Monday, October 11, 2010

Revisiting (San Sebastian) Lipa Cathedral

* Trailer Pransis at the Lipa Plaza Independencia

* the façade of the Lipa Cathedral

* entrance to an inner patio

* Patio San Sebastian

* a photo of the bishop’s residence before it was destroyed during World War II

* an old photo of the seminarians in Lipa

Hardcore presentation of names, dates, and places tends to dilute the essence of what I want Back Trails to be. But owing to time limitations, one hopes to make the best out of them. But I am not saying that such approach is not working. For me, one important ingredient should always be present: the thoughts of the would-be Trailer. Sharing things here at Back Trails is a way of seeing the way I grow stronger with regards to my affinity to our Philippine history. Well, enough of these rants. The whole point of it is that I shall be resorting to more pictures on this Lipa entry, as the visit to this busy city in Batangas was a hasty one.
I literally discovered the Lipa Cathedral. Using the last of my OJT allowance I toured the town of Sto. Tomas, and the cities Tanauan and Lipa. But this was back in 2008 and I still have not conceived of Back Trails. A year later, I went back to the cathedral on a more festive atmosphere, the day being Palm Sunday where I was engulfed in a sea of palm leaves.

* a carving on the main door of the church; although it looks exquisite, they are actually recently made

* view of the baptistry

* the long line of pews

* stairway to the bell tower perhaps?; the shot could have been more dramatic if not for our camera’s resolution

* Jesus loves you, Yesukristo loves you! (line from a song by P.O.D.)

The church is as historical as the place where it is nowfound. It began functioning under the administration of the Augustinians from 1605 until the end of nineteenth century. It was originally found on the shores of Bombon Lake, but the eruption of the Taal Volcano in 1754 destroyed it. It should be noticed that it was the Augustinians too who built the early church in Bay, Laguna along the shores of Laguna de Bay. I am beginning to wonder if they are somehow attracted to bodies of water.
The 1754 eruption prompted the church’s relocation on its present place. The church rebuilding was done under the supervision of Reverend Benito Varas O.S.A. He also became the parish priest from 1865 to 1894. A few years later, on April 10, 1910, Pope Pius X created the Diocese of Lipa. Besides religious affairs, the Augustinians also promoted the cultivation of cacao and coffee. It can be surmised that the lands in Lipa at that time was vast and were a good choice for some agricultural activities.

I shall stop here for now and shall attempt later to dig in to some names and events concerning Lipa. And as I write these tonight, I am now entertaining the possibility of digging in to the priests’ names I have mentioned here in Back Trails and hopefully uncover some details that would give more understanding on their relationships to the places and people they have administered. For now, I hope you would enjoy the views of the interior of the church.

* one of the huge passageways inside which I really want to have in my future house

* the imposing retablo* part of the church’s organ

* view of the dome from the inside

* the Mater Dolorosa

And before I forget, I want to share an unusual event that I experience inside. As I was taking pictures of the place, someone approach and asked me if I could help her to fulfill her wishes to go to a place which, although I forgot the exact name, pertained to a shrine or a devotee’s place. The woman kept following me and it sort of annoyed. She did not look like a beggar and I could discern that she was not trying to hoodwink me or anything like that. What we did it end (we gave her some money) did not really satisfied our curiosity about her. In less than two minutes after getting a small bill from us, she walked out of the church to go the place she mentioned. I can still remember her full name but I rather not mention it here, as it may prove unhealthy for her image if someone would see her name here.

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