Thursday, October 30, 2008

gothic grandeur - molo church

my father during his early childhood days considered this church as a playground. so innocent that he and some other playmates would go to the belfry and look for bird's nest.this is the old Gothic church of the town of Molo in Iloilo city. church was built in 1831 and was named after St. Anne, Mary's mother. she is also the patron saint of Quebec and Brittany.after the world war II, this church was damaged and was also used as an evacuation center. it was then repaired and now it stands as one of the very few Gothic church in the Philippines.this church is very memorable to me because everytime we visit Iloilo, we stay at our grandparents' house. the house is just a short walk away from the church and its plaza. we consider the plaza as our playground. my father finished his primary education here in Molo and was transferred to Victorias to continue his studies. also according to my father, this church has many bells on its two towering belfries.when i was there, a large gathering of lay leaders, preachers and priests were there to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. the assistant parish priest of Molo church is a family friend.Molo is also known for one of the best soup dish called the Pansit Molo. my grandmother really cooks it best. i really miss this place as it was again, nine years when i last visited it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

guimaras strait

after some time in the city of smile and the higlands of Negros, we now have to cross the Guimaras strait going to Iloilo city. we took the early fastcraft trip, which has an estimated travel time of one hour.we passed by the small rocky islets of Siete Pecados or the isles of Seven Sins, which is just opposite the island of Guimaras. this island was once known to be shark infested.the beautiful Guimaras island has retained its natural beauty of rocky hills covered with trees. small beach shores can be seen on this side of the island.this island is known for its white sand beaches, monk monasteries and is believe to have the sweetest mango in the world. wow! who would not want to stay there? but not this time, we will just be passing by this island. our main subject is the island of Panay, specifically Iloilo. the city that i visited several times when i was a child since my father is from Iloilo city. we spent most of our vacation there.we'll be staying there for just one day and we'll go to our main destination. i'll be dedicating the Iloilo series to Redlan and Demoie, the two bloggers who i met in Iloilo city. Redlan treated us for a dinner at Bourbons Smallville and even paid for my overnight stay at Century21. thank you! thank you!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

best kept secrets - don salvador

being slightly higher than Tagaytay city, the town of Don Salvador has kept one of Negros' best kept secrets. it's scenic views surrounding its small town.a place approximately 2,400ft above sea level will definitely set a viewpoint of mountain ranges. no wonder pine trees can grow in abundance in this area of the province.on your way there, you'll pass by zigzag roads going up and going down, thus giving you the different perspectives of the hills. making the trip going there very rewarding.from a viewing point called "Lantawan", you'll see Malatan-og falls. using binoculars, you'll appreciate the waters' spectacular power. good that my camera was able to zoom and capture its beauty. trekking down will bring you to the waterfalls base in just thirty minutes. according to my driver and guide, trail is quite steep and dangerous during the rainy season.i didn't had the chance to trek because i don't have much time there but seeing it even from a distance convinced me of its magnificent natural beauty.going there, i was only expecting picturesque views of Negros' mountain range. but what surprised me the most was the rice paddies below those towering was a surprise, because i only know that beautiful rice terraces were only found in the Cordillera region and in the towns of Leon in Iloilo. but when i saw the ones in Don Salvador, it has again proved that our country still has a lot to offer. still a lot of place to explore.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

around town - don salvador

the bus left around 11:05am from Bacolod city and arrived around 12:05nn at Don Salvador's waiting post. from there, the first thing you'll observe is the statue of the late Don Salvador to the statue is a pathway going up to a hill leading to the town's municipal hall. inside the hall, there's a tree in the middle, which in one way symbolizes the locals belief on the importance of nature.down the waiting post, were big multi-purpose halls and an area with a stage certainly reserved for the town's big events.since it was already noon time, i checked out some small food stores just along the highway. ate a meal and asked the woman if there's a church within the area and she said yes. after eating she gave me a clear direction but still insisted that her son can bring me there.i can fully understand Hiligaynon, which is the common dialect in this region, but i'm not that good in conversing. so just for a short walk, we reached the chapel and gave me the chance to pray.walked around the small town surrounded by trees and since it was siesta time, i saw very few people walking. some of the market stalls were placed on one side of the road.i bought a drink from a nearby store and asked if there are some beautiful places that i can visit within the area. they suggested me to rent a motorcycle to see some of the beautiful viewing sites of their town. since i don't know the place, they recommended that somebody will drive for me. charge was just P100. so we started driving around and we visited one resort which was still being developed. it has a nice landscape and bamboo cottages on the hills.after roaming within the area, we continued our journey down west. this time passing by beautiful houses, which were quite modern, but its wooden walls retained its natural look.we also had the chance to visit St. Therese retreat house and coffee shop. i noticed that the people are very friendly and accommodating. my driver "Jetter" , seemed to have mastered the routes to the beautiful sights around their stop, will be the scenic mountain range of this town which i was really looking forward to see.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

where the pines lead - don salvador

there's a highway where the pines opens a way to a beautiful place. this is the uphill town of Don Salvador Benedicto, which is just 42kilometers East of Bacolod city.just an hour bus ride will bring you to a place now developed to be Negros' little Baguio. the town of Don Salvador Benedicto is located in a valley between two mountains, Mt. Madalagan and Mt. Canlaon. it was named after Don Salvador Benedicto, a former vice governor who was influential in the forming of a revolutionary government during the Japanese occupation.this highway was recently developed to open a shorter way to the city of San Carlos. it also gave more access to the remote towns of the highlands of Negros Occidental.part of its development was the planting of the pine trees along the highway leading to the town of Don Salvador. it was planted few years back and is now growing in abundance in this part of the highway.
the bus trip leading to this town is simply breathtaking. now i know why my father recommended me to see this place.


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