It was at the dead of the night and I was sweating like tomorrow's ain't guaranteed and from the darkness ahead I can hear the war breathing of the enemy, waiting to pounce on our position, timing their attack and any second from now I anticipate with dead reckoning the throngs of footsteps and the loud echoing of their battle cries.
These thoughts were probably the ones running in the mind of those who fought here before, in an ideal fort built to defend the island of Culion from the rampaging Muslim marauders during the early Spanish colonization of the Philippines. Many forts lie scattered all over the Philippines mainly because of this reason, to defend a garrison or a community from the courageous Moro who defied the conversion to Christians of the Philippines by the Spanish at that time.
It was always a thrill to visit sites like these, forts whose walls and other remnants have witnessed some of the most ferocious battles in our history. The cannons that reside peacefully overlooking the sea presents a contrasting image of present to past. The violence of way way back to the tranquil present, if it could only talk it would probably offer a sigh of relief at not having to endure having its butt lit up in order to fire deadly projectiles into enemy position.
Constructed in 1740 by the Recollect Augustinians, built with stones, shaped as a square and composed of four bastions as was written on its historical marker. I went here during our Coron trip last week, I've been to Coron in 2009 with my then girlfriend but missed out on Culion Island, so with this trip we made sure we'd drop by this historic island.
While the ladies (which you will meet on my next Coron 2011 posts) were busy taking pictures of themselves in the front steps of Culion Church, the La Imaculada Conception Church I went around looking for an entrance to the church whose main door was closed - at the back I saw the path leading to the fort ruins and was amazed at the surrounding views of the sea and the town.
Culion is a very historic island known not only for being a former "leprosy colony" where patients afflicted with the disease were isolated and studied for treatment in this island. In fact a short walk from the fort is the Leprosy Museum where I learned a lot about the history of Culion and why its forever associated with leprosy.
Traveling brings an entirely new experience for me, its not only the things you see, the food you tasted for the first time, the people you meet on the road, its also learning from the history of the various destinations you end up with and with a little bit of imagination you can actually relived albeit very dim, even the darkest moments of years gone by.
I can feel the wall trembling now and the battle cries has started and by the sound of it, it is certain that blood will flow. The cannon have started to fire at them, increasing by two folds every second but the enemies' battle cries remains as loud as they come by. The ground is shaking and I could only do so much as reload gunpowder. I shoot away like a madman hoping I get a shot at a few of them, they're fast approaching now, I've I've no time to, I can see my wife carrying my son, death is on its way now. My gun is jammed I smile at the enemy as I see his eyes beamed straight to mine.