June 13, 2011
September 25, 2010
April 29, 2010
Abdullah Al-Maghlooth | Al-Watan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Muhammad Al-Maghrabi became handicapped and shut down his flower and gifts shop business in Jeddah after his Filipino workers insisted on leaving and returning home. He says: “When they left, I felt as if I had lost my arms. I was so sad that I lost my appetite.”
Al-Maghrabi then flew to Manila to look for two other Filipino workers to replace the ones who had left. Previously, he had tried workers of different nationalities but they did not impress him. “There is no comparison between Filipinos and others,” he says. Whenever I see Filipinos working in the Kingdom, I wonder what our life would be without them. Saudi Arabia has the largest number of Filipino workers — 1,019,577 — outside the Philippines. In 2006 alone, the Kingdom recruited more than 223,000 workers from the Philippines and their numbers are still increasing.
Filipinos not only play an important and effective role in the Kingdom, they also perform different jobs in countries across the world, including working as sailors. They are known for their professionalism and the quality of their work.
Nobody here can think of a life without Filipinos, who make up around 20 percent of the world’s seafarers. There are 1.2 million Filipino sailors. So if Filipinos decided one day to stop working or go on strike for any reason, who would transport oil, food and heavy equipment across the world? We can only imagine the disaster that would happen.
What makes Filipinos unique is their ability to speak very good English and the technical training they receive in the early stages of their education. There are several specialized training institutes in the Philippines, including those specializing in engineering and road maintenance. This training background makes them highly competent in these vital areas.
When speaking about the Philippines, we should not forget Filipino nurses. They are some 23 percent of the world’s total number of nurses. The Philippines is home to over 190 accredited nursing colleges and institutes, from which some 9,000 nurses graduate each year. Many of them work abroad in countries such as the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Singapore. Cathy Ann, a 35-year-old Filipino nurse who has been working in the Kingdom for the last five years and before that in Singapore, said she does not feel homesick abroad because “I am surrounded by my compatriots everywhere.” Ann thinks that early training allows Filipinos to excel in nursing and other vocations. She started learning this profession at the age of four as her aunt, a nurse, used to take her to hospital and ask her to watch the work. “She used to kiss me whenever I learned a new thing. At the age of 11, I could do a lot. I began doing things like measuring my grandfather’s blood pressure and giving my mother her insulin injections,” she said. This type of early education system is lacking in the Kingdom. Many of our children reach the university stage without learning anything except boredom.
The Philippines, which you can barely see on the map, is a very effective country thanks to its people. It has the ability to influence the entire world economy. We should pay respect to Filipino workers, not only by employing them but also by learning from their valuable experiences. We should learn and educate our children on how to operate and maintain ships and oil tankers, as well as planning and nursing and how to achieve perfection in our work. This is a must so that we do not become like Muhammad Al-Maghrabi who lost his interest and appetite when Filipino workers left his flower shop. We have to remember that we are very much dependent on the Filipinos around us.
We could die a slow death if they chose to leave us.
July 22, 2009
April 3, 2009
The sand dunes are picturesque and if you climb up the hill at the edge of the sea, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the China Sea and the coastline towards Fort Ilocandia to the north and Pangil to the south. The water this time of the year is warm and calm and the sand, although gray is sugar-fine.
July 4, 2008
Previously published in Philippine Real Estate Magazine, February-March 1996
Text and Photos by Roger Gaspar
PHILIPPINE COLONIAL CHURCH ARCHITECTURE
Earthquake Baroque: Paoay Church in the Ilocos
The town of Paoay seem to be isolated from the rest of Ilocos Norte, so enclosed the town is surrounded by tall, old mango and acacia trees, that a newcomer would not know what to expect. Only the tip of the belltower exerting itself to the sky gives a hint of what lies beyond the fortress of trees.
At the end of the long, narrow road leading from the Manila highway to the town proper, the hundred-year-old Parish Church of Saint Augustine awaits silently, considered as one of the most striking edifices in the country with its huge buttresses flanking the sides and rear facade.
It has been a wonder how and why such huge wall reinforcement was ever fancied by the early church builders. Was it just another way of impressing the people by demonstrating the strength of the new religion--that is, Christianity--or was it just a result of the rivalry among Catholic church builders who were trying to outdo each other? The answer is more humbling and simpler.
Earthquake was, and still is, one of the most destructive natural calamities in the Philippines. This harsh reality is severely evident in the church building practices in the Ilocos. As a response to earthquakes, church builders devised means to make sure that the church held up against the fury of the earth. Wall buttressing was a promising solution because it required a simple building method and simple materials. In the case of Paoay church, however, the dreadful paranoia of church builders became the epitome of earthquake-resistant churches in the Ilocos region.
The church was started by the Augustinian Fr. Antonio Estavillo in 1694. It was completed in 1710 and rededicated in 1896, just three years before the expulsion of Spanish rule in the country. The style of the church has been dubbed “Earthquake Baroque” by Alicia Coseteng, one of the early authorities on colonial church architecture. Because the buttresses extend out considerably from the exterior walls, the entire visual experience becomes three-dimensional, unlike most of the churches in the country where the inherent beauty of the church is limited only at the facade.
The buttresses are a visual spectacle. One can easily imagine them as giant sentinels poised to protect the church from adversaries. The rhythmic flow of massive form cascading down from the pinnacles to the ground, emphasized by spiral relieves visible on each side of the buttresses, alludes to a Baroque character. Yet, the dark receding plaster and exposed coral stone wall, complete with foliage overgrowth, creates a momentary feeling of being in some exotic Javanese temple.
The materials used for the walls were a mixture of coral stone and bricks. Large coral stones were used at the lower level of the walls, while bricks, smaller and more manageable to transport, were used at the upper levels.
The mortar used for the coral stones and bricks dramatizes the desire of the builders to make sure that the church stood against natural calamities. The other ingredients added to the mortar were as exotic as the style of the church itself. Regalado Jose, in his book Simbahan, points out that leather straps were mixed with the mortar. Felipe M. de Leon, who wrote The Filipino Nation, adds that the “stucco was said to have been made by mixing sand and lime [with] sugarcane juice, which were boiled with mango leaves, leather, and rice straw for two nights.”
Another unusual idiosyncrasy that seems to be typical to many Ilocano churches is the existence of a step buttress at the sides of the church, at or near half of the length of the exterior wall. There seems to be no other reason for building this other than as a means to access the roof. In the early days, this would have been necessary when fixing or patching the cogon grass roof. What throws off everyone’s speculation is that the stair-like buttresses have steps that were built too steep and too far apart for a normal person to climb. But perhaps, they were built in such manner in order to save valuable space. If the step buttress on the left of the Paoay church was built properly, it would have jutted out far beyond the boundaries of the church fence.
The facade of the church, even as it is beginning to lean towards the front, still manages to be as equally impressive as the buttresses. Viewed from the side, the giant buttresses look like huge volutes making the facade appear as a massive pediment rising from the ground. The facade is divided vertically by square pilasters that extend from the ground and all the way to the top of the pediment. The Gothic affinity of the church is suggested by the vertical movement of the pilasters and the finials that cap them at the top of the pediment. The facade is also divided horizontally by stringed cornices that extend all the way to the edges. The cornices extend to the sides of the church and wrap each buttresses around, adding attention and articulation to the massive side supports. At the apex is a niche, while the otherwise stark plaster finish is embellished with crenallations, niches, rosettes, and the Augustinian coat-of-arms.
The facade is complemented with a belltower located at its right hand side. Belltowers are a very important element in the overall composition of colonial churches, both for its function and aesthetics. For practical purposes, belltowers were used as a communication device to the townspeople. In the case of the Paoay belltower, it also played, ironically, an explicit role in the lives of the Filipinos during the war.
Climbing the belltower is almost like going back in time. Inside, the musty smell of coral stone, coupled with rotting wood scaffoldings and stairs, relives the dark days of the Katipuneros when they climbed up and down the shaft and used the belltower as a lookout during the revolt against the Spaniards.
The view from the top of the belltower is absolutely magnificent. On one side, one can roam with his or her eyes the vast span of land until it merges with the China Sea. In some sense, it is still used today as a lookout point, not by the Katipuneros, but by mischievous kids from the nearby high school who often flee from the wrath of an angry teacher.
As one enters the edifice, the church abruptly relinquishes the powerful strength of the massive buttresses that they discharge at the exterior. Inside, the church has a very solemn, almost sentimental ambiance. The interior looks bare and empty. Regalado Jose mentions in his book that the ceiling was once painted with a scene similar to that of the Sistine Chapel in Italy. Unfortunately, the original ceiling is no longer in existence today. What is left is a cavernous maze of trusswork with exposed and rusting corrugated roof sheets.
Compared to its still magnificent exterior, the Paoay church looks austere and stark inside, with but a few old images of saints and a simple wooden cross at the altar, that it is hard to imagine now how it looked like a hundred years ago. Only on Sundays does the Parish enjoy quite a number of worshippers. It is sad to think that on any other day, except for an intermittent bus loads of Taiwanese tourists, the church suffers from the lack of patronage.
It is impossible not to be compelled by the exotic quality of the church, as demonstrated by the huge and powerful buttresses. Yet, there is also a sense of humility behind such exuberant assertion, as expressed by the pensive interior. But the most enduring impression, perhaps, that any visitor takes with him as he departs from the church, are the poignant memories of a tumultuous yet glorious past of a nation, imbedded among the layers and heaps of huge stones and bricks that make a church.
September 30, 2007
Justice of the Supreme Court
Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales started her career in law in 1968 in a Manila law firm where she was Assistant Attorney up to 1971 when her former professor, then Secretary of Justice Vicente Abad Santos, took her in as a Special Assistant at the Department of Justice.
She worked for seven years at the Justice Department as assistant
lawyer, researcher, assistant special lawyer and finally senior state counsel before she became a judge.
Three presidents recognized her public service by appointing her to the Judiciary. President Ferdinand Marcos appointed her as RTC Judge, Branch 132 in Pili, Camarines Sur. On November 4, 1986, President Corazon Aquino designated her as Pasay City RTC Judge. She was promoted Executive Judge and held that position until 1994 when President Fidel Ramos appointed her to the Court of Appeals. On the nomination of a Court of Appeals colleague and upon the unanimous endorsement of the members of the Judicial and Bar Council, she was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and was sworn to office on September 3, 2002. Until her appointment to the High Court, she headed the CA 7th Division.
Justice Carpio-Morales finished her AB (Economics, 1964) and Bachelor of Laws (1968) at the University of the Philippines. She has participated in legal conferences here and abroad and was a bar examiner in Legal Ethics in 2000.She was also conferred the Ulirang Ina Award for Law and the Judiciary by the Father’s DayMother’s Day Foundation of the Philippines,Inc.
Justice Carpio-Morales was born in Paoay, Ilocos Norte on June 19, 1941. She is married to Eugenio T. Morales, Jr. with whom she has two sons, Eugenio III and Umberto.
September 23, 2007
Check out this resort, literally hidden 20 minutes north of Saud Beach. From Saud, ask the locals for the dirt road that leads to there. The drive is quite bumpy but the view is gorgeous.
See more of Peakproductionz nice Ilocano videos in their channel in YouTube.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paoay Lake iti parbangon (at dawn)
Dinamagmo Kaniak ti Ayat
Dinamagmo kaniak no ania ti ayat
Kasano kadi nga iladawan ti ayat?
Umanay kadi ti kimmampuso nga iyuritko a tinta
a nangmantsa iti sin-aw dagiti birhen a papel?
Wenno ti maris ti dara iti tunggal maipasak
Iti umukuok a kusilap dagiti nalabusan ti managbasol a matak…
Dinamagmo kaniak no ania ti ayat
Ania kadi ti ayat?
Ayat kadi ti marikriknak no kasta a pergenka
Ket umingar ti nagbaetan dagiti luppok
Ti panaas ti pus-ong a di maipapas
Ti im-imeten a rugso toy barukong…
Dinamagmo kaniak no ania ti ayat
Ania kadi ti ayat?
Diak ammo no ania ti ayat kunak
Manipud idi linisiam toy riknak
Diakton ammo no ania ti ayat
Ta ti ammok narsaak metten ti namnamak!
Jake Favila Ilac
Signal Village, Taguig City
February 19, 2007
September 19, 2007
Also on parade was the biggest Dudol ever made in Paoay. Everyone partook of it after the parade.
September 16, 2007
August 25, 2007
Dough is made from rice flour.
August 24, 2007
The Ilocos Times
May 14, 2006
by Cristina Arzadon
Owners of a heritage house in Paoay town are working on the restoration of a historical landmark—a bubble-topped octagonal house built by their patriarch the late Constancio Duque in the early 1940s. Locally known as the Duque house, the American period architecture was given tribute as one of three heritage homes in Paoay along with the well-preserved twin Bahay na Bato (white houses to locals) owned by the family of Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.
Duque, a known teacher in his time, was one of the early Ilocanos who moved to the United States in the early 1900s. “He got the idea to go to the US because all his friends have left the Philippines,” recalls Constancio’s only son Estanislao Duque, now a doctor based in Mindanao.
But unlike other Ilocanos who worked on sugarcane fields, Constancio, then a 16 year-old high school student enrolled in a Vigan seminary, flew to Chicago, Illinois to continue studies. “He went there without knowing anybody. He used a one-year stipend that he had saved from the seminary for his plane ticket and start up his schooling,” Estanislao said.
Duque finished his high school and college education there before returning to his hometown Paoay in 1939 and later built the American-inspired colonial house. “It was in Chicago where my father got the design for our house,” Duquesa Duque-Dugan, Constancio’s youngest daughter who now lives in Australia, said. “He always wanted to be different. At the time when the neighborhood houses were the typical box-type wooden structure, our father built a spherical house using but his memory of the 20 years he stayed in Chicago,” Dugan said. “I remember when we were young, we would be asked where we live and we would say, idiay nagbukel (There at the round house),” Dugan said.
The old Duque is said to have hired skilled carpenters to execute the architectural design that he had kept only in his mind. The octagon-shaped American architecture is made of wooden stone-cut façade with a bonnet of a roof. His eldest daughter Rosario Duque-Pobre who visited Chicago recently said bubble-topped houses remain a landmark there.
The Duque siblings had kept all their father’s memorabilia in their house, which had become a museum of antique pieces from the old piano to a phonograph and other wooden furnishings.
Lining the walls of the Duque house are early family photos including a sketch of the heritage house that was done by Duque’s granddaughter Marissa. The family plans to replicate the sketch to small keepsakes which could be given as souvenirs to tourists on a heritage tour in Paoay.
Dugan said restoring the house was a promise she made to her father before he died.
“I wanted to bring back my father to Chicago while he was on a visit in Australia. But he never had that chance because he was in a hurry to go back to the Philippines. I have since promised to restore the house as my way of making up for him,” she said.
Mindful of the attention that their house had courted, the Duque siblings have started planning its rehabilitation keeping in mind the need to preserve the original structure. Termites have destroyed some sections of the house while wooden planks either need replacement or reinforcement Except for some sections of the facade, the original structure including its wooden floors has not been disturbed. But because Paoay has always been a catch basin of floodwaters, the Duque house had been submerged in thick mud as indicated by its original stone fences peeping out from the ground. Several flights of its stone staircase leading to the front door also presumably sank because only a section of the pillars on each side of the stairs were sticking out. Traces of hardened mud from recent floods occupy the basement, which Dugan said makes a magnet for termites.
The family had already commissioned a restoration architect to do the works on their house.
Since talks about the restoration spread, Dugan said she had already seven architects showing up in their house with their restoration designs. She had narrowed down her list to two because she did not like the designs that others presented.“I could barely recognize our house,” Dugan said playfully as she showed to two design proposals, which transformed the house into a Spanish-colonial villa capped with tiled roofing.
Dugan clarified reports that the National Historical Institute had offered to help in the restoration of the heritage house. “Nobody has come forward to help in the restoration. There has been no offer, which we don’t really mind,” she said. Dugan added: “And in case there will be an offer in the future, we would like to see the guidelines first. We don’t want to lose control of our house where we will be reduced to mere administrators.”
She clarified, however, that their house is always open to people who share their passion in taking pride of their ancestral home. At one point, Marcos daughter, Irene Marcos-Araneta surprised the household members when she invited herself at the top of the staircase and asked politely if she could have a look of the house.
“We have always opened our house to everyone who cares to take a look. We don’t mind the attention. Anytime of the day, we see people outside the house either taking shots or filming the structure. We share the pride to others who would want to make a connection and a sense of ownership to this house that our father built,” Dugan said adding that the family will keep the house and the lot where it sits probably until kingdom comes.
This picture by Constantine Agustin was lifted from his website, http://www.constantineagustin.blogspot.com/.
August 13, 2007
– mardi gras in Ilocandia!
According to lore, it was the Spanish friars that introduced the Guling–Guling in the 16th century, which they celebrated on the eve of Ash Wednesday. The festivity marked the last day when the townsfolk could make merry before the start of the somber Lenten season.
Guling–Guling comes from the Ilocano word meaning "to mark, to smear, or to make a sign." In the olden days, the chieftain or mayor would mark a person’s forehead with the sign of the cross using wet white rice flour. The color white (in contrast to grey ash) signified that the person marked with "guling" was cleansed of his sins.
The Guling–Guling is basically a street dance as the townsfolk, dressed in their best native attire, went out to the streets to dance. The women would wear the abel kimona and pandiling accessorized with flowers or with the family jewels. The men wore the camisa de chino and abel trousers.
The revellers would first have their foreheads marked with a "guling" by the mayor as a sign of good luck. The ritual was made festive with snacks of "binugbug, a native delicacy made of rice flour and sugar cane cooked in the "anawang," a crude oven made from dried sugarcane pulp.
The binugbug is washed down with gulps of the potent Ilocano spirits "basi" made from sugarcane extract and samak, a plant common in the Ilocos region. The brew would be fermented in "burnays", the famous Ilocano earthen jars to which was added samak leaves, bark and fruit.
Along the route of the parade, food hawkers would entice spectators with Ilocano snacks like the famous crispy "impanada", made of rice flour dough and stuffed with beansprouts, meat morsels and egg and dipped in vinegar with shalots (lasona) and spices … patopat (or impaltao), a suman made of sticky rice and boiled in molasses for two hours! … ditto, tupig, a hard pastilllas called linga, carioca rice flour balls or tinudok dipped in syrup, atbp. The American fastfoods just don’t stand a chance with snackers in Ilocandia.
Today, choreographers would be hired to coach the dance groups (barangays) to do the Pandanggo Paoayeña, the ariquenquen, curatsa, amorosa and La Jota Paoayeña with intricate steps and hand movements (kumintang).
This year, the board of judges was led by Paoay Mayor Bobby Clemente and Michael M. Keon, the son of the sister (Elizabeth Keon) of the late "Apo" Ferdie Marcos and chairman of the Tourism Development Council of Ilocos Norte. Among the judges also were Associate Justice Ccnchita Carpio Morales with her sister Marilou C. Claudio, Marie Respicio Gonzalez of the DoT Laoag office, et al.
The dancers, mostly led by lolas who have been dancing in the guling-guling since girlhood, executed their dances in varying formations on the cobbled street in front of the historic Paoay church.
Highlight of the parade was a giant "dodol," a grayish ube rice cake, five meters in diameter on a giant bilao carried on an open truck. The dudol reportedly took one sack of rice, 60 coconuts and the juice of 500 stalks of sugarcane to make.
Having tasted and relished varying cuisines across the world and all over the Philippines, we were delighted to take lessons in Ilocano dishes on this trip. Our first stop was at La Preciosa, a restaurant in Laoag started in the ‘50s by Preciosa Ablan Ventura Palma. Our host was Michael Keon who had invited our media group to Ilocos Norte to witness the Guling Guling.
We feasted on pinakbet, the old Ilocano favorite, which literally means to "wrinkle" the vegetables by overcooking it… poki poki, an eggplant omelet mixed with tomatoes, bagnet which is a tasty version of lechon kawali, dinengdeng or inabrao which means "to boil".
Other Ilocano dishes are sinanlao which we can only describe as a watered down batchoy… higado which is similar to but less spicy than bopis, popotlo, a seaweed salad (resembling green worms) found only in the region, and the exotic adobo of frogs legs.
The Ilocanos eat a lot of fresh fish and seafoods harvested from the waters of the South China sea surrounding the region and indeed, it was the Ilocanos that actually invented bagoong although Pangasinan is better known for producing it today.
Prior to the Guling–Guling we had lunch at La Herencia, newly opened across the Paoay church, and run by Samuel Blas who also owns a pensione called "Balay da Blas" in Laoag City. Here we sampled the crispy dinuguan which is a dry dinuguan mixed with bagnet, salads of bulaklak ng katuday, kamote tops, sigarilyas, kabatiti or patola, the tiny amalaya called parya, totong (tiny stringbeans), atbp.
As soon as we arrived in the Laoag airport on a Cebu Pacific flight, we took a detour to Bangui to see the windmills of the Northwind Power Development Corp. like giant electric fans powered by winds from the sea. The wind farm produces 25 megawatts or enough to supply 40 percent of the electricity needs of Ilocos Norte. Because the windmills harness wind, they do not produce greenhouse gases. Hopefully, this method of renewable energy will be replicated all over the Philippines.
On our way back to Laoag, we dropped by Pasuquin, famous for its saltmakers and also for biscocho (crispy bread) although only one family makes it, the Salmons of Pasuquin. Here we met Mang Phil Alvarez originally of Sariaya, Quezon, whose wife brought him to Pasuquin.
It always is wonderful to return to the Ilocos. My parents, the late Assemblyman Benito T. Soliven and Pelagia (nee Villaflor) Soliven hail from Sto. Domingo and Vigan in Ilocos Sur. Land travelers always pass by a monument to my dad in Sto. Domingo.
Now also, in my adopted probinsiya, Ilocos Norte, we have discovered Sitio Remedios, a heritage village created by my dear friend Dr. Joven Cuanang, medical director of St. Luke’s Medical Center, in Currimao, a couple of towns away from the boundary of Ilocos Sur. Let me tell you about it next time!
August 12, 2007
Herencia Café: An “Edible Landmark in Ilocos Norte”
And what better place to savor the pinakbet pizza and the art of fine dining than at the Herencia Café. The Café boasts of elegance with an Old World feel. Decorations of Florentine glass, antique wood and wrought iron furniture, vigan tiles, and a superb view of the famed Paoay Church combine to create the perfect mood. I was distinctly reminded of Café Intramuros without the hustle and bustle of the city. Indeed a visit to Herencia Café is a glimpse on our genteel past; and a taste of the famed pinakbet pizza, a glimpse into the future of Ilokano cuisine.
Visit Herencia Café at McArthur Street, Bgy. 14, Sangladan, Paoay (in front of Paoay Church). For inquiries you may call tel. 077- 614 -0214.
Keon asks SP to declare IN under state of calamity
Ilocos Norte Gov. Michael Keon has recommended the declaration of the province under a state of calamity due to the lingering effect of the dry spell. Keon sought the declaration so that the provincial government could fully use its resources in mitigating the impact of the dry spell in the agriculture sector. Keon’s declaration coincided with Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap’s visit on August 2 to Ilocos Norte to personally see the extent of damage caused by the drought from the ground. Yap said Ilocos Norte is one of the worst hit provinces in Northern Luzon along with Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan compared to Central Luzon.
“We will immediately release the funds (for Ilocos Norte) as soon as we have determined the extent of damage that needs support,” he said after the briefing that the provincial agriculture office prepared. Yap asked Keon to prepare the provincial government’s counterpart fund to mitigate the effects of drought like focusing on the planting of more high-value crops and vegetables. He said he would provide cloud-seeding operations in farmlands where irrigation is needed most. “We may have to realign the funds for farm-to-market roads and channel them to the irrigation sector because that’s where funds are needed most,” he said. Yap promised Keon that he will augment the province’s P30 million budget devoted to the provincial agriculture so that they could identify alternative crops that are drought-resistant. Yap also met with members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee on agriculture led by Chairman Mariano “Nonong” Marcos, and members of the League of Municipal Mayors, led by Joseph de Lara of Solsona, to assess the extent of the impact the drought has had on agriculture. Yap called for a cooperative effort to mitigate the effects of the drought: calling on local officials, mayors and the provincial government to provide water pumps while promising that the government will assist in providing fuel for the operation of those pumps as well as initiate cloud seeding operations over the province. Part of the assistance from the Department would include the provision of seeds for alternative non-water intensive crops to affected farmers. As a pro-active measure, the governor has certified as urgent, the passage of the bill declaring the Province of Ilocos Norte under a state of calamity due to the prolonged dry spell. This is so that the province may avail of the calamity fund to immediately address the issue. For his part Sec. Yap made a commitment to assist the province in the effort.
August 11, 2007
This picture of one side of the church shows graceful lines
This time a beautiful shot from the back. The greens sprouting from the walls really add beauty to the church. Sadly, they reportedly are slowly weakening the foundation, hence, the plants are regularly pulled out from the walls.
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