Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cordova, Mactan Island, Cebu

Cybersex capital? Ah, I would not be so sure about that. There are probably other places in this country with residents doing the same. One thing admirable about Cordova is that at least they were brave enough to put it out in the open, seize the offenders and do something about it. I think that’s more admirable than many barangays, towns or cities elsewhere in this country just pretending to look elsewhere or having a blind eye on the problem. That is not my topic here by the way hehe. I went to Cordova just to see how different it is from the rest of the island of Mactan (that neans Lapu-lapu city) because someone was ‘encouraging’ me to consider a new village (housing development) in the area.

Well, it’s a small town. A suburb, if we might call it, with touches of urbanity here and there, but generally still basically rural. Except that these housing projects seem to be mushrooming here and there too! Sometime in the late 1980s, I have actually been in this place roaming via a motorbike. Everything then were either fledgling coconut plantations or fishermen’s neighborhoods. This is part of Mactan Island in the first place where most everywhere you step on is made of rocky coralline grounds generally unsuitable to planting any crop. But Cordova seems to have become a home for many people who work and want to live near the city centers. On this visit, I saw too many homes growing out of marshes or shallows, fishpens being converted to residential commercial establishments. Even chapels and basketball courts are suddenly rising from what otherwise would have been mangrove areas!

There are of course traces of its olden charm, especially near the town’s center. After all, I learned that this has been a town since as early as 1913! Mind you, roaming around center of town makes you feel like you are in a far flung town of the province when in fact it is just across the channel to Cebu City’s piers and just a jeep ride away to Lapu-lapu City which forms part of the rest of Mactan Island. I liked looking at their old Municipal Hall. It is such a beautiful era house very reminiscent of the Spanish-American influences. I even started dreaming how I wish I could build my home to be just like this one. The wooden walls, the big windows, the low-level porch, the big trees in front… just grand! It is now called Mayor Victor Wahing Hall, probably some kind of a function area for behind it already sits the big concrete buildings of the new municipal hall, legislative building, etc. But I loved it that they preserved this house even making it a beautiful centerpiece of the place.

In stark contrast to this olden municipal hall is the town’s church. Its very colorful! It got me confused if I was at some little village in Mauritius or Maldives, the Marianas or even the Carribeans! I just smiled and said maybe they’ve got a hefty donation from a paint company hehe. Imagine even the fence is painted in three colors – blue for the concrete part, yellow for the steel & iron portions and the ‘small gate’ is colored green! But they seem to have retained the olden form (or design) of the church fa├žade with touches of modernity here and there. Its interestingly beautiful it looks like a children’s fantasy place especially during the afternoon sun where the colors all the more come bursting into your eyes. You’d really get curious to see the insides as I did!

Ah, inside the church, it is also colorful but more on the softer side. I mean the paint is lighter with creams and pinks. The floor is tiled all over also in lighter hues – cream at center aisle all the way to altar, with a maroon colored piping and green everywhere. They’re like the tiles you buy from many a hardware and installed in most homes. Therefore expensive! This church, like many others in the country has obviously seen expansion to the sides. A sign that the population, therefore the number of churchgoers is increasing. Happy church management therefore! Now should I wonder which side the church is on that controversial RH Bill? The more, the “many-er” hehe! And those monobloc chairs by the entrance door tells us something. There are too many folks who need them on Sundays!

Across the church is the town’s public park and plaza dedicated to a certain Juan Nunez. Hmm, I should research on that guy, maybe a patriarch or a hero from this town. Children and adults seem to like this park even at noon. Its cozy and breezy in there after all. I got tempted to veering away from the town’s main road and see what else maybe along those side streets and smaller pathways. But I thought it might not have been a good idea hehe. I mean this is Mactan Island alright, but my walking around was inviting too many curious looks, some little kids even would follow me a while and see for themselves what I would stop at to view. And most houses away from the main road are too close together with too many men who got nothing to do but watch people, I felt I was in some informal settlement hehe. Just my feeling okay?! So, I stayed on the big road and walked until the end, where I could see the sea, boats and mangrove areas!

Nice enough walking tour!

And I stumbled upon something else interesting... That's the next story!


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