Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Zamboanguita In A Dash

My Negros Oriental Tour: Zamboanguita
And this is another place I did not have much info on anything worth roaming at center of town. But had to peep in too as this is a town of Negros Oriental hehe. Oh my, what have I just decided to embark on hehehe. But am not complaining, am just wondering what was I doing ahhhahaha! Well, Zamboanguita is a little sleepy town just about 20 kilometers northeast of Siaton (going towards Dumaguete). That took me a little bit more than 30mins. For 20 kilometers on a Ceres? Well, most of the 30mins was spent watching noontime TV at the spanking new Siaton Terminal while I waited for the bus!

Oh the bus was real full but I took it SRO! Yes, Standing Room Only. Why? Because it was nearly 3PM and my boat crossing appointment with Liberty was 3PM! Argh! Okay, more of that later, but I had still to pass by Zamboanguita town center – even if briefly. Got off near their municipal hall. Wow! Its about a hundred meters from the highway and that distance is green grass all over with red-brick pathways at center and on the sides. Expansive! Each flank of the center pathway is about the size of a football field or bigger. Wow!

If there’s a life-size tableaux over at a corner of Siaton’s plaza/park, Zamboanguita has something better. Theirs is a group of farmers, fishermen, women children and animals standing on a big round platform at the center of a square pond. The whole thing is actually a fountain. Though no water was at play during my visit, I could see the spouts where those water jets come out from. Must be beautiful, I guess, esp with the lights on at dusk. And where is this fountain thing? Its at the very center of the big wide field flanked on all sides by the green green grass of home! Yeah!

I moved on from center of field (that’s the fountain) towards the municipal hall lest lightning struck me hehe. Well yes, the skies were gloomy, dark clouds hovering and rain seemed imminent. Ack! Anyway, after the grass, I reached a wide pavement that is the front of the municipal hall. Oh my, what a big real estate this town’s seat of government owns! Am sure the paved frontage serves as parking area, “flag ceremony” area, and sportsfest area at various times. And alas, after seeing everything big, the municipal hall is beautifully cute hehe! Not really that small since this is just a provincial town but the barangay halls of CEMBO in Makati or that of Mactan in Lapu-lapu would probably match its size! Though I like the simplistic elegance of this municipal hall. Not very old but it still evokes an old-world charm.

Looking out from the front door of the municipal hall. I almost failed to notice that there is something else big in this town center. The trees lining the whole square of the greens and the municipal hall are quite big. Am sure they were not planted just two decades ago. They are not only beautiful, but doubly useful as rest areas. Wow again! then I headed for the church. The San Isidro Labrador Church of Zamboanguita is on another block from the municipal hall also lined with trees everywhere. I was rushing, but I guess virtually every corner of this town is awash with such big trees. Hello Joyce Kilmer, you should have seen this town! In fact, as I write this, those trees everywhere seem to be most memorable than anything else. Anyway…

The church is old and has a simple (even almost ugly) but jaw-droppingly awesome façade. Architects and engineers am sure will take a second look. Its obviously been spruced up but the original style and make seems intact. If that wall up front was just a recent addition or reconstruction, I still am awed for it tells me something. Please look at the picture. I am inclined to believe the red brick is a fairly recent addition. But look closely at what is revealed by the chipped-off cement or plaster or whatever. Those are pebbles, right? And those pebbles are not the big or boulder types but little stones that a person can carry in one hand. And they made that the wall of a big church? OMG! What a tedious and delicate thing to do! Am fine with the limestone bricks/blocks of Taal, Daraga or Baclayon. At least it looked like the builders planned for each brick before being hoisted to be part of the wall. But pebbles? Whoa! And it looks like there was really no plan to choose which size of pebble to put. I was expecting the bigger ones would be at the bottom and getting smaller towards the top. That is not the case hehe! Wowowowow! Another reason for me to salute our forebears!

Eh, it was hard for me to take a total frontal pic of the church cuz trees and that pesky entrance arch get in the way. Though am not complaining hehe. Let the trees prevail! So I went inside the church. Oh its new! I mean newly spruced up – actually just about finished but not quite yet. And I like it that they just applied new paint without so many swirling flowery lines. This is also one of the old churches I see around that I consider “enclosed” – meaning the sides are big walls and high windows. Am starting to think that when these kinds of churches were built in their time, the monsoon winds or stormy gales were a real threat. Because I noticed this kinds of churches with high walls are mostly those that lie on the eastern parts of an island or near the sea. Nowadays, wherever a church maybe built, one major objective is to make the sides as wide open as possible to let air circulate well. Signs of the warmer times? Probably! I just hope this globe we're in won’t sizzle to frying proportions in my lifetime hehe!

Alright now… outa the church and a bit rushing to the highway, I circled the whole block. Hey there’s a fancy big house circa the American era and it looks real nice even with the new paint! Low fence, big lawn, slightly elevated bedroom (almost like mezzanine), wood framed glass windows, lamp on each fence post and the likes! Ah, I don’t have to see the insides of houses like that. I can already imagine how they look as these kinds are very common (were very common during my childhood years)! And oh, there is always that art of a wall with holes for more ventilation and sunlight to filter in. Very common house, but this one stands out with the bold colors which would probably have been considered outrageous in the year it was made. It looks “delicious” hehe!

Oops, Liberty already called to tell me that my boat was ready. So had to walk briskly towards the highway to find a ride onwards. But something else caught my inquisitive pea of a brain.
By one corner of a street, I happened to see a not so interesting marker (cuz its not big nor erected on a high pedestal as most monuments are). But there was/is a NHI marker therefore I thought it was significant. Briefly ogled at it and learned that it was a commemoration of “ANG PAGSUKO NG MGA PWERSANG HAPONES SA NEGROS ORIENTAL” where on that very place a certain Japanese Colonel bequeathed his samurai to an American Colonel. Yep, that sign meansネグロスの日本軍の降伏オリエンタル or “THE SURRENDER OF JAPANESE FORCES IN NEGROS ORIENTAL” Gosh! I never even heard about that yet! Yes Jiro, this is another historical place where our senzo were the akuyaku hehehe! Do tell ‘aisuru sobo’ about this. They might want to visit the place or research about it!

Out on the highway, I asked an old woman in front of a store what would be the best way to go to Malatapay. Without answering me directly, she looked and half-hollered at a trike driver who was listening to us, and told him to bring me to Malatapay. Whoa! And driver really heeded hehehe! I asked how much would that ride be. He replied “ikaw bahala”. A little bit irked, I persisted asking him 'how much really'. He said “ten psos”. So I climbed in and off we went!

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 35
36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65


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