Friday, October 26, 2007

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

"The convent of the Sto. Niño de Cebu was founded by Fr. Andres de Urdaneta OSA on April 28, 1565 , the very day the Legazpi-Urdaneta expedition arrived in the island. On May 8 of the same year, when Legaspi and his men planned the urbanization of the city, they allotted a “place for the church and the convent of San Agustin, “where the Santo Niño image had been found.”

In 1599, the convent was made a house of studies of grammar, headed by the Visayan linguist, Fr. Alonso de Mentrida.OSA It also served as a rest house for missionaries working in the province and as a retirement home for the aged and the sick, usually attended to by a lay brother.

The church has always been the Sanctuary of the Sto. Niño, under the custody of the Augustinians. The number of priests assigned to the church varied from three to five aside from one or two lay brothers."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Magellan's Cross

"The kiosk of Magellane's Cross was built in 1836 by then Bishop of Cebu Santos Gomez Marañon to commemorate the Portuguese Navigator Ferdinand Magellan who successfully reached the Indies by taking a different and by then unknown route, the Pacific.

Although the original cross erected by Magellan and his men in 1521 may no longer be there but the kiosk is a potent symbol of the presence of Catholicism in the Philippines. The kiosk is made of coral stone while its roof is made of teja or clay tiles. It is a landmark of Cebu City and synonymous to the city which proudly emblazons it as its corporate seal.

The kiosk of Magellan's Cross is very significant in the sense that it reminds everyone who go to the site that almost five centuries ago, the Christian faith was brought to Cebu and from thence to the entire Philippine archipelago."

The text and photo above were lifted from postcards that I have bought from the Museum of the Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño De Cebu.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fort San Pedro

Our next stop is Fort San Pedro. Built primarily to protect the Spanish settlers from attacking the pirates in the area, this fort witnessed the different changes in the history of this island until much of it was destroyed during the Japanese occupation when it served as a prison camp.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Heritage of Cebu

As the rain started to pour in the City, we headed to Barangay Parian to see the Heritage of Cebu Monument. Located on the original Plaza Parian, the Heritage of Cebu Monument showcases the significant and symbolic events in the history of Cebu.
It really is very unfortunate that it is raining in Cebu when I visited the monument so the sky is a bit gloomy. Anyways, let me share to you some of the pictures I have taken of the monument:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Taoist Temple

I recently had a trip to Cebu City. Known as the "Queen City of the South", it boasts of a rich social, economic and religious history. Commerce and recreation blend harmoniously in Cebu. Cosmopolitan lifestyle in a provincial rustic ambiance permeates the air. The combination of different people, from Cebuanos with thick accents to foreign and local tourists, Cebu is really a mixture of people and culture.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pangatian Concentration Camp and Shrine

Let me just share a part of the city where I presently live. I have decided to do a post on this one mainly because of two things. First, my City is not gifted geographically in terms of natural attractions. There are no mountains, no beaches, no cliffs but just plain plateau of rice fields everywhere. Secondly, there is a very strong possibility that I have to move to another place because of my new profession, so I might actually kinda miss my beloved place.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hinagdanan Cave

There is something eerie about caves. It feels like you are traversing the unknown. All your fears and phobias could easily come into reality when you set foot in a cave. Maybe because we are brought -up in a society which view caves as something dark and inhibited by monsters. Added to that, we always associate caves with snakes, spiders and bats - animals which we connect with the dark side. Then, there is the fear of height, fear of close space, fear of darkness and the fear of the unknown. However we regard it, cave really scares most of us and if you want to test your phobias, then, a cave is the place to go.
I must admit that I am not a fan of caves. This probably is only the third time I have entered a cave. The first time, if I remember it right is the Crystal Cave in Baguio which I visited with my family when I was still a kid. The second cave I have visited is the Underground River Cave in Palawan a couple of years ago. So this is, as far as I can remember, only the third time that I will enter a cave.
The Hinagdanan Cave in Bohol is the most well known and easy to reach cave on the island of Panglao. HInagdanan means "laddered" mainly because of the large number of stalactites hanging from the ceiling and matching stalagmites sticking out of the earth below them. The cave leads to a large underground cavern, that contains a pond. Its underground pools with their limestone bottoms glimmer clear and green, however, it is not advisable to swam in there because it is not clean. What makes this cave really amazing is the cave is lit up dramatically by natural skylights that enters from two holes at the cave's roof creating an eerie and remarkably beautiful natural effect.
Here are some pics I have taken of the cave. (Pardon the shots 'coz it is really dark in there):

Monday, October 08, 2007

Baclayon Church

This blog is no stranger to Church. Whenever I travel, I see to it that I visit the place's churches. I have already featured the Churches of Manaoag, Taal, Kawit and of course my own church in Cabanatuan here in my blog. So when I was Bohol a couple of weeks ago, it is a must that I have to visit one of the oldest church in Asia and the oldest coral stone church in Visayas - the Baclayon Church.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Passport Renewal

My Philippine passport expired last May and I got so busy these past few months that I forgot to renew it. I have plans of going-out of the country at the end of this year so I have to renew my passport.
I proceeded last week to my favorite travel agency for them to process my renewal for a fee of one thousand five hundred. I feel that the fee is fair enough considering that I got to avoid waiting time as well as gasoline and travel expenses. However, to my surprise, according to new DFA rules and regulations, effective October 1, 2007 all passport applicants, either new or renewal, should appear personally to the DFA. So, I have to go to DFA-Manila to personally appear before the processors of DFA.
My travel agency scheduled my appearance last Tuesday but since it coincides with a previous appointment, they re-scheduled my appearance on Wednesday. So I filed a "Government Transaction Leave" in my office and scheduled my self to Manila on Wednesday.
I left Cabanatuan at 8 in the morning and because of the heavy traffic in Bulacan and Manila, I arrived in DFA at around 12 noon. I had my lunch there and proceeded to the Passport Section at around 1 pm where a representative from an affiliate of my Travel Agency is waiting for me.
There are lots of applicants that day that I have to endure a waiting time of almost two hours before my application is processed. Actually, it only took about 5 minutes for the whole appearance thing that includes signing and thumbmarking. The rest of the time is really just for waiting.
I also appreciate the fact I have an agent because some applicants took almost forever to have their applications processed. Further, there are lots of fixers in the area that victimizes unknowing clients, so you just have to beware.
Processing of passport normally takes about 12 days, so I have to wait for 12 more days to have my new machine-readable passport. My Travel Agent shall personally deliver that to me in Cabanatuan City.
I left Manila at around 5 pm and arrived home at about 9 pm.

For those who have to apply for a new passport, you can do any of the following:

1. Do it yourself. Go to DFA-Manila and endure the long lines of applicants. Prepare to pay P750 (express-5 days) or P500 (regular).

2. Get assistance from Travel Agencies. They will do all the works for you for a one-time fee of P1,500.00.

3. Apply online in Pilipinas Teleserv. Just go to the link and follow instructions there.

In any case, personal appearance is required.