Thursday, April 8, 2010

Inabanga, Bohol

You probably have read my previous daytour stories in that old blog entry of years ago. It is still basically the same – and still the one I recommend to most first-timers who want to tour Bohol. This new route I just had was to satisfy my curiosity on what lies beyond the usual tourist path. Reason that I chose Tubigon as my base. While I wasn’t able to ‘fulfill’ my planned route (thanks to a pesky first-timer who traveled with me), I still say it was fun and I saw a lot more of Bohol. As for the places I wanted to visit but wasn’t able to, I now tell myself… at least there are more to look forward to on the next Bohol sojourn! Here we go…

That is a town, and that 4-syllable word is pronounced by locals as ‘i-na-bang-ga’. Take note, in the Philippines a letter “i” is pronounced as in fit, bit, mit, nit, tit, clit, dick ooopss hehe, we better stop it there. In short, there is no “i” as in ire, dire, mire, wire or fire. Note too there is only 1 “g” in the town’s name but it is pronounced like there was a double “g”. But that’s how it is for many places like Borongan, Pampanga, Tangub or Zamboanga. Though its not always the case as in many other places like Imungan, Talaingond, Tabango, Sibonga, etcetera! Why? Ma! Anyway…

I have not encountered many readings as to what might be good to see or visit at this town named Inabanga, except for the mangrove, the river and its environs. I hear there is a cave and even a waterfall upriver. There is purportedly a new park by the river but I did not want to see any of them this time. So I was down to my default… center of town, municipal hall and the church. The municipal hall looks beautiful though I may not be very fond of its color. Hmm, what is it anyway? Orange? Earth Yellow? Ginger? Bronze? Camel? Kulay Kalawang? Well, amusingly it reminded me of my favorite TV character of yesteryears, Alf. He insisted in one episode that his color was ‘Burnt Sienna’ hehe. But this one looks #E5AA70 to me. Yep, its probably ‘RGB 229, 170, 112’ or Fawn. Ah whatever hehe!

See?! At least it commanded my attention! And at least its not yellow, pink or purple! But like the municipal hall of Calape, this one retains its original structural guise as it would have appeared when newly built. I just wish there’d be a better, cheaper and easier way of putting air-conditioning boxes away from a building’s façade. Somebody please invent something fast hehe. Staring at this ochre-hued building, its form does remind me of a capitol. It looks like a mini-capitol, right? Yep, with those two pillars instead of many for bigger and grander capitol buildings. Hey, I like that imposing ‘red, white and blue’ seal at center. Though I think the “rolling door” seem to be out of taste for me hehe. And as I have said many blogs ago, why can’t all municipal halls or capitols sport green gardens like this one instead of totally concrete surroundings. It not only makes the place beautiful looking, it also helps to have a cooler environment for the building occupants, I think! Well, the very front does have concrete just enough for the bayang magiliw thing or some activities, but everywhere else are patches of green. Yep, nice garden/park there.

Elsewhere in town, there are many olden homes that look beautiful retaining their era-like look. And funny how they have a bit adapted to our 21st century world. Take that big yellowish house on the corner. Common, right? Ah yes, there are still many houses like that all over the country. And yes too, their ground level areas are usually converted into business or commercial establishments. But look at the 2nd level again… do you see four air-conditioning units? Gosh hehe! I could just imagine, they have chunked or boarded the insides of that house up, to be composed of airtight and totally separate rooms, instead of the usual olden styles where the rooms only had “cortina” in the doorway! I still am enamored to those old houses that remain without or just with low wrought iron fences than today’s norm that you wont see anything but a wall and you wont ever have a hint what’s inside the concrete walls. In these houses, you’d fairly have a "view" if anything was happening in there, right?! I love these kinds of houses, very homely.

The church. OMG this church!

From the outside, it looks like a fine-looking olden church probably built during the early American occupation. The look and style tells us so, right? Am not sure though how to call those cross-like leaf-like embellishments or trimmings at the edges. Are/were those supposed to portray flowery things like leaves or are/were those supposed to mean spears or arms? It reminds me of old European castles and churches that sport the kind of design. Something like, King Arthur movies! I even like the bulky-looking but seemingly shy belfry hehe. Why? Look at it again. it seems to be hiding a bit behind the church façade. Some few inches or feet receded to the back, right? While in many others, the bell tower, if not level front with the church façade, they’d even be too forward like at Baclayon, Laoag, or Jaro, right? Ah well…

Inside this church is my screaming issue. I know it cannot be undone, but at least, let us declare that this town’s church is accidentally messing up what must have been a memorable, if not historically invaluable AND irreplaceable art. That is the ceiling. OMG yes, the ceiling! Its deteriorated with the elements. And to save the faithful from rain inside a roofed church, they have patched a multitude of areas with (I think) strips of tin sheet. The beautiful paintings all over that ceiling has now been adulterated by either water stains or those metal strips. Am not saying its ancient art, but those are/were beautiful renditions by whoever the painter was. Sayang. This church probably needed help long ago and it seems no one came to rescue that ceiling – and roof I’m sure. I hope someone somewhere in this town has kept images of those paintings when they were still clean and beautiful. for the memories at least. For now, I’d say, they might as well just tear it down. Aren’t there ex-residents of Inabanga who can donate to fix this beautiful church up? Like they did at Clarin?

Ah well, that ceiling was some find for me. This little church of Inabanga has some unique 'characteristics' too. I like it that at some entrances, they left spaces revealing the original stone walls of the church. Hmm, on the inside btw, these entrances are themselves unique – they all look heavily framed in that maroon-colored lining. I like it, together with those wooden doors that let some light wash in on their slats. Ah beside this church sits what probably is/was the convent. It’s a big wooden house that’s beautiful to look at too. Not sure if it still serves as convent or now some kind of a school. And I strayed my sight to the roof, taking cue from what I saw inside the church. Ah, this place really needs help to preserve their beautiful structures. If only I was wealthy…

Anyway, I loved this Inabanga fly-by. I learned some aspects of ‘realities in life’, though I’d just keep them to myself.

Let’s move on to Danao, 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


  1. sayang, i think the cebuano painter ray francia did the ceiling paintings. he did a lot of church paintings in bohol and cebu circa 1920.. naa sha kauban nga painter kalimot ko sa name.

  2. Need to explore this place. I think, I can learn something here.