Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Prowling Pamplona

My Negros Oriental Tour: Municipality of Pamplona
Why did I ever use that word ‘prowl’?! Well, maybe because Pamplona starts with the letter ’p’. But yes, I could say that I prowled Pamplona hehe. I like the word today, just today hehe… it has leanings towards suspense thrillers and law and order. But my visit to Pamplona was nothing of that sort. In fact, this quiet little hinter town was almost creepy as I saw just a few human beings. Rainy day, that’s why! Everyone in town was probably huddled at their bedrooms and here was a nothing-to-do idiot of me prowling the poblacion. Ahehehe!

Entering town, first that I saw was their municipal building. Its not much in size but I think its just enough for the town’s administrative needs. Compared to other buildings or houses in its surroundings, it does look imposing enough. And am not so sure but I think this municipal hall is already the tallest in town hehe – at least those that I saw. Oh, am sure they don’t have (yet) a separate fire department building as in many towns and cities. I say that because their fire truck uses the town hall’s curbside as parking area. It does not get in the way though, in terms of anyone’s view or access to the municipal building! I took that pic at 2:33PM and all lights were on inside and outside of this edifice. That’s how gloomy the day was.

Hey, simple as the building may look from the outside, the offices that I saw inside are clean, orderly and bright (because the lights were all on hehe). There were unusually less people transacting with any of the offices, so all the more that the municipal hall’s offices looked relatively uncluttered to me. Ah, above one door near the lobby, I saw signages reminding everyone with interesting quotations. Like that one on the picture. I think it’s a quote from some Frenchman. And come to think of it, this saying has passed my eyes just once in the near past hehe! I like it the saying and how appropriate for them posting it on a municipal building’s wall. Perchance to remind their workers that they are all in that building to serve and do good for their constituents. Nice!

The Pamplona municipal hall is center of their town, not just by location but activities. Look and discern, even the town’s ambulance (I presume there are not so many) is also parked by the building’s grounds. Interesting too to have seen a lot of lumber piled up on one side of the side of the building. One of the piles is right below a basketball goal/ring. Makes you thing what those lumber are for. Are they about to build a new building? Or were those confiscated? Ironically, I seemed to have thought about the latter as it looked like there were no new constructions around the area. And I just thought… if those were confiscated, at least this little hinter town has already gotten to the serious business of protecting what remains of our forests. Oh the woman? She is an ambulant vendor selling fish! The public market goes to the municipal hall hehe! She just came from the munisipyo’s lobby to sell fish to some of the employees. Yeah, that is a weighing scale inside that red plastic bag on her left hand, and fish inside that pail on her right hand. I got to banter with her a while back and she is one jolly girl with a laugh and a smile that was totally in contrast with the mood of the skies.

I walked over to their park and something that looks like a multi-purpose center. Fairly regular until I came across the "ang litsonan". Wow! Lechon (aka litson) must be a very important thing in Pamplona for the mayor and the whole council to have erected that project. It was not in use when I peeped in, and it looked like it has never been used the past days. Yep, the set-up is similar to the lechon-making contraptions over at La Loma in Quezon City. Couldn’t help but let my ‘project manager’ side do some quick analyses. How many times (ever) does that ‘facility’ get to be used by the town or any resident? Why put it up at the very front of the park? Is it an attraction? Well, if so, it is only half (or even less) a tourist attraction, if it’s not working or not in use. Amazing that a town spent quite a lot of money for the concrete, chains, motors and all materials to produce the "Ang Litsonan". Mind you, still in the park, and just beside the "litsonan" is ‘Rizal Lounge’. Yup, from the signage alone (sponsored by my favorite beer) you would already know what it is. A drinking place right in the middle of a park by the municipal hall’s grounds. There was no sign of it being operational during my fly-by though!

Continued my walk towards the town’s catholic church. From the street, it looks like a dainty little chapel in the middle of an hacienda! Beautiful! Its not grand nor in a fantastic shape but there is something beautiful about it. Probably because it is one of the few churches in this country I have seen where the surroundings are nothing but grassy grounds instead of statues, tableaus, and ‘what have you’s! This is one such place that describe the true meaning of ‘simplicity is beauty’. There is a low concrete fence alright. And alongside it are trees big and small. But inside the perimeter of the fence, there’s nothing but well-maintained grass and the church. Who maintains the grass? You can see her at work on the left – it’s a cow! No flowery mounds, no monuments, no fountains. It is just so beautiful with not so many intersecting lines trying to grab your eye’s attention. Beautiful indeed!

Inside the church… well an uncluttered look makes the church all the more serene and peaceful as a house of god should be. Of course there are the speakers, electric fans and ‘epic lamps’ by the walls. There are even HD televisions. But standing at the main entrance door, my focus went straight to the center of it all, the crucified Jesus at the altar. Whoa, did I just say TV? Yes I did, and for a little church that only have something like 20 or so rows of pews, they do have TV screens to project whatever their priest is doing and the ‘salmo responsorio’ hehe! Oh technology! And the church floor is tiled marble all over. You cannot really say that this parish is in dire need of funds eh?! But good for them that they’ve not (yet) peppered their small church with a lot of bling blings!

Okidoks, with nothing else to see in the middle of town, (the Palaypalay falls is some 12kms away of rough roads), I thought I’d head back to Tanjay and onwards to my home in Bais – the La Planta Hotel. This time, I took a trike from somewhere across the munisipyo towards Tanjay. On arrival at Tanjay, panic time! Nature was calling and the commercial area at city center does not seem to have restaurants or places where anyone can urinate. Yep, the fastfood chains are not yet here. So I asked around, good that a guard told me to walk some block or so towards the public market, wade my way inside where at the back are the public toilets. Whoa, I finally relieved my bladder that was about to burst. So folks take note of this when in Tanjay hehe!

Let’s go back to Bais, shall we?!


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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