Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sauntering San Carlos City-Center

My Negros Oriental Tour: San Carlos City, NegOcc
This was my second ‘good morning San Carlos’ and I was my usual self again – meaning I woke up early enough to catch the earliest morning stir. At 5:45AM, I was walking about the vicinity of my hotel, going further out. And I knew the church was a block or two away, so I headed in that direction. I was in some kind of a school or university belt hehe. Elementary schools everywhere I look! Reaching the church area, I could hear that mass service had just started. I thought I might as well attend. But something stopped me. Yeah, the view of the church façade, slightly illuminated by the first rays of the sun - Stunning! Add to that, there was a rainbow that at times glowed and at times faded in the background. Oh my, what a morning!

Moving in all directions to take a good shot of the church and the rainbow, I almost stepped on the wares of a lady vendor. Good I heard her talking to someone else so I had to look where I was stepping. Ah, a manang selling flowers in front of the church. But she was actually not in front, she was almost in the middle of the wide paved road! I asked if I can shoot, she agreed. I asked why she was almost in the middle of the pavement. She replied that she can’t be seen if she stayed by the side. Looking around I noticed (and tended to agree with her) that the pavement in front of the churchyard is very wide. But over at the corner, its of normal city-street width. So the manang follows that width to position herself in front of the church without being run over by tricycles or cars and without hampering traffic flow. Bright!

Did I say churchyard? Ah yes, front of the church is a little but beautifully maintained garden. And it is not fenced to keep people away, so it is such a welcoming sight. The low steel fences by the shrubberies are surely there to protect the plants than the church. There is bermuda grass and flowering plants, and at center is a big image of Jesus Christ and a big cross standing beside a globe, yes earth if you may. The whole tableaux provides an even more interesting look for the façade of the church. Not too much, not too little… just quite a tasteful balance probably crafted by hands and minds with a good grasp of art and religion. It does command attention but won’t occupy your brain too much so that you still keep thinking about it when already inside the church.

“San Carlos Borromeo Cathedral Parish”… so says the milestone marker at the church entrance. This church was up as early as 1895. wow! But of course it must have seen hundreds if not thousands of renovations and sprucing ups especially the façade and external portions. Oh inside, I immediately noticed something unique – the ceiling, or absence of it, that is hehe. Actually, there is some kind of a ceiling or insulation if we may call it that in these recent times. But it follows the shape of the roof. And the trusses are exposed therefore hovering and clear to the view of everyone. But come to think of it, it looks uniquely good! The church interior space looks and feels wider! The altar too looks fine as the images are niftily arranged amongst three retablos. Ah yes, there is that ‘beauty-parlor flooring’ again. There are just too many churches that sport that checkered black and white design. And yes, I hate it hehe! Well, if its any consolation, I think many beauty parlors have copied the floor styles of churches so that their shops would look immaculate. I still hate it hehehe!

After the church service, the beautiful scene has not so much changed… a wash of sunlight illuminating the upper portions of the church façade, and the rainbow up in the cloudy skies. Memorable visit I must say.

Alright, still facing the church, a glance behind me was a big roundish building that invited my interest too. I was sure it was some kind of a cultural/sports/multi-purpose something as can be seen in many a town or city. But I like looking at this thing with its roof that looks like a hat – the pinoy type that is. Yes hat, not hut, though many pinoy nipa or cogon grass huts do sport the same style. But this one is big concrete on the sides and tin-sheets as roofing. For whatever I was thinking, I circled the thing and there I was at front reading the name “City Auditorium”. I guessed right, though I did not think its back was facing the church since it also looked good from there hehe.

Happy accidents do happen a lot in my travels. As I kept moving farther to take a full frontal picture of the auditorium, I happened to look towards the left and behind me and voila, there was Lola Nitang’s! It is actually not far from YM after-all, had I started looking for it last night or two nights ago hehe!

Continued with my walk around this area of town going near anything that caught my interest. There was a big big yellow old house but still up and sturdy. Well yes, two windows already have jalousies but the rest still retain their old grandeur with capiz shells on the sliding panes. There was the cute yellow building called San Carlos City Library. I just liked seeing it ceremoniously labeled as if it were another of the city government’s departments. It even has its own flagpole! Because in other cities (that have libraries anyway), theirs would be some room in a building or somewhere away from the view of most people. Ah yes, also a wonderful sight to see their hospital’s entrance/exit lined with trisikads waiting for passengers – instead of a throng of unsightly turo-turo shacks and petty pharmacies.

I kept on walking, just slowly wandering around, but my internal antenna was saying I was to circle the block where the church is located, go beyond it and make another right turn – that should land me back at my hotel. And just before I turned right at the street that I thought was where YM Business Inn was, I saw this old house. Ogled at it a bit, thinking why it seemed to have been abandoned. Then again, it might not really have been abandoned, it was early morning and probably the occupants were still asleep hehe. But the doors and windows looked like haven't been moved for a long time and there was a scattering of things that it looked unoccupied. So, on arrival at my hotel, I asked about it and learned that the building is the Broce Ancestral House!

Oh well, just an early morning walk and I saw many things already! Now now, I did a quick browse on my omnia about Broce Ancestral House and learned that it has even been once the city hall of this place. I think I was browsing the city’s website… then I saw Sipaway Island. Hmm, the wicked mind said, go go go! And so I did hehe!

Let’s go to Sipaway?!!!


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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