Dalaguete: Pueblo Antigo
As the music of the wind plays, passing by the scenic coastal road and lush vegetation of southern Cebu, we passed by the siloy (a black bird endemic to Cebu) town of Alcoy on our way to Dalaguete. The town known for being the Vegetable basket of Cebu and melodic way of speaking Sugbohanon (perhaps quite to Hiligaynon).
Seeing the casa real (municipal hall) of Dalaguete, I’ve noticed that it has quite a number of old houses, mostly of bahay na bato architecture or as popularly stated as “Antillan” by some. It was quite hot and humid by that time, so we decided to buy bottled water. Inita pud oi! As we went deeper to the poblacion, there’s our main destination: Iglesia de San Guillermo el Hermitanio. Another church fortress with a watchtower. Its more like a twin of Argao’s Iglesia de San Miguel but quite minimalist in nature. It has also a watchtower in front of the plaza and along side the church is the convent.
After having a relaxing time by the town’s seaside promenade, its time to move on towards our next destination: Argao. And we’re quite hungry and the sky has started to be gray.
Argao: Viaje Comida y Herencia
Gutum na gyud mi nya kapuya na dyutay. Our stomachs are grumbling in disgrace as we rode the bus going to Argao. Its a 15 minute ride from Dalaguete though, so its quite near than Boljo-on to Dalaguete. The sky dimmed in grey and we disembarked on the town’s designated waiting shed.
We were searching for a place to eat, and found a lechonan along the highway. Gees, the lechon for half a kilo was just around P140! Thats already good for 4! And boy, the lechon was tasty! Sulit! Finished our Lechon de Cebu comida, then its time to go visita iglesia again.
La Iglesia de San Miguel de Arcangel is one of the most impressive church structures in Cebu island. Oozing its baroque and rococo aspects, the facade is intricately carved and the belltower that is imposing. Surrounding the “walled town” is the Civil Government buildings of Argao, which sits across the plaza. As usual, the convent sits beside the church. But what is saddening though is that what the priest did to the beautiful retablo. Someone has just have this urge to paint all the retablo saints into gold! Ano ba yan! Walang art! The rest of the church interior was awesome except for the tragic fate of the retablo-altar.
It was already drizzling and I was seeking for Argao’s famous delicacy, torta. We passed by Chingays and bought some pasalubong for just P30 per torta. Its more like a sweet bread with sugar, cheese and raisins, raised by cocunut wine or tuba instead of yeast, making its distinct aroma and flavor.
We’re tired already, we’re heading for our last destination: The heritage city of Carcar.
Carcar City: Destinasyon Ultimo de Herencia
Noticing Carcar’s narrow streets and age-old houses along the highway signifies the wealth that this town posseses. Carcar has numerous old structures in its poblacion area but endangered due to urban traffic encroachment. We set foot from the marketplace, crossing the Carcar rotunda and went to the church plaza immediately. Oh my! Nahutdan na battery ang camera! So I bought batteries while Arnold and the rest of the gang waited.
After a few minutes, we set off to Carcar’s Plaza. Surrounded by vintage houses, P Del Corro Building, the Convento and the uniquely Moorish-Orthodoxic architecture of Iglesia de Santa Alexandria. It was a Sunday so the plaza was busy. The design of the church is quite unique in our country. It looks more of a Russian Orthodox church rather than a Roman Catholic church, some believe that it made the marauding Moros thought that this was a mosque in order for them to evade invasion of the town.
The church still maintains a beautiful interior altar and the walls still intact. The ceiling with its antiquated azure paint signifies its majestic past yet what destroyed this beautiful edifice was the screen doors in the main door. Unsa man na oi, morag canteen! (What the heck, its look like a canteen!) The reason: to prevent birds from entering the church. Susmio!
After an exiting day of traveling south, we have nearly traveled more or less 200 kilometers already. Quite exhausted but the tour was unforgettable. We were stuffed with amazing vistas of the sea, the aroma and the grandeur of the antiquity, savoring the delicacies and embraced by the warm Cebuano hospitality, the suroy-suroy that we had that one Sunday was truly an experience.
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