Monday, September 19, 2011

Lakbay Lahi sa Cavinti, Laguna 2: The Cavinti Church

* the façade of the Cavinti Church

* Cavinti Church: built in 1621

* view of the church altar

* a close-up view of the image on the retablo
* view of the lower portion of the altar;
(inset) an image of
a saint found on the side

The story of the construction of the Cavinti Church has its parallel in the town’s oral tradition which I was able to learn from the elders I have interviewed during the Lakbay Lahi. The mountainous terrains of what is now Cavinti was said to be once part of the town of Lumban(g), found on the lower plains. Townsfolk used to go up to those part of the mountain to work. Once they found an image of a saint on a tree which they promptly brought down to town. By the next day, they would find the same image of the saint up there on the mountain again. This incident happened several times until they took this phenomenon to mean that the saint wanted them to build a church on the place. Thus, the Cavinti Church is now found on those mountainous parts.

* view of the pews and the church balcony in semi-darkness

* a marker of the church’s baptistery

* candle stands

* an image of a saint found on the side of the church

* the church’s bell tower viewed from below

Historically, the ecclesiastical administration on the town of Cavinti was under Lumban(g) until 1619 [from the marker found outside the Cavinti Church]. In 1621 the first stone church was constructed along with the convent. But the Chinese uprising in 1639 damaged the church and the convent [an interesting line of inquiry: the reasons of the Chinese uprising in those regions]. Eventual constructions of the church were also damaged, specifically due to the earthquake which happened in 1824. The church and the convent were repaired in 1851. Another earthquake, in the year 1880, caused the church tower to collapse and its wall to suffer cracks. Later, an earthquake in 1927 further damaged the church walls.

* this has an ancient feel to it

* do these stones form the original church’s walls? I wonder

* view of a buttress of the Cavinti Church

* an arc found inside the church

* a shade recently annexed to the church façade

Not a very lively story as it is full of destructions. But the reconstructions show the extent of the resilience and resolve of the people to maintain their place of worship in the town. Today the church houses the image of the alleged image from the oral tradition, placed on the higher portion of the church façade with lighting day and night. The lighting was put there in order to prevent the image from going down to the ground. Officially the churched is named Transfiguration Parish Church.

* a space on the church’s front allotted for the Stations of the Cross

* view of what look like very old stones for the walls
of the adjoining convent of the church

* elders/[volunteers?] doing some morning tidying up
of the church small landscape gardens

* an arc found as you enter the church grounds

In observing the place, the church is built on high grounds. Some said that they could actually see the top of the church from a distance. I believe the church could have been visible as far as the Cavinti Bridge if not for the trees and houses. Lastly, the church’s location and set-up is very similar to that Liliw, Laguna.

Next in the Cavinti series: the town’s environs.

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