Thursday, December 10, 2009

La Libertad In A Tad

My Negros Oriental Tour: Municipality of La Libertad
I promised to backtrack my way to the towns I missed since Bindoy, right? So here I was, going for La Libertad, after Canlaon, Vallehermoso and Guihulngan. This was another place where I had nothing in my notes to see at center of town. Not even anything else for a touristy sojourn other than what most everyone on the web talk about, Lalimar. Well, I told myself to see Lalimar last since I have already seen many things about it on the web. I said to myself that I can probably peep in when I move onwards to Jimalalud. Meantime, I should see the town center and whatever is there.

La Libertad, I noticed, straddles the mouth of a big river. The public market and many residences are located on the northern bank of the river while the Municipal Hall, church, public school and many residences too are at the southern bank. The bridge connecting both sides has picturesque enough views of either the inner portion of the river (west) or the sea and the silhouette of Cebu island in the east. That would probably be the areas of Dumanjug, Ronda or Moalboal in Cebu since I remember having been to a little wharf in Ronda and a lady told me that sometimes livestock and farm produce are transported from La Libertad to Cebu using their wharf.

The La Libertad municipal hall is nothing big though it is fairly a recent building. No traces of the usual era or period houses like in many towns or cities. I could not place it well, but this municipal building seem to look like one of those I have seen in the previous days. I like those tall and upright trees fronting both wings of the municipal hall. Aside from their being ornamental, I think those trees provide some kind of cool to the insides of the building. They are surely more effective than curtains. Hey I like how they ‘pedestaled’ Rizal just front of the building. He faces it, instead of towards the big field as would be in many towns all over this country.

Field? Well yes, there’s a big grassy field probably enough to house two football fields. And Rizal’s monument is on the east side – where the municipal building is, while a basketball court looks too miniature on the south side – that is because the field is really really wide. Alas, this was a rainy day… and puddles of rainwater have collected on some parts of the grassy area, and it is muddy on the sides. I still did see some children playing there despite the condition. Mud and flood, I still like this park/field for I know that during summers, this must be one fine playing area for the children and child at heart. And there are big trees around this area. Even out near the sea.

Sea?! This is one unique feature of La Libertad. Their municipal hall actually has its back to the very edge of the Tanon Strait! Yeah, the sea! And yes, I have mentioned a few blogs ago about the Bacong Beach Park that is also back of their municipal hall. But this one in La Libertad is closest to the water. Back of the building is actually already the beach, no streets in between. No, this is not like Cavite City’s as that one has a high elevation from the sea. In La Libertad, its just ground (okay, beach) level. There’s another thing… it’s a pebble beach! Yep, the beach is not of fine or coarse sand in whatever color – It is made of pebbles! Smooth little and big stones! I hope this town can capitalize in that unique feature and do something for the tourists. IF bacong can do it, La Libertad can probably do it too!

Alright, after the “beach”, I walked back circling the big grassy field towards their chapel. Ah, if it’s a church, I still prefer to call it that – a chapel. Its rather on the cute side if we talk about church sizes. In fact, this must have so far been the smallest I have seen in the province. Imagine this, I doubted if it was indeed the town’s catholic church due to its size and “hitsura”. But I asked some passersby and they confirmed that it is so. If I may be blunt about it, compred to others I have seen so far in this province, its actually ugly hehe! But who needs a big one anyway. There probably are not so many church-goers in this town, so why build big?! At least they have a church, unlike Vallehermoso’s which has just gone into ashes hehe!

Inside this church its actually different. The cover belies the book hehe. If outside it looks odious, inside is a fine church. It actually is even bigger than you would have thought looking at this church from the outside. There are four columns of pews which you would not expect if you just stay outside looking at the fa├žade. The sides too are mostly grilled, so it is cool inside. And hey, the floor also shimmers with the modernist tiles. Theirs is even colored maroon and white. And there are fairly upbeat chandeliers ha?! The altar area looks simple and uncluttered plus I could see that the wall is made of little marble bricks - we all know its not cheap! Ah, the one thing fine that makes this church look beautiful inside are those two stained glass murals flanking the crucified Jesus at center of the altar. Light from outside filtering through those murals make their altar all the more cherubic!

Walking out of the church to the highway, I passed by the ‘La Libertad Convention Center’. Yep, in other towns or cities, a place like this would be called a gym, a multipurpose hall, a cultural center or anything else. But OMG, I cringed at what I saw. The whole area under the roof has been converted to “classrooms”. Yes, I think there were about 3 or 4 blackboards which meant that there could be 3 or 4 separate school classes that could simultaneously be in progress. Whoa! And I could be wrong you know… there might have been more blackboards hehe. At least, when I snapped the picture, there were only 2 active classes in progress. Those probably are spill-over classes at the national school just beside it. My goodness, I suddenly remembered Mel Tiangco (yep, the kapuso foundation that we always see on TV donating school buildings or classrooms)!

Oh well, I continued my walk out to the highway. Target destination Jimalalud… but when I looked, it was already 4:37PM. Ah that was rather late for me to go on roaming another town. So I went back to my ‘base of operations’ – San Carlos, with a firm resolve that tomorrow I will visit the last three places I have not seen in Negros Oriental. Hey, I have been in La Libertad for just 43 minutes and I have seen a lot to occupy my mind!

C ya!

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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