building is too forward that it ruins anyone’s otherwise fantastic view of the church and its bell tower. Hmm, sign of the times… mahal ang real estate ngayon hehe!

Inside the church, I might as well summarize it to… I caught myself a number of times with an open-mouthed awe of everything I was seeing – especially the ceiling. We were there on the busiest week of the church, Hoky Week, but it did not deter us from walking around and seeing its totality. Though we did not have much chance at planning or framing our shots. This church faces Cebu (west) so it is a bit dark for the lowly camera lens in the mornings. Still we caught some shots I oculd consider good enough to remember this church. We were even allowed to go up the high choir loft! Wow! Btw, is ceramic tiles more expensive than marble? Probably hehe. Why am I asking? Well, in this church, only the center aisle is fitted with shiny white and maroon ceramic tiles generally plain but with some decoratives. But rest of the church floor? Hmm, slabs of marble. Yes, everywhere from side to side and front to back!

I said something about the ceiling, right? Yes yes, and OMG yes! There it is again… like the churches in Carcar, Sibonga, or yes, add in the sorry state that is Inabanga… the ceiling paintings are jaw-droppingly intricate. I mean am sure some folks somewhere can do that easily. But knowing that in this church, those paintings were done when steel scaffoldings were even still unheard of… I have nothing to say but salute whoever have been doing these ceiling paintings. Imagine yourself being asked to do some paintings on a basketball court. Easy? Not quite, right? How much more if you were asked to do it on a curved and very high ceiling of a church?! Ah gosh, I can only imagine the rigors of trying to maintain or preserve those! Remember the Inabanga church ceiling?! Lost valuable art yes… I just hope this one does not suffer the same fate. But are there still ceiling painters anywhere? In these our times where the tarpaulin billboards over at Makati’s Guadaupe Bridge can be as long and wide as churches? Gosh, I can’t imagine anyone brandishing his paintbrush and shouting to the world he is a church-ceiling painter hehe. So guys, while those are still there… go and take tons of pictures. They’re not only beautiful, they’re intricate, and done by the original ‘large-format-printer’ on earth… human hands!

Ack! I am getting carried away with this church thing. There are still other notable things in and around this church. One that stood out to grab my attention was that thing over at the foot of the rampway entrance to the church grounds. Yep, that thing with a dome-shaped roof? Ah, it looks small from this vantage (church main door) because its down below the ramp. But actually, it is so big. I mean tall, probably the height of the church itself. For reference, look at the red dot in the picture - that's a man urinating on the side hehe. Anyway, I wonder how this 'tower' is called. An arc? An archway? A pagoda? Whatever! All I know is that it claimed about an hour of my Saturday night (Sabado De Gloria). Why? Ah, folks were preparing it for their Easter Celebrations (Sugat) and the 'angels' who were to take Mama Mary's veil were supposed to fly from up that dome. Gosh! My feet quivered watching the men erect a bamboo scaffolding, then the little lasses were asked to climb up where they were then lowered via make-shift stools hung by abacca ropes decorated with flowers and vines. They were practicing the sequence and people beside me on ground level had many an apprehensive scream as the girls would swing via those ropes. Ah, see that thing for yourself and you'll know how high from the girls were being swung on those ropes. Makapigil-hininga hehehe!

Anyway, I may have missed other things at center of town, but all above are for me, part of the best that you can see in Tubigon. Aside from the caves, rivers, sandbars and what-have-ya tourism ek ek projects. It’s a beautiful town as it is.

Tubigon…? I WILL be back!

If you want to read the chronology of all stories on this tour, click the following:
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


  1. Phew Ive back-read 34-1 re this Bohol tour since were planning to go to Bohol via Cebu-Tunigon route. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Whoah! That must have been quite a read hehe. Thanks btw!