Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bacong Church

My Negros Oriental Tour: St. Augustine of Hippo Church
Leaving the beach park, I walked towards the church that faces the beach. Looking at the façade, in my mind, I was saying fairly regular old church and they have refurbished it with brown clay tiles which had never been the look of any aged church in this country. At least the base of that façade’s wall are probably still the big limestone blocks. And that big and towering belfry seems to have kept some original material – in color, that is hehe. So I entered…

“Dizzying” was my first impression. Why? The floor tiles. It comes in a design with many little green squares most commonly used in bathrooms and beauty parlors hehe. At least the center aisle is spared of the ridiculous design. In great contrast, this aisle is made of ultra-sized slabs of… is that marble? Well, marble or concrete, at least it does not have the little green squares and white octagons for a design hehe. Oh, the wooden posts that support the choir loft seem to distract or even annoy the visitor (not the pious am sure) but I told myself to just let it be as that is probably how this church was constructed in the olden past. I also wondered why they draped those posts with white cloth. Maybe the “curtain” serves as grand entrance for weddings or something.

Hey, I was standing on some inscriptions on the floor. See the lower middle portion of that pic above? That's the one! It looks like those markings have been there since the original construction of that floor. Reading them, I smiled and learned for the first time that hippos and churches do have a relationship hehe! The patron saint of this church is St. Augustine of Hippo! What hippo? the animal? Well, maybe theres a place named hippo somewhere on earth. Yes, really! But my pesky little brain thought of something… alright, you, yes you reading this… help me look around the world as there might be a St. Augustine of Rhino or of Elephant, Giraffe, Buffalo, Caribou or Carabao hehehe!

Went forth towards the altar to ogle at its uncluttered beauty. The priest’s table has a base that seem to be of heavy wide slab of wood with carvings. And that thing where the saints are placed (retablo?) even looks grand and an original thing of the past. Oh yes, there is also a clock in this altar, at least there’s only one hehe. And if you were the priest, that would be by the wall to your right. Oh clocks hehehe!

Pipe Organ. This thing was in my rough notes of the places I wanted to visit, but it already slipped my memory and I did not anymore remember that it is in Bacong. And I did not even notice that in this church (thanks to the tiles hehe), until I was already at the altar, facing the entrance for a ‘priest’s view’ shot hehe. As I looked out, aside from noticing that they still have a pulpit to the left near the altar (just like over at Baclayon Church), there was a structure on the right just before the choir loft. What is that, I asked myself. So on my way out, I passed by it and OMG it’s the pipe organ.

Everything around it seemed new or newly cleaned or adorned. “pssst.. dong” so I called a dude sweeping the church floor. Sorry if I called him that way, its only proof I really am a Filipino as yes, at times I also use “psssst” hehe! The cleaner approached and I asked him about the organ. He told me it has just been reconditioned at the cost of millions and lately just played again after many years of ‘incapacity’ hehe. Thus, the fairly new loft that holds it. He told me to go up the choir loft for a closer look if I wanted to. So, I did! There were only two of us in the church and he kept talking even if I was already high up at the loft near the organ. I thought St. Augustine might have been irked at the noise we were creating in that church and could send a hippo charging to mow us out hehe. So I minimized my replies and questions to the cleaner after I learned from him that it was the only such thing in the whole Negros Island. Oh, there is a plaque that tells it has been declared as a 'national cultural treasure'.

Wow what a visit! And I thought this was just a small town.

Out of the church, I walked towards the main highway and approached some trike drivers in front of the market to ask where I could get a direct ride to Valencia. They all seemed surprised and told me they don’t generally ply the route as the road is a bit rough and ascending. They did tell me to wait a while as there is one multicab that plies the route (no fixed schedule) or there might be habal-habal drivers willing to take me. But they almost insisted that the most practical way would be to go Dumaguete and hop a ride from there going to Valencia. I heeded the ‘going Dumaguete’ portion. But as I moved on, I decidedly dropped Valencia from my “order of the day”. Why?!

Next entry please…

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


  1. These are all the great,famous and the most sought-after and the desired holiday destinations for all the travel freaks with all the historical significance of this destination for sure.

  2. Wow what a visit! And I thought this was just a small town