southbound: day 2

st. william the hermit church, dalaguete

we visited dalaguete’s old church the next day, the st. william the hermit church. it was where a friend’s baby was baptized so i was quite lucky in that aspect, as i was thinking of visiting this church in the first place. it’s a 19th-century church. with a beautiful bell tower and a facade made of, um, limestone, i think. am not sure. the same material used in most old churches. the interior of the church reminded me of that in baclayon church in bohol. i don’t know why. it’s just that i figured the more old churches i visit, the more they look and feel the same to me. so maybe i’ll stop visiting old churches and houses after this. or maybe not. i don’t know. but the bell towers would never cease to fascinate me, though. it’s an architectural poetry. or so i like to think.

tingko beach, alcoy

if adequate shoreline is what you need, alcoy (a town after dalaguete) may have the answer for you. tingko beach is where most people flock to to enjoy the bounty of the sun, which can be both a blessing and a curse. on a sweltering hot sunday, you can expect the beach to be crammed with kids and adults alike wanting to have some fun. i personally don’t like my beach experience to be crowded. i prefer lying on the sand with a little privacy enough for my friends and me. which was why i was grateful for that little spot of paradise we found. for me, it was perfect. it provided a great view of the sea, and at the same time it shielded us from the rest of the beachgoers so we really had the place to ourselves. nevermind if we had to pay 50 pesos (as a group) just to be able to stay there until 5 pm. it was genuinely worth it.

obong spring, dalaguete

another local tourist attraction in dalaguete is the obong spring. something i learned about from the internet. the pictures posted in the web showed that it was not really that scenic so i wasn’t really expecting much. good thing i didn’t. it wasn’t really all that nice or pretty. it’s just a little spring loaded with lots and lots of people who wanted to take a dip in the cool water. the water was cool, i have to give the place that much credit. and yes, i did want to swim in the greenish water but it would’ve been quite awkward being the only one wearing a swimsuit there. everyone was in their usual shirt and shorts attire. i didn’t need the attention. so anyway, there i was, doing my role in guarding ram’s and heni’s slippers while dangling my feet in the water. the weather was so warm so the cool water on my feet was a refreshing treat, while my ass was roughing it out sitting on a rock.

dalaguete, cebu

if obong spring lacked the scenic beauty that i wanted, its surrounding view of the sea more than made up for it. i loved the solitary view of the old watchtower nearby. a lonely rock fortress set against the sky and the sea. i think the southern area of cebu had a lot of watchtowers then. it was crucial to guard themselves against the moros coming in from mindanao. pirates of some kind.

st. michael the archangel parish church, argao

argao’s parish church (st. michael the archangel parish) was also a treat. stopping by on our way back to the city, we visited another old church quite similar to that one in dalaguete in terms of structure. like i said, the more you visit old churches, the more they look the same to you. but i loved the image of the angel engraved on the stone wall. and again, i loved the bell tower.

st. michael the archangel parish church, argao

but what i loved most about argao’s historical area was the prayer room situated somewhere in the church’s yard. it looked kind of like small stone chapel and from where i stood, it really had an appeal to it. like it was drawing me in. i did go inside but there was nothing much there except for a cross engraved on the stone wall and maybe a few candles.

right next to that stone chapel was a another fort, which had an entrance at the side. prodded by the trisikad drivers to go up, we managed to crawl/climb our way up through the steep stairs and the equally narrow alley which could fit only one person. the climb alone was exhausting. lost a few precious calories over that, compounded by the heat of the sun. totally strenuous but totally worth it.

and if you’re wondering who’s that guy tied upside down, that’s san lorenzo ruiz, a filipino martyr who died of water torture because he wouldn’t give up his faith. it was kind of weird looking at the statue the first time i saw it. it still looks weird, looking at it now. but the statue is there to remind us to die for our faith, although i would much rather live mine instead.

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