Religious art in some of Cebu’s churches

Attempted to head north of Cebu for a Visita Iglesia but the heavy traffic starting at Liloan made me U-turn to go south instead.

The Catholic church throughout history has been lavish in depicting the different houses of God on earth.

In Cebu, centuries-old churches abound while some are just about 50 years old or younger.

The Pedro Calungsod Chapel. Built upon the initiative by SM Development Corporation to draw Cebuanos prior to the launch of their upcoming giant mall - SM Seaside City.

The Pedro Calungsod Chapel. Built upon the initiative by SM Development Corporation to draw Cebuanos prior to the launch of their upcoming giant mall – SM Seaside City.

The new Pedro Calungsod Chapel located at the upcoming SM City Seaside Complex at the Cebu South Road Properties (SRP) projects a modern feel with its wall upon wall architecture –far different from the usual churches we have.

The Walls of Pedro Calungsod Chapel

The Walls of Pedro Calungsod Chapel

Quite apart from the classical churches, the altar is subdued and without the gold glitters.

Boxed, minimalist interior of the Pedro Calungsod Chapel

Boxed, minimalist interior of the Pedro Calungsod Chapel

The church in Minglanilla, Cebu has had renovations to give its present look.

The Minglanilla Church stands out with its pink exterior.

The Minglanilla Church stands out with its pink exterior.

Gilded metals and fixtures dominate the interior of the Minglanilla Church.

Gilded and ornate

Gilded and ornate

The side altar of the chalice is guarded by angels cast from plaster.

Unmoving angels

Unmoving angels


Art of flower arrangement preserved by the annual Holy week procession.

Art of flower arrangement preserved by the annual Holy week procession.

Church workers show the art of flower arrangement as they prepare for the procession in the afternoon.

Church workers show the art of flower arrangement as they prepare for the procession in the afternoon.

The church in Sibonga, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, meanwhile, is well-preserved despite the passage of years. The construction of the present structure was commissioned starting 1866. The paintings on the ceiling were said to be done in the 1920s by Raymundo Francia of Cebu.

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To add to the old feel of the architecture and paintings of the Sibonga church, the chirping of birds resonate freely inside the church as if the structure has become the birds’ home. The cool, breezy temperature is also a wonder as the design of the church keeps the early afternoon heat from eating away the cold.

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This falls adventure is true in Samboan (Part 2: Aguinid Falls)

Enjoying the strong cascading current and the "spa" at the 2nd level of Aguinid Waterfalls.

Enjoying the strong cascading current and the “spa” at the 2nd level of Aguinid Waterfalls.

After accomplishing the trek to Aguinid Falls (Read: This falls adventure is true in Samboan (Part 1: Dao Falls) and a quick lunch at the Samboan town proper, we headed to Aguinid Falls hoping for a less tiring path.

The store attendant whom we asked for directions told us that Aguinid Falls is three bridges (taytayan) away south of the rotunda. But, two bridges after, we felt that we have gone too far to still be looking for the third bridge. We then asked for directions from a nipa seller and realized that we had to go back a kilometer plus –just before the bridge at Barangay Tangbo, Samboan.

This time, we immediately saw the signage pointing to Dao Falls and parked the car in front of the barangay basketball court. Paid local entrance fees of Php 10.00/pax. Asked why the lone signage is just facing south, the fee collector explained that most tourists take the eastern highway via Oslob and seldom do they come from the “longer” Barili route.

Aguinid Falls is for the explorer who shies away from lots of walking and climbing. The waterfalls is just a 200-meter walk from the basketball court. If you don’t intend to scale the 3rd and 4th levels of Aguinid Falls, a guide won’t be needed to find the falls.

During weekends and, especially, during the Lenten period, crowds of tourists flock the waterfalls. Luckily, only one barkada was there ahead of us and we got to enjoy the falls minus the crowd.

Multi-level photo op is an easy mission at the Aguinid Falls.

Multi-level photo op is an easy mission at the Aguinid Falls.

We would have wanted to climb the 3rd and 4th levels which are said to be a bit difficult. But, rain clouds were overhead so we took caution against a possible water surge. So, we contented ourselves with the first two levels.

Mini-dams to allow some pools to form downstream.

Mini-dams to allow some pools to form downstream.

Communing with Aguinid Falls

Sheila communing with Aguinid Falls

One can enjoy wet sauna with the strong cascading currents of the falls.

Meditation pose is a must. (Doing the wrong lotus pose)

Meditation pose is a must. (Doing the wrong lotus pose)

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This falls adventure is true in Samboan (Part 1: Dao Falls)

The toxic last few weeks of the semester called for some unwinding and a road trip turned pathfinding to the southernmost part of Cebu –Samboan.

Scouring through different travel blogs, the waterfalls of Samboan seem the best place for de-stressing. Texted some ten or so friends but, we ended to be just a party of three (3) for this southern trip.

The group originally intended to discover the three waterfalls of Samboan, Cebu but the long drive – 3 hours or more – plus getting lost along the way allowed us to just see two: Dao Falls and Aguinid Falls. (Read: This falls adventure is true in Samboan Part 2: Aguinid Falls)

First stop: Dao Falls

From Fuente Osmeña, we started our drive at 6:50AM and sped through the southern towns of Cebu via Barili. Arrived at almost 10AM at the Samboan town proper to ask around for directions to Dao and Aguinid Waterfalls.

Samboan, Cebu town proper. Not easy to miss with its rotunda.

Samboan, Cebu town proper. Not easy to miss with its rotunda. (Photo grabbed from Wikipedia. This image was originally posted to Flickr by bortescristian at http://flickr.com/photos/79653482@N00/4451139179)

As per advice from locals, we drove back to the Samboan border near Ginatilan. (Habal-habal drivers are also around to get you to the “staging point” of the Dao trek.)

The absence of a signage pointing to Dao Waterfalls, however, cost us a lot of minutes asking locals along the way where to find the corner to Dao Falls.

General instructions would just lead you to hints such as go to the corner near Sunrays Bus, take the road and you’ll find a house where young guides will just approach you. After missing the Dao road many times, we realized that the place where Sunrays Buses park is not necessarily a terminal but just a roadside bus stop. It’s easy to miss especially if a bus is not parked.

Going your way to Dao Falls “staging point”, you have to pass a mix of paved and rough road. The slope is gradual so it’s not difficult to conquer the elevated terrain but NOT advisable to use a car during the rainy season. Car would easily get trapped to the likely muddy path). Just course through the path until young guides SUDDENLY appear and approach your vehicle.

Regie and Helemarie were our guides for the trek –roughly 1 kilometer of hilly terrain. (Better exercise before deciding to go on this trek.)

Helemarie still a few meters from us.

Helemarie still a few meters from us.

After some minutes, our front guide, Helemarie, was far, far from us.

Helemarie, wait!

Helemarie, wait!

We got to pass a creaking hanging bridge made out of bamboo and metal wires. For the adventurous, the bridge can be a makeshift swing.

Photo Op. Bamboo hanging bridge.

Photo Op. Bamboo hanging bridge.

More of hanging bridge.

More of hanging bridge.

After periods of rest to catch our breath, we’re midway!

Sheila posterizes our achievement.

Sheila posterizes our achievement.

Some more minutes and some bamboo ladders, Dao Falls awaits.

Kirby taking a time off for a photo with the ladders.

Kirby taking a time off for a photo with the ladders.

…and here’s Dao Falls!

Taking a dip. A tree branch sticks out of the waters where one can play a game of balance.

Taking a dip. A tree branch sticks out of the waters where one can play a game of balance.

Guides

Our guides, Reggie and Helemarie.

Enjoying the ice cold water on a summer. Our guides tell us that the waters act as a natural refrigerator for sodas and beer!

Enjoying the ice cold water on a summer. Our guides tell us that the waters act as a natural refrigerator for sodas and beer!

Sheila

Water near the falls itself ranges 5-6 feet deep.

Water near the falls itself ranges 5-6 feet deep.

Regie struts his diving skills.

Kirby attempts a dive after Reggie’s Olympic dive.

Photo op

Hello, Regie’s fingers!

Photo op

Me, pondering the meaning of life.

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Lunch at Yugo Yakiniku

Yugo Yakiniku Smokeless GrillLuck made me win Yugo Yakiniku‘s Facebook promo as its 500th Liker. “There’s no such thing as free lunch” was temporarily forgotten when they awarded me with a free lunch buffet at their restaurant at Crown 7 Building along Juan Luna Avenue, Mabolo, Cebu City.

Yugo Yakiniku serves a buffet with a great selection of Chinese, Korean and Japanese dishes. First impression frightened me a bit as I only saw a few familiar Chinese dishes and mostly raw, marinated meat. After a good introduction from their helpful crew, I got the hang of their on-the-table grill and their food selection. Eating oriental is quite novel as my only experience with such kind of food is eating pansit canton, siomai sa Tisa, siopao, and some of the noodles of Chowking.

Raw, marinated meat of chicken, fish, pork and beef will greet you in one of their bars.

The food is amazing. Their buffet will surely fill your stomach. Volumes of food in one sitting will tend to overwhelm you with the taste of spices and salt so it is recommended to make your eating slow. Else, you’ll pay double the amount.

Yugo’s on-the-table-grill. You’ll see some smoke but you are never swamped with the smell of grill from other tables.

Chomp on food in batches or you might end up desperate to finish platefuls.

Aside from the oriental cuisine, Yugo also serves desserts.

Regular rate for their eat all you can buffet is Php 350 during lunch and Php 470 for dinner. An addition of Php 65 for unlimited drink.

Yugo’s clean ambience.

 

 

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Mapping Cebu

Looking for places that are new to us, bisdak, is quite a hassle of an activity. Not all of us have a vivid map of the whole Metro Cebu ingrained in our head. Luckily and as usual, Google has came up with Google Mapmaker which allows people who are very familiar with a neighborhood or area to pinpoint, store and share to others the locations of areas of interests such as stores, buildings, schools, etc. Once a location is pinpointed and shared, the place becomes visible in Google Maps and Google Earth.

Mga bisdak, here’s a short video from Google about Mapmaker.

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Mural on morals?

Needing a new look

Needing a new look

I happen to pass by the Mambaling (Cebu City) gymnasium daily on my way to work. Month’s back, I have been itching to take a photo of this wall that calls out for a “moral painting”. Parked trucks and lack of time have dissuaded me from the mission.

Just this morning, I saw the chance to finally accomplish the task. So any takers, mga bisdak?

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SM Sinulog Fireworks Competition 2013

Fireworks makers strutted their wares in last night’s SM Sinulog Fireworks Competition 2013. The challenge was to paint a fireworks masterpiece with the dark and cloudy sky as their canvas.

People came in thousand droves to witness the event. Parking was full so I had to station myself at the SM roof deck area. Probably one of the best place to watch the exploding lights in their gleeful parade.

Wows and claps were heard as the pyrotechnics blew off amazing show of lights. My handy Agfa underwater camera captured some good shots for me. Here are some of the fireworks’ scenes.

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Jogging at Ayala

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. –Albert Einstein

Bicycle, jogging, and other fitness enthusiasts will find the Ayala “fitness” park as a good alternative to the usual choices: Cebu City Sports Center and the IT Park. The greens in the park give shade and a fresher feel in your fitness activities.

Bike and stroll

Bike and stroll

Ayala greens

Ayala greens

Empty yet

A good number of people in fitness mode frequent the place starting 4PM. There is enough space for parking for those with cars. Ayala charges Php 20.00 per hour but in a lot of occasions, the parking attendant is usually absent or to busy ticketing other vehicles.

One round along the interior streets of the park covers about 600 meters. The exterior, meanwhile, runs about one kilometer. Both are enough stretch for your jog, walk, or bike.

Learning how to bike is never too late.

Learning how to bike is never too late.

The place is located within the Cebu Business Park and at the back of the Colegio dela Inmaculada Concepcion (CIC) Cebu City campus. From Gorordo Avenue, you can take Ayala road to get to the place. A small access road near the Carreta Cemetery will also lead you there.

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Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu in Cebu, Philippines. Cebu was established as a diocese on August 14, 1595. It was elevated as a metropolitan archdiocese on April 28, 1934 with the dioceses of Dumaguete, Maasin, Tagbilaran, and Talibon as suffragans. -Wikipedia

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

The cathedral was renovated recently for the 75th anniversary celebration on April 28, 2009 of the elevation of Cebu into an archdiocese. An application is pending at the Vatican for the cathedral’s elevation into a minor basilica in honor of St. Vitalis, an early Christian martyr. His feast day coincides with the day the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu was found almost 450 years ago, as well as the anniversary of the elevation of Cebu into an archdiocese. -Wikipediacathedral doorway

I usually visit the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral at night wherein the lights around the plaza give the church a majestic and golden glow. The serenity of the cathedral is accentuated by its big hall and golden altar.

Location:

People who wish to visit the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral may find it at the corners of Burgos and Legaspi Streets in Cebu City. A short walk through P. Zamora Street will also lead you to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño (Sto. Niño church).


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