Chocolate Boobs, Yoda & a Cultural Experience
Bohol Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
February 24th, 2008 – by: Isabetlog
After breakfast, we took a drive in a hired car a few kilometers down the road to the Malon House - the first ancestral home we'd be visiting on this trip. There are approximately 67 ancestral homes in the historic town of Baclayon alone, dating back to the Spanish period up to the 20th century.
Stepping inside the Malon house was like taking a trip back in time to the late 19th century when the house was first built.
Stepping back out into the real world, we drove to the town of Carmen, to the site of Bohol's most famous attraction - the Chocolate Hills.
The rain started to pour again, it's a good thing we were already heading out and in the car. We decided to opt out of the Loboc River cruise since we really couldn't spare 2 hours through a river with food we had received mixed reviews about. Besides, the cultural entertainment on board I think would be much more entertaining to foreign rather than local tourists. I've had my share (as I'm sure Nena has) at the Singing Cooks & Waiters restaurant back home anyway.
We decided to go grab some lunch at another carinderia in Loboc. The town is known as the cadle of the Boholano soul, where the values of the Boholanos were first molded during the first hundred years of the Spanish occupation. The second oldest Christian settlement was founded in 1596 and, in 1600, the Jesuit missionaries in Baclayon moved their headquarters here after a Moro invasion.
Being the lucky ducks that we were, the rain had subsided by the time we were done. We were able to go in and around the church right before a funeral procession arrived for a mass. The church was first built in 1602 and destroyed by fire some thirty years later. It was rebuilt in typical Jesuit colonial fashion shortly after on the site beside the original one. The Agustunian Recollects took over the church after the Jesuits had moved back to Baclayon and a built the free-standing bell tower, the arcade facade, the mortuary chapel, the stone buttresses, and the three-storey convent.
Behind the church is the Loboc Museum which we were unfortunately unable to enter as it was only open in the mornings on Sundays, which today was. Across from the church is the biggest, if not the only eyesore in the town - Bohol's version of a bridge to nowhere. It's the most wonderful example of the local government's brilliance - an unfinished bridge that would've ran right smack through the church. More brilliant still is the fact that they wanted to demolish the church in order to complete the bridge. Be damned, all ye politicians!
With that, it was time to see those little critters who are only cute because they're small - the tarsiers! We stopped by a roadside tarsier place and though I've seen photos of them, it was only then that I realized how much they look like Yoda! I could almost hear Frank Oz's voice in the background as they would turn their heads 180 degrees to check you out.
Next stop was the Clarin House in the town of Loay. This was the residence of former Bohol governor, Don Aniceto Velez and his son, former senate president, Jose Butalid Clarin. The house is typical of rich Boholanos of the time. Collections of the family dating back to the American period are on display as it has has now been converted to a museum.
On the corner from this place I noticed this old, gigantic and decrepit building. As Nena wanted to take photographs of the Town Hall on the opposite end of the street, I decided to check out this seemingly haunted place (I just love to spook myself out!). It turns out to be a school that seemed abandoned, where even ants don't dare walk. So I walked up the stone steps, looking behind me every so often and making sure I didn't hear any paranormal voices cry "help me" in my ear. I walked to the left to get a peek at the window. My skin crawled as I saw that the children had left their belongings there. There were still stuff posted on the walls and a clean blackboard. And all of a sudden, strange and eerie thoughts were running through my head.
I asked the driver about the school, I wanted to know everything - how many children were killed/rapped/massacred and by whom? And why? And when? And why were their books still there left on top of their desks? Has the place been blessed since? Are their souls in peace?? To my disappointment (yes, I'm mentally ill), all the driver said was, "Ay ma'am, bukas pa ho yan." (The school's still in operation.) Wenk, wenk, wenk, wenk, wenk....Nice going, Nancy Drew. What a dumbass, the books should've already been a dead giveaway, but nooooo, I was so convinced that something emotionally disturbing had happened there.
ANYWAY. We next stopped by another impressive church which we noticed on the way to the Chocolate Hills. It was the Albuquerque Church in the town of...Alburquerque - Bohol! The parish was established in 1869 after being separated from Baclayon. An 1886 report indicates that the church was built of light materials, however, the convento beside it described as "de grandes dimensiones" was already standing. It's too bad that the church was closed when we got there and were unable to explore her interiors, I'm sure it would've been as grand on the inside!
With that out of the way, we were now headed towards our last stop, the Dauis Church before having our dinner at Panglao beach.
We thanked her for the ube and the tour of the house and made our way to the Dauis Church. On the way, our driver pointed out the site of the blood compact that took place between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol. We were side tracked once again! History has taught us that on March 16, 1565 both Legazpi and Sikatuna drew blood from their arms, collected it in a single cup, and slurped it up in one go - an act which boldly signified their gayhood. Or wait, was it peace and friendship?
Anyway, after a couple of shots there, we finally made it to the Dauis Church on the island of Panglao.
I was rather disappoined to find the place a mini version of Boracay. I'd mentioned reasons for my dislike in another blog here so I won't repeat myself. Let's just say that Nena and I had quite an enjoyable dinner of grilled seafood, pork barbeque, an ice-cold coke and a beer to cap it off!
What a daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy!
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