Monday, October 7, 2013

Baybay City Church

Wow! Big and rustic old! Uncommon in Eastern Visayas!

Honestly, seeing this church, I almost thought I was in Cebu, Iloilo or Bohol. And if looks could be the basis, I would rather be. This is a church where fortunately the the parish priests that came by all these ages were not so ‘atrevida’ as to smooth out the external walls with cement and paint them pink or blue! I can dare tell you, this has been the case of many churches in Leyte and Samar. I should know, I have seen most of them by now. Basey, in Samar is another such exception that would seem a brother church of this one in Baybay. All the rest? Ah, I will tell later!

Anyway, looking at this church from the outside (my companions already piled in), I wondered if Baybay may have been another provincial or regional center during the olden days. I have observed that many big churches are indicators of their being so. Remember the church in the town of Bantayan, on Bantayan Island, Cebu? Sift through your dusty history books and you’ll know what I mean. Yeah, Bantayan was a populated center, even the subject of many Moro attacks. Populated thus the big church, that served the prayerful and served those who sought refuge. So would Baybay may had the same story? I wanted to know, yet I couldn’t find anyone worth my effort of asking.

I resorted to the ever reliable world wide web instead. There! I saw just by using google that Baybay was the first town on the western side of Leyte thriving as early as the 1600s with Abuyog on the eastern side. Baybay was created by the Spaniards as a parish in the 1800s with this church (or probably its predecessor structure) constructed in 1852 and finished only in 1870. Wala pa kasi PDAF in those times, and our pagka-gahaman we inherited from those Spanish friars who had their own personal objectives as it is today, kaya pag-pasensyahan na hehe!

Anyway again, so here I was facing a historic structure that still retains most of its semi-ancient externals without being “smoothed” with a ‘palitada’ of cement and/or a ‘misplaced beautification’ with Boysen or Nation Paint (and usually either pink or sky blue) ahk! So, happy enough that I was actually visiting one of the very edifices that defines the history of this country. And very much well ahead of my plans. Nagkataon lang! As my companions were already inside, I had to go in there too, lest they start coming out and I wouldn’t have time to explore the inside portion of this church. Let’s go!

Nice one ‘no?! Now let’s go elsewhere. The city hall kaya? Ok next!


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