Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Rainy Day In San Jose

My Negros Oriental Tour: Municipality of San Jose
In my previous post I was in Bacong. And on the last part of that post I said I dropped Valencia from my itineraries of the day. Why? Because it was already mid-afternoon and I knew my rough notes included seeing a swimming lagoon and a waterfall in Valencia. So I said, I’ll do it tomorrow at an earlier time slot. But why was I all of a sudden in San Jose? What happened to Dumaguete and Sibulan?! Relax… as you would discern from my blog posts from yesteryears, I have lately been going to/from Dumaguete - always via Sibulan by air or land-and-sea, right? And that is for a very important reason of… ‘I just wanna see the place again’ hehe! So I felt there was nothing much more to see in Dumaguete and Sibulan at that moment. Here’s how it happened…

As the Ceres sped through from Bacong to Dumaguete, I started thinking what to do for the rest of the afternoon and evening in Dumaguete (where decidedly I would stay overnight). Rain was on-and-off so that meant I wouldn’t even want to stroll at Rizal Boulevard again. It was only 2:42PM and if I dropped my bag over at Harold’s then proceed to Honeycomb, then I’d already be dead drunk at about dinner time hahaha! But, when the bus entered its Dumaguete terminal, I saw another one that was just about ready to leave for Tanjay-Pamplona. Deciding quickly, I ran for it and took the ride hehe! Not so many passengers on board and front seat was vacant! Yey! When conductor asked where I was destined, I asked what town was/is next to Sibulan. He said, San Jose. So, I said “that’s the one, am going there” hehehe! Yeah yeah, I was sure that conductor was thinking “wa’y claro” for indeed my mind was not clear hehe. It was being muddled by the dark clouds and intermittent rain. Ah!

After about 12 kms or so, there I was, getting off in front of the San Jose, Negros Oriental's Municipal Hall. And it was raining. Argh! I stood in at the waiting shed with some 5 other people who seemed to be wondering who I was and what was I doing in that quiet little town on a gloomy rainy afternoon. But rain or high water, quever, I was already there so I made the most of what I can see in their place. When it became a very light drizzle, I stepped out unto the park that fronts the tiny municipal hall. Oh, there is a monument but I didn’t get who it is/was. At least its interesting to have noted that said monument is perched atop some kind of a small archway where people can pass underneath going to the municipal hall. See?! I still saw some interesting things, the pesky rain notwithstanding hehe! This town’s municipal hall and park is also covered with big tall trees. Hint: when a heavy rain has subsided, you’d be better off away from under those trees. Why? Water still drops big from the leaves while out in the open its just a light drizzle – which is definitely better for your camera’s wellbeing!

Church! Aha, enough of the grand old antique churches of the previous towns I visited. San Jose, Negros Occidental has quite a modernistic twist! Yep, that is the St. Joseph Parish. From the gate over at the park, you’d think you are looking at some office building, a bank, or a train station hehe. Most especially if you’d remove from attention their equally modernistic belfry. What sets this church apart is that aside from the bells, there is nary an indication similar to all other catholic churches in this country. No statues nor crosses with neon lighting whatever! Look at the pics. And note that the sides have some kind of open areas that at first I thought were parts of a public market where stalls maybe lined.

Alright, you wanna know about the church insides? Its modern too and you’d think you were in some chapel at a posh area in Quezon City, Makati or any of the swankier villages and resorts. Really! Look at the altar area. Red brick with not so many lines crisscrossing and no platoon of saints adorning it. Look at the ceiling beams. Aside from they are very low (sign of our economic situation?) those beams have lights! Sosy!!! Who said anyway that a church need to have ceilings as high as 60 feet or more?! This is a sample of Catholic Churches being built circa 1983 hehe. And that was just bit more than a quarter century ago, right?! Mind you, there is some kind of a lectern or reception counter just after you enter the glass door. But no you are not in a hotel’s function room, this is a church hehe! Hah, this church is quite a departure from the usual churches we see in the provinces. In fact, I actually doubted and thought I might have been in a protestant or INK church. Good I saw the dedication marker on the wall for me to believe I was really in a catholic church! Whoa!

Okay, outa the church, back in the rain again, I hopped and skipped along puddles of rainwater as I made my way from the church, through the park and across the highway where I found a fairly new sari-sari store. Time for Skyflakes and Coke even if it was raining! If by now you maybe inclined to believe that that cracker and soda tandem seem to be my default snack and stress reliever… yes you are right… and it has probably been so since some 3 decades ago hehe! Pesky rain was testing my wits, so I paused for a while to recompose my ‘dampened by the rain’ pea of a brain while nibbling on my tasteless crackers (the way I want it) and gulping some burp-inducing “it’s the real thing”!

A bit disappointed at the uncooperative skies but happy still of what I have seen and been through so far, I started mentally ticking and crossing out my target places to visit. Municipal Hall and Church… check, check! Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Twin Lakes Park, Pineapple farms, Lake Balinsasayaw, Azalea… X, X, X and X. Hah, I crossed out most of the places I listed as worth a peep from this town. Well, that was a wise decision since those I crossed out are some travel away from center of town. I was not sure I would even catch anything for a ride going to any of them. At least there’d still be something for a future visit.

I was just about deciding to return to Dumaguete, but it was only 3:42PM and I knew from previous travels that Amlan town was just nearby. So I asked the cool dude and his wife who manned this new sari-sari store. Ack! He told me its just about 4kms from where we were! That muddled the decision to return to Dumaguete when it was not even 4PM yet! I reflected… 4kms… I could actually do it on a leisurely walk sans the rain. That would have been just equal to walking the entire length of Megamall’s G/F to 4/F and back! Which meant if I rode on a bus, Amlan was just a few breaths away. So I went for it!

So, let’s do Amlan on the next entry!

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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