Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Intriguingly Glued On Manjuyod

My Negros Oriental Tour: Municipality of Manjuyod
Changing bases again! After Bais, I decided that it was time to move northwards and look for a base from which to ‘operate’ my roams. Decidedly, it had to be San Carlos (already a part of Negros Occidental). But I felt Manjuyod was just too near Bais, so I told myself this town should be a fly-by before I actually move into San Carlos, because there was nothing much in my list to see at Manjuyod town center. Everything mentioned about this town is/are out at sea (the sandbar) or out in the mountains (forest, caves and so on). And drop by I did! Oh, let’s do the tongue-twisters again please?! ‘Manjuyod’ is a unique word to pronounce! The "man" sounds like ‘mon’ in ‘month’ or even ‘mun’ in ‘munch’. The next syllable "ju" is pronounced as in the English word ‘who’ or the "ju" in ‘junta’. And the last syllable "yod" is pronounced the way you would say "you’d" and not the ‘yod’ in ‘yoda’! So its something like "mun-who-you’d"!

Of course you can always say that as "man-dew-yod" and everyone will understand you just the same. But that sounds so bayot haha!

The road to Manjuyod from Bais is a fine concrete but it is also criss-crossed by railways like it is from Amlan to Bais. Yeah, railways that are mostly unused, though I heard some of those are still ‘in service’. Ah you already know why the railroads, right?! These towns and cities are part of the ‘sugar central’ that is why most of the views on both sides of the road are sugarcane plantations or trucks hauling sugarcane from the fields to some plant or staging areas. This is also the reason why the highway from Amlan all the way to San Carlos (and probably elsewhere) are the most littered roads in this country – with sugarcane trunks that is. Eh, how do we call sugarcane, trunk or stalk? Whatever hehe! All we should know is that many of them fall off from those big trucks and them truck drivers or sugarcane magnates don’t give a hoot. So your bus or jeep ride along these roads become a bit choppy c/o those sugarcane that litter the road!

On arrival at Manjuyod town center, I immediately looked for the municipal hall. It sits behind a big wide circular concrete park. Ah this park is a character of its own and it had me thinking. I couldn’t understand why everything had to be cemented with a very thin mix since it does not seem to be used for other purposes than people strolling along. Around it are flower boxes that serve as sitting benches too. Well, there in those flower boxes are the greens – at least! Trees are also present, many of them in fact but farther out on the perimeter area. I took a while standing on the expanse of concrete. It did not look like it was a skating rink too since it has a rough finish and in fact, parts of the thin finish have chipped off. Anyway…

At the very middle of the cemented park is an octagonal fountain area with an equally amusing monument at its center painted in gold. It portrays a curly-haired naked woman delightfully (and unrealistically) cuddling a big fish as if it were a piece of bread or trophy probably. The angle of her raised chin seem to tell me she won that fish instead of ‘caught’ hehe! She looks even ecstatic. To her right is a little naked boy (her son?) seemingly looking for something he dropped on the ground? The boy’s face does not seem to evoke any hint of happiness. Well, maybe he really dropped something and worried he won’t find it! To the woman’s left is a girl probably older than the boy (her daughter?) who sits in a deep slouch also looking for something beneath their feet! Neither she has a facial expression that would tell us the feeling of triumph the woman portrays. Maybe she also lost something?!

Well, there are no signages around so I could not understand the story of this monument. If at all, it captivated me to start guessing what it is, who they are and so on!

I moved nearer to the municipal hall. The big brass letters atop the building say ‘BALAY LUNGSOD SA MANJUYOD’. Yeah, that means Manjuyod Municipal Hall. For the Tagalogs reading this, in case you do not know yet, ‘lungsod’ in the Visayas is the equivalent of your ‘bayan’ or ‘pamayanan’ (town) since ‘lungsod’ to you means city! Aight?! Anyway, the Manuyod town hall building looks simple though a bit recent. I wonder where and what was their town hall of the past, since the official seal atop the foyer tells that this town was created in 1850. Wow! The building looks simple and clean with jalousies all over. And I am guessing the mayor’s office is at second floor left corner hehe. Cuz they dared let an air-conditioning unit protrude from the jalousies there hehehe! I like my logic today haha!

Hmm, I got to pick some kind of a theme while standing by the flag pole! The effect that the makers of the park was probably trying to portray was the cemented circular area is supposed to create a marine scenario. See the blue paint on the fence and flower boxes at that picture above? Yeah, that’s probably it. Though I still don't understand the expressions of the three naked sculptures at center of fountain hehe. Anyway, by the side of the park and entrance to their multi-purpose center (picture in this paragraph), the ‘effect’ being portrayed is a forest. Look at the gate, they shaped it like a big
cut tree. And the fence has trees, flowers, birds, monkeys, a leopard and some cute wide-eyed creatures I don’t know (extreme right). Nice enough place. Who knows, maybe someone reading this can tell me what those cute wide-eyed creatures are hehe!

I went to their church and my sights were reversed. If the town plaza was all color and depiction of imaginary things, their church is the total opposite. With minor touches to spruce up the building, they have maintained what seem to be the old grandeur of their church façade. It looks beautiful to me. I think those bricks, what remains of them anyway, are still the original. The top center structure is obviously a new addition, but it still does not deface the original look. Well, the yellow and gray fence is new, but I like the grass even with that newly concreted pathway, plus the big trees behind. Everything seem to highlight the façade of this church. It just looks good.

Inside, the simplicity pervades. There are not so many things to see for the eyes so that the mind will go astray. Ah yes the floor is also tiled all over. That seems to be the fashion nowadays anyway. The pews are not even attractive, some still have that varnished look while some have already faded. Yes worn out but not decayed hehe. The ceiling panels are I various stages of paint fading, some paint have chipped from the door grills, but the totality of ‘the feel and look’ inside this church is serene. There is a big cross at the altar but its not the crucified Jesus at center. I think it is the ascension that is being depicted. It’s a small but wonderful enough house of prayer seemingly still able to retain snippets of its olden past. Yeah, I wonder how this church looks during the evening with those big fluorescent tubes installed vertically on the walls.

Good I ventured outside and around the perimeter of this church for I found some interesting things. Like? Well, the original church compound must have been very wide – probably four times what seems to be its present immediate surroundings. There are still remnants of some old structures that are slowly slipping away to the advent of modern day Manuyod civilization! Amidst the yards or backyards of some residential houses, I could still see some olden walls (yes, fort-like ruins) that must have been the original fence of the parish. Being sturdy limestone bricks they’re still there standing but slowly being encroached by recent residents. I hope someone from this town could chronicle or perhaps publish an existing document of what the parish originally was. It should be a historical landmark of the town. Hmm, since when have I started being a historical artifact conservationist? Hehe, I think that’s what we come to learn for roaming around this country – retain the glorious past for the appreciation of future generations.

Alright, I thought I was done roaming Manjuyod’s town center so I decided I can still fit another fly-by, this time at the next town of Bindoy. C ya thar!!!

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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