Guess I have to do this again…
Almost two years ago, on 29 October 2007, I planned of embarking on at least a bimonthly trip to any Philippine province of my choice. So far so bad, I’ve been to less than 10. Laughable and deplorable at the same time. Perhaps the only major travel that I did since that day was when I visited Chabacano-speaking Cavite City with some of my officemates (17 November 2007).
On that cool October morning, my wife accompanied me to San Agustín Church, the first church in the Philippines (constructed from 1587 to 1607 — an incredible 20-year span!), to pray for guidance. Unfortunately, when we went there, the church doors were closed. And time and budget didn’t permit us to go inside the church’s museum.
I’ve been to that church –one of two of my favorite churches (the other one being the miraculous Shrine of Santo Sepulcro— quite a number of times (been inside the museum only once). It has a special attachment to me. Maybe because our country’s regular religious rites began there. Or maybe I’m just amazed how that church withstood the test of time. During World War II, when the rest of Manila was ablaze with destroyed buildings and rotting flesh, it was the last church left standing (but with a gaping hole on its side).
Of course, I have to mention that the remains of our country’s first leader, the great conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi, is buried there.
Maybe one major reason why I feel so attached to San Agustín is that it is the first church established not only in the Philippines but also in the heart of its capital, Intramuros, the original Manila, “la Manila de mis amores…”
Our country is so rich in history and culture. Reading about it is not enough. One has to travel to experience it. So this month of October –also known as the Spanish Month across the Spanish-speaking world– I would like to relaunch that aborted “flight”…
Read the San Agustín article (complete with pictures of my cute self and my ever-supportive wife) that I wrote two years ago here.
However… (rhymes with the word “translator”, hehehe!)