Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Calape Municipal Hall

Another unexpected wow! My tour of Calape town continues… and after the church, we just naturally flowed taking our time roaming the well manicured park / gardens… that led us to a wonderful looking municipal hall. Its not big, but its grand. If the church looked like it was some castle, the Calape Municipal Building looks like a miniaturized Provincial Capitol. Yes, simple, elegant, and really stoic-looking without much of the modernistic touches or blingblings. In short, it’s a small thing that has a big commanding presence. I like this one, and I have not even heard of any Bol’anon who takes pride that they have this. I insist, they should.

Aside from its era-like look, the spacious greens in front that looks like a continuation of the churchyard gardens is equally wonderful. Simple and not even modernistic but truly beautiful. Foremost probably is that it is clean from rubbish that people would just carelessly throw around. All that we saw littering the place were newly fallen leaves from the big trees surrounding the park. Those fallen leaves and some twigs did not create heaps to tell me that this area is way far from something you can call an untended park. They even add some to the natural beauty of the breezy place. It is just plainly cozy. Ah yes of course, that is aside from the unnatural colors you see at the building’s roof, the flagpole’s base and some of those lampposts. But even those are overshadowed by the serene totality of the landscape. I like it, don’t ya?!

I think what makes the place attractive is how the Calape people have NOT exerted much effort to making it ‘attractive’ as many would consider that word today! How is that? Well, just my own layman’s opinion… instead of thinking about fantastic embellishments or modernistic blingblings to adorn their municipal hall, it looks like they wisely focused their efforts in makin it clean and simple, almost probably the way it would have looked in yesteryears. How so? Look at the building again, they did not (yet, and hopefully won’t) alter the building’s look by extending wings or attaching other structures as in many municipal or city halls. Try imagining this place in black and white and/or sepia. It can pass for a 1930s scene, right?!

There are other structures around it, and I guess in there would be some of the other offices needed by the town for conducting business or services in these modernistic times. Example? There is the Sangguniang Bayan Hall separated entirely from the main building. Practical, right? So, they have a separate building for that BUT unlike in other places, it does not in any way compete with the municipal hall for attention. Am sure you know what I mean here… how many sangguniang bayan, panglungsod or lalawigan have you seen that made new structures for their very own use, right? And many of them are big, almost all expensive and almost all too trying to say, “this is center of town”. Not in Calape. Your attention will be riveted on the good old municipal building that others become just secondary circumstances. Luvit!

Alright, we moved around… and stumbled upon a big multi-purpose building behind the municipal hall. How big? I believe it can even swallow the municipal hall and still have enough space for a party hehe. But my point is, recent and enormous as it is, this cultural/sports building does not in anyway overpower the elegant stance of the what should the real center of town be… yes, the municipal hall. Whether by choice or accident, its nice that this big new building seem obscured at the back and nearer the mangroves. Man what…?

Whoa weee! The immediate vicinity of this municipal ‘complex’ – if we can call it that – is a nice clean and breezy mangrove forest. Wow. There is a little wharf so I went there and even had a few chitchats with the few folks who were around. And I learned how those very long bamboo poles are formed. I now know they are to become part of some boat’s outriggers. But how do they take that form or shape? Well, I now know… thanks to the people at the wharf… and as for you my dear readers… am still thinking if I want to tell you about that process. Why? Ah nothing, I just feel naughty today hehehe. But I can tell you, it is such a painstaking and even scientific process done the crude way of our forebears. Interesting really. Those are not anymore for sale as a fisherman building a new boat has commissioned for them and are just now awaiting delivery.

Hey, at the very same wharf, we also learned that the little ‘facility’ is mainly used by folks who live or do business at nearby islands and islets which they told us are quite a number just off but near the shores of this town. I asked for an example and almost all of them chorused to tell me “Pangangan Island”. I only had to ask “what is there to see on that island” and I got various inputs about a nice little island that most of the people in this town hie off to during weekends and holidays. The boatmen told me, going there by land is already possible but via a long ride. That is why most of them, especially those who bring cargoes, still use boats going to that island.

Ah, yes you guessed it, I went to Pangangan Island next hehehe! So, let’s leave the beautiful municipal hall and… Let’s go to Pangangan Island!!!

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


  1. nice post sir! thers nothing really touristy about poblacion calape but ur perspective makes a place interesting to visit! i aslo love the architectural references.

    im wondering why u didnt focus much on the calape church being a fine example of a gothic inspired structure in our country. the church has some interesting carvings on its doors too. i just feel disapointed that they painted the church's exterior in white and sea foam green-ish colors, kinda tacky.

    looking forward to ur nex post!

  2. Thanx for dropping by JP. I presume the church you meant was/is this:

    Sorry, am not good at descriptions. I don't even really know what is 'gothic', medieval or neolithic hehe. But yeah, I think I missed those carvings. Well, there's probably a next time hehe

    C ya around

  3. I love the way the Municipal Hall has that old philippine charm look to it.