Saturday, June 14, 2014

Capul Church and Municipal Hall

The Church and Fortress
As we had a guide (the friend who now lives in Allen) I just followed wherever he said we should go (he said there are only 2 important tourist landmarks here anyway).

First was our excited walk (just a few steps) to the Spanish era church and fortress that still stands sturdy. Whoawow! I never thought there’d be something like this in Samar. A stonewall fort just like a small Fort Santiago or Fort San Pedro is what one sees when coming from the beach landing. Inside is the church and convent/office.
It’s a thick wall just like the many other Spanish-era fortresses in this country. Though this is one of the few (or the only one I can remember as of now) that has a church still intact inside its similarly still standing thick outside perimeter walls.
And just like all such kinds of structures, one can still climb up the walls and see from up there, the vantage view of our forebears – hehe this time it is a view of a street and a row of residences (just like fort San Pedro in Cebu) and not really the sea where Moros were purportedly coming from.
Oh, up on that corner still stands a cannon facing northeast (not the sea directly). Maybe the town has repositioned it for aesthetic purposes. Or, who knows, maybe that is really where the attackers would have been coming from! And if you notice that modernistic top of a building, it is their municipal hall across the street!

One thing more about "this corner" (esp for those planning to visit). Be careful when you go up to this corner of the fortress. You might just step on something soft you won’t like! And be very quick with your camera, you won’t last long up there. Why? Uhhh, at least during this visit, the area had a suffocating smell that very obviously came from human solid waste. I hope the residents, if not the LGU will address that. But, people naman, kelangan pa ba si Mayor magsabi sa inyo? Kung sino ka man, ang sosyal mo ha?! Aakyat ka pa talaga ng ganun kataas para lang “umuro”! Ahhhrrk!


Anyway, here are more views...

Let’s go inside the church…

This is the priest's view
Like many similar edifices, the inside has had its share of “modernization”, though not that extensively. And I like it that this one retains its kind of rustic origins and its airy ambiance having a tall ceiling, shell-type structure (no obstructing posts and so on).

The altar...
If you are done ogling at the altar with that distractingly immaculate-white modernized door-frame that leads to their sacristy, try looking up to the windows on both sides. You can see how thick the walls of this church are. Very thick for the cannons, or whatever moro 'armas de fuego' of yesteryears, I suppose!

This one is the top portion of main entrance (viewed from inside the church)
Those glass windows have some kind of etching that depicts saints.

And by the way, this is one of the few churches I have seen that does not have its ends facing the sun! I mean, most churches have one end facing either sunrise or sundown or the sea. This one is everything that’s not! Sunrise comes from the left, if you were facing the altar. And that left side is also the coastline therefore the sea – but of course protected by the thick fortress walls and the big grassy lawn. Now I wonder if this meant a thing or two to the original erectors of this bastion! Am just thinking, if a longer side of your edifice is facing the sea, that means a wider area to protect from the marauders, therefore a bigger number of people needed to defend the bastion. I wonder!

Let’s go out front, shall we?

This is that cannon corner on the northeast end of the bastion I mentioned earlier.
Note the head of one of my friends on the ground, you can trace a straight line going up to see the nozzle of the cannon. And, this is how high that animal (who defecates up there) has to climb! Or maybe, they defecate on something and throw their waste up there. Yuck! Right edge of picture is the bell tower and fa├žade of the church.

I forgot to ask, but am now guessing, that bell tower must have been taller then.

Locals told me those 3 holes on the belltower are originals (made to fit cannons during pirate encounters) - just a bit repaired due to deterioration with the elements.
They also told me, that that historical commission signage (on church front wall) is new. Good. That means national government will now help maintain this historic place, for it is indeed a wonderful thing of the past. Sugpuin din sana yung tumatae dun sa canyon hehehe!

Here is a better view of the church frontage.
But you have to be at the town plaza to do this. Thus the basketball goal and fence in the picture hehe.

The Municipal Hall
From the center of the plaza taking that picture above, I just turned left for this...
It’s not only beautiful-looking, its clean all around I even had a problem throwing the butt of my cigarette! Had to go out into the street since I could not find an ashtray or trash bin, and I felt kinda guilty throwing my cig just anywhere on this tidy place.

I went to a comfort room on ground floor (right side, behind that corner office) and saw that it was clean (bumabaha nga lang – barado ang floor drainage)! But, if I will compare this to CRs of many city halls, well, Capul easily wins by a very big margin!

Hey here’s one interesting thing. I didn’t very much notice how this transpired as I was busy looking around the church area. But when I looked again, my companions were at the very door of this municipal hall happily bantering with no less than the tourism officer and another office’s officer. Maybe my companions know them, but I did get a little bewildered that those officers really spent time telling us this and that about Capul.

One more thing: I noticed that some official-looking people were trickling into this building clad in lovely Filipiniana outfits and fully made up! I asked if there was some kind of an event or cultural presentation. Almost all of them (including my companions) casually dismissed me with “there’s a session” or something like that. I take it that as a local government’s legislative session (guessing since no one clarified). Hmmm, now, therefore, does this mean that when LGU officials have a session it becomes like a SONA event. How many times do they do this? I wonder! Some of them Filipiniana clad folks were introduced to us (“kons” = “konsehal” I guess?) and they too added more to the things that we should check-out in Capul. Madami pala!

Anyway, when the hi/hello ‘session’ was over, there appeared 2 motorbikes ready to take us “habal-habal” style to the famed Capul Lighthouse. How did this happen? Ah eh… am not really so sure now. Maybe one of my companions signaled at them without me noticing.

So off we went to the lighthouse – but let’s do that in my next entry!

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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