Time travel - part 1

12:00:00 AM

I was too preoccupied with lots of other things in the days leading to our trip that I failed to do any research whatsoever about Roxas City. Hannah, my thesis-mate and original Dumaghetto friend, booked our flights on promo late last year, and Cebu Pacific pulled a Cebu Pacific by changing our flight schedule the week prior. But that little flight mix-up didn’t stop us from having fun, of course! :)
Hundred peso guy
We landed in Roxas City, the birthplace of Manuel Acuna Roxas, the last President of the Commonwealth and the First President of the Republic of the Philippines. He died of a heart attack in Clark, Pampanga following an impassioned speech. His memorial was at the heart of the town.
Panay Church
But before we toured the city proper, we headed out to the next town - Panay - to visit the famed Church of Panay, formally called the Parish Church of Santa Monica. It was first constructed in 1772, heavily damaged by a typhoon in 1875, and re-built in 1884. The church is huge, and every inch regal, which is what you can expect from structures built during the Spanish occupation. 

My mother had her baptism, her first communion, her confirmation, her wedding, and her final funeral mass in Paete Chuch - and I think this is one of the reasons why I love old churches (the other being I used to sing at St. James Parish in Plaridel, Bulacan). Siquijor is one of my favourite travel spots because of its Hispanic churches. There’s just something about old structures that makes my eyes glint a little.
But what makes the Parish of Santa Monica even more special is that it is home to the largest bell in the Philippines. Seventy sacks of coins donated by the townspeople were used by Don Juan Reina, who was commissioned to create it. The bell is overwhelmingly HUGE! Hannah, Clona, and I were able to stand upright under it, and we even had room to move. The thing weighs 10.4 tons!
The replica
We actually got confused about the bell, because there’s a replica of it outside Museo de Santa Monica (beside the Church). It’s a good thing we asked one of the Tourism Officers, who then gave us a guided tour of the real bell on top of the tower. The view from up there was incredibly calming. :)
Museo de Santa Monica was closed at the time of our visit; if I heard her correctly, the Tourism Officer said that it’s under renovation. On the outside, it’s a lot like those old houses you see in Calle Crisologo in Vigan. 
Covered well
At the back is Fuente de Vida, or the Old Spanish Well - a water source during the Hispanic era, made of coral stones just like the church. It was covered by concrete, but there was a hole in the middle where we each dropped a coin and made a wish. 
After Panay, we headed back to Roxas City. We went to Brgy. Baybay and picked one of the beachfront restaurants for our lunch. We ordered grilled squid, blue marlin kinilaw, and grilled catfish, plus fresh buko for our drink slash dessert. Because I’m a chicken when it comes to sampling new food, I mostly had grilled squid, haha! But I did try a bite of kinilaw - and I confirmed that it’s not something that suits my taste in food.
Cool blue
What really made lunch wonderful is the quiet beach. There were hardly any people when we were there, and the sound of waves were even. I really felt that I was on vacation.

(To be continued)


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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)