Thursday, April 8, 2010

Loboc, Besides The River

Alrightie. All four of us happy and gay after the hefty lunch and the restful cruise up and down the Loboc River, we hustled onwards to the rest of our trip going to Loay, Albur, Baclayon, Panglao, Tagbilaran, Cortes, Maribojoc, Loon, Calape and back to Tubigon. Quite a number of places yet to see, right? Very right! And it was already mid-afternoon! So I did not expect to cover things I would have wanted. But happily go on we did, with me telling the group, we’ll just have to omit what we can and make the most out of daylight. First though, we must see the ever evolving Loboc Municipal Hall. Its getting beautiful, the outside surroundings at least, by the day! Just like the plaza/park fronting it. So we went for it even if briefly. Hey what would you expect of a town frequented by a lot of tourists everyday? They enjoy lots of tax earnings, so they have quite a deep “kaban ng bayan” to beautify things here and there. Reason why the municipal building looks new? Certainly!

And the park too! We wondered why they lined those paths with “red kalachuchi”. Those are planted too close to one another that if they grew to become trees, they’d probably be blocking very good views or tangle with each other. Well, my driver offered his ‘inference’ that those are probably the pygmy type of kalachuchi that never grow big into trees. But the other driver had a more fantastic premonition. He offered that those wont have the chance to become big trees anyway. And when I asked why, he smartly said that all will be uprooted anyway when somebody becomes the next mayor of this town – since that is what new mayors do. We laughed but I clarified why, and he reminded us that THAT is the ‘norm’ in this country. You assume office and the first order of the day is to dismantle, deface, change, erase or wipe out anything that your predecessor has installed or put in place – regardless if they were beautiful or useful! I agreed and I agree hehehe!

The church. Well, like the municipal hall, it also keeps a changing, on the outside that is. Ah, remember Laoag? Loboc is similar in that the towering old belfry is away at some distance from the church building itself. And how cute, their adoration chapel is also away in one corner of the park fronting the church. They’re olden structures, yes, but you’d admire how the locals are able to make this area beautiful. I mean, no fantastic new buildings or structures or playgrounds, if that was your idea of beautiful. In fact, if you stand anywhere in the park and turn 360 degrees, you’ll think the municipal hall is a guest. It does not belong hehe, because it’s the only modernistic looking thing in this cozy center of town. Yes the fa├žade of the church is getting its own share of facelift – though I am almost sure (I hope) they wont paint it rust colored like the munisipyo! Architects nowadays call that “earth colors” by the way. Let’s go inside.

Oh my… that is what you’d certainly exclaim upon entering the Loboc Church. Another beautiful church that contributes to my wonder of wonders – “how come this small island of Bohol has so many big (high-ceiling) and beautiful old churches”? And come to think of it, the many times I’ve been to this town, this was my first time to enter and look around the church. Blame it on the river hehe! First to catch my attention was the ceiling. Oh well, its part of those I call deteriorating and irreplaceable works of art. But unlike at Inabanga's, the beautiful paintings up there are still beautiful. Hey am not sure if that pipe organ up in the choir loft is for real. I mean, if it can still play music or if someone in this town even still knows how hehe. But I noticed that the whole thing looked shiny and newly refurbished. Nice one too!

The center aisle is fitted with tiles. Am not sure if they’re new, but am sure you girls who go to church in stilettos will want to be extra careful walking this aisle hehe. I don’t know if that is just “unfinished” or “style” or both. The slabs are not that firm close to each other and they have crevices and cracks here and there. I looks tasteful to me though as it blends with the rustic tone of the walls and the antiquity of the ceiling above. Flooring at the pews remain bare cement though am sure they’ll have it tiled in no time. This is a rich town, thanks to tourism! Hey, is that red carpet up front?! Yes Alicia, that is red carpet on the altar’s floor from wall to wall. Am not sure I have seen anything like this anywhere yet. And those boys are cleaning the place with mops! OMG! I hope their prist/s have already heard about a thing called vacuum cleaner. What a dauting task cleaning that wide expanse of red carpet hehe. Whosoever thought of that idea, I want to pull all the hair from his nostrils one by one! Its hard to maintain! Ah, am almost about to sneeze just looking at that altar floor hehe!

Anyway, we were outa the church and looked at the center of town one more time. We all wondered if this town has ever achieved being declared cleanest and greenest in the province at least. I would not be so sure about the greenest as everything about the river still looks like jungle to me hehe. How else or how more should they green their town, right? But on the cleanest part, well, you go to this place and be the judge. We even sat on the road’s pavement fronting the stores fronting the park, as we drank bottled water. And our views were the boats coming and going up the green clean river. The streets are even cleaner than my living room hehe! Nice town! Yes, very!

I pointed to the Museo Loboc just behind the church and no one in my company seemed any more interested in flexing a muscle. So we sat on the kalsada as we watched the boats and just everything about center of town go by. Thankfully, one of the drivers remembered we were still waaaay too far from “home”. So he said let’s go and off to Loay we went. Oh, exiting Loboc, both motorbikes had to go slow as we all marveled at the old houses lining the road. They’re beautiful to look at. Very “era scene” as my companion kept calling it. Though he kept asking if there were real people living in those houses since their front yards and even the roadsides looked too clean and orderly. All I could say was “I think that’s just collective discipline and political will”.

Hah, off and out of Loboc we went moving onwards to Loay. But that not it for me! I know I’ll go back to Loboc in the near future to watch the children’s choir perform, or the rondalla and whatever else. Hey did you know this town even already has a “school of music”? Well, probably not the likes of “Abelardo Hall” hehe, but I think am itching to just have a peep at their version! Now that’s reason enough to schedule a return trip – without the companion, I must insist hehe (shhh that’s a secret).

Well, what the… as we exited town through that fine road lined on both sides by mangroves and nipa palms, the pesky F200EXR decided to rest in peace. Argh! That was my second and last battery! Oh well…

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 comment :

  1. That is a gorgeous church! However, what else is there to do besides sight see? are there any adventurous attractions in the area?