Saturday, June 14, 2014

Visiting Victoria

Victoria who? Or Victoria where? Definitely not the one in British Columbia (Canada) and not even that populous state in Australia. I have had enough of Melbourne during my younger years hehe. Those places cannot be here – see this blog’s title!

This Victoria I visited is a seaside town in Northern Samar that is the most common jump-off point to/from the Islands of San Antonio and Capul. And, I just came from San Antonio (I passed here 2 days ago), now about to end my 3Days2Nites lalaag!

Alright, not that I have wanted to see this place (center of town) for any particular reason but I was already there, so I told myself, maybe I should roam a bit and see whatever. I already saw the roof of their church even as my boat from San Antonio approached, so I thought I’d go see it – who knows, it could just be another Capul!

Well, I reached it, and this is their church as seen from the street:
That’s why I saw its top portion from the sea, because this church is on some kind of a mound or hill whatever! Definitely not anywhere near like that of Capul. But, ah my lowly brain was tickled a number of times by this otherwise so-so kind of church!

Example? I was silently giggling as I imagined how this town brings their dead inside that church during funeral masses! Like, of course the funeral limousines can/may not go up that way as it could careen down to the street and across to a residential house! Ayayay! Or, the car’s dear “cargo” might slide out and skid down to the street! Ayiyiyiiiii! Kalain!

Or if they used the parlors’ funeral biers, the dead might end up crouched inside the casket after ascending that steep rampway hahaha!

So, I imagined, they must carry the casket of their dear departed going up that church. Tall people at the back please, or else the dead might just the same curl down on its knees at the lower portion of the coffin where there is no viewing glass! And when opened at the altar, people might think he/she disappeared. Patay! Katakot hahahaha!

Actually, I thought a hearse could probably drive up to that space (see arrow) in front of the ‘front main entrance’. However, when up there, I noticed the area is too narrow.
I realized the pavement also slopes down to the perimeter fence, behind which is immediately the roof of a residential house. No can do! The funeral car might topple sideways, or the corpse might end up lying on its side parang natutulog ahhhehehe!
Anyway, for “safety purposes” – for both the dead and alive (plus vehicles), I thought they all should be fine with using pallbearers – tall ones at the back or else, hehehe!

Let’s drop the ‘dead-talk’ or I could die laughing!

But I liked it that this church is bright and airy inside...
Look at the sides. Open, thus the fresh air everywhere!

Hey, take a look at that picture one more time. Right corner by the blue cloth! Ah, that made me smile (nostalgia?). That thing is a very familiar equipment to me hehe.

Okay, highlighted below… in my time we called it OHP!
Yep Over Head Projector of ‘centuries ago’ hahaha! When I started as trainer ‘centuries ago’, that kind of thing was my main ‘armas de fuego’ in every training session I conducted. Gosh, those years, how I would lug that big an equipment here and abroad – yeah, even as far as HNL, LAX, LON or BNE! And the pesky thing had to be handcarried to ensure the glass top and the light-bulb won’t break. Ahhhehehe, those years! Long before they were replaced by that carousel thing called “slide projector” and the more interesting “opaque projectors”, long before Powerpoint and the LCD/DLP projectors dominated earth! And OMG WOW, they still use OHP here! Whoa!

Gives me an idea. Why not we make a round of metropolis companies about to throw their OHPs. Then let's give to rural areas. If this church still uses that legacy equipment, am sure others at hinter-areas do not even have one. Hmm, good idea.

The altar… nice and simple…
And then a big voice boomed behind me (I almost jumped in surprise), in a tone that seemed to be accosting: “Excuse me, kasama ka ba nung grupo kahapon”? So, I turned around, looked at the white-haired man speaking, shook my head, and said “hindi po”. I instantly knew from his look and stance he must have been a priest.

And as if without hearing me say “hindi po”, he continued with a sermon telling me that the group that was here yesterday, about 10 of them, opened all the church lights and electric fans, then left without turning all of them off, and blah blah blah, that it was very inconsiderate, that it was too irresponsible, blah, blah, blah”.

I was actually already feeling irked why he was as if lambasting me when I already told him I was not part of that group. Irritating why he was telling me these when I did not and could not care any bit. Labot ko, di ba? But as a courtesy, I listened to him and even if I already wanted to go out of this place - because he was in my way!

AND THEN, when he felt he was done with his yadadadada, he made a very stern instruction saying “sabihin mo sa kanila pag nakita mo” and left me alone in the middle of the church irritatingly bewildered. All in my mind was “tangina nito, magtataray na lang, barking at the wrong tree pa”! Yes, I was inside a church but I really sincerely thought of telling him ‘tangina mo, bakit ako tinatalakan mo, anong pakialam ko sa mga hinanakit mo”!

Feelings aside, the process reviewer in me started ticking… why would he think a lone visitor to his church be incidentally part of 10 people who visited yesterday… Ano, bumalik yung isa? Bakit, is there something fantabulous to be seen or witnessed here that one in a group need come back? Priests are taught deductive thinking in college/seminary, right? This priest was obviously sleeping during that lesson. Besides, it is statistically highly improbable that one in a touring group would come back! Then again, he does not probably even know what statistics is.

Ah, naghahanap lang ng mapagbubuntungan ng hininga ang vakla na yan hahaha!

One last look at the OHP, this time from the right side extension.
Hmm, the pews here are smaller and dilapidating!

I went out of this church rolling my eyeballs hahaha, so I went to a corner store and asked for Coke – to make me happy again, ahhhh! And as I stood there guzzling the cold bottle of soda, I saw this “Rev. Fr. Taray” again, getting ready to go wherever.
That's him loading a case of empty bottles on his “ford fiera” and still pouting! Tse!

Anyway, I earlier asked that boy what is the best way walking to their municipal hall. His quick reply was something like ‘just go straight, follow me, then turn left over at the end near the pantalan’. I did follow (he walks very fast), but caught up with him when he passed by one house and talked a bit with someone in there.

As we walked together, I asked this boy why he was not in school. He smiled and told me he has to finish a school project and was on the way to a classmate's house so they can work on it. Indicatively bright boy, btw. He did not even talk Waray to me, even if I did. All his replies were either in Tagalog or English. And he was quick to say “you are welcome sir, my pleasure po” when I thanked him! So, I turned left here.

This is their Munucipal Hall…
Hah, I perspired on this midmorning walk even if it was just about 500 meters. Because I had to keep up with that boy who walked like an adjutant hehe. Fun!

This one is not a residence, it’s their “legislative building”

Their multi-purpose building...

And I loved looking at this park. Grand! Yes, aptly named Victoria Park. Sosyal!

The Maharlika Highway is just a few more steps to the right. So, I headed there to wait for a ride to Allen. Why?

Because my real destination was a beach! Jaw-dropping! But let’s do that next!



For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers:
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10
11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20

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