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Monday, January 24, 2011

Guimbal Church in Iloilo


I arrived at the town of Guimbal in Iloilo and as I got off the jeepney and walked to the plaza I saw a tiny structure ahead and upon walking closely I recognized it as being the Parish of Santo Nicholas de Tolentino or Guimbal Church. It was one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, built in 1774 by Father Campos, a Spanish Priest. The church was constructed using yellow sand stones called "igang" and is smaller compared to other Spanish Colonial Churches that I've visited in the past.

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I remember sending out SMS to a few friends telling them "Ang cute ng Guimbal Church" because of its small size it presented a different appeal to me. It was located near a plaza where I rested briefly and took notice of the wonderful location where the church stands. 

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It's not only the church that attracted me, but the town itself. There was a long road near the church that will take you to Miag-ao and San Joaquin and the other that leads back to Iloilo city and a surrounding that is both laid back and easy to explore. I've seen many small towns all over the country and I must say there is something about this town that I wouldn't mind spending a lot of time sometime in the future.

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As I was taking a few photographs from where I sat in the plaza, a man approached me and wondered about the camera I was using. He was speaking in broken Tagalog and while he does, I was a bit embarrassed that he was the one trying to adjust to me, wherein I was the visitor and I should be the one making effort to talk to them in their native language of "Hiligaynon". He told me that Guimbal also boasts a wonderful shoreline that features the bluest waters of the Gulf of Panay. I told him that I plan to visit Guimbal town again in the future and hopefully spend a couple of days there.

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I can see the appeal of small town life wherein most of us who thrives in bustling cities might find boring, there is this edge in living in a place where everything is relaxed and nobody is rushing to chase dreams that aren't supposed to be dreams of a person who wanted to have the best possible life there is.

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I'm still not sure about what the best life for me is, but traveling has clearly given me something to look forward to. That next destination, that next church, the next town and cities around the Philippines have given my life its meaning and I mean to do it forever as I could and hopefully stretch its scope to other countries in Asia.

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The peaceful town of Guimbal and its church has again provided me with an image of what the rest of the world can be like. That moment, it was beautiful, peaceful and chilled down that I almost lied down in one of the steps in the plaza to fall asleep. I was tired and my eyes are screaming about 'sleep' but I still conjured that energy in my continuous curiosity of what it'll be like in the next town and so on.

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I went inside Guimbal church and saw the contrast, as the interior of the church was very simple with nary of intricate paintings on its ceilings and almost no statues at all except that of the crucifix in the main altar at the edge of a platform.

It might not be that grand on the inside, but on the outside it was a different story. My first day in Iloilo took me to other mesmerizing old churches in Molo, Sto Nino, Tigbauan, Miag-ao and San Joaquin and it was in Guimbal that I was most impressed with.

The sun was in full sight, the sky was blue that day and scattered white clouds hovers above. It was a great day indeed.

8 comments:

Pinay Travel Junkie said...

love the last photo! ganda ng clouds, and yes... cute ng church.

Joel Aldor said...

Yes, the last photo was really nice! :)

lakwatsera de primera said...

nothing beats the 3rd shot, meron model eh :)

Markyramone said...

Thanks Gay, Joel and Claire (who got the correct answer) :P

emj said...

wow. my mom's hometown.

notice how tall the bell tower is, they said it was also used to as a watch tower to guard the town from raiding moros. i think there is a replica of the tower along near the Guimbal shoreline.

Anonymous said...

wow. i'd love to travel around places like you. for the nth time, i'll say that the last picture was really amazing!

Markyramone said...

@Emj, ganda ng hometown ng mom mo.

@Anonymous, start packing your backpack and head out on the road. :)

Katie said...

the church is one of the highlights in Iloilo.. and of course their paraw festival with colorful paraw sailing with colorful paraw in the sea. I wished to go there really!thanks for this :)

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