Uncle Kidlat was born just after the war ended. He is the youngest child and was considered as the bohemian of Amang Lakay’s children. His always being in trouble made Amang Lakay decide to ask Uncle Nonong to make Uncle Kidlat into a soldado and change his ways. And so at the tender age of 16, Uncle Kidlat endured 18 months of harsh military training. He would be assigned in many places, the longest of which is Mindanao where he was in combat duty for 13 years mostly during the height of the Moro secessionist movement. He was wounded in action once and will survive 2 nephews (by Amang Lakay’s brother Andres) who were killed in action in Patikul, Jolo. Uncle Kidlat seldom went home during his active military service. Perhaps it was his protest against his lost youth. But he finally went back to Almaguer for good after 27 years with the army.
Relatives said it was alright for Uncle Kidlat to have 2 wives because he is a soldado. His first wife is Auntie Remy with he whom he was estranged. He would later live with Auntie Tess who went home with him in Almaguer after he retired. I was intrigued by the name of Auntie Tess’ hometown --- Goa in Camarines Sur --- which I first learned in elementary grade as a Portuguese colony in India that was later occupied by crack Indian troops in the 70’s. I developed an itch of wanting to go there someday and so during one trip to Bicol, I decided to satisfy my curiosity. Of course, it was just another reason to go church hunting.
My chance came when I was invited to deliver a talk at the Camarines Sur State Agricultural College in Pili. The gateway to Camarines Sur’s Partido District is Ocampo and from there, I did my visita iglesia in Tigaon then turned right to Sagnay that was recently made famous by a dead butanding. Afterwards, I went back to Tigaon for the small idyllic coastal towns of San Jose, Lagonoy, and finally Goa.(1) Tigaon's CHURCH OF SANTA CLARA DE ASSISI was established as a Franciscan mission in 1794. The church was built at around 19th century.
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PHOTOS (top to bottom):
(2) Sagnay’s CHURCH OF SAN ANDRES APOSTOL was established as a Franciscan mission in 1684. Its church was probably the last of a series of several structures built during the Spanish era.
(3) The CHURCH OF SAN JOSE was established by the Franciscans in 1816 who later built the church.
(4) Lagonoy’s CHURCH OF SAN FELIPE AND SANTIAGO was established as a Franciscan mission in 1734. The church was probably built at around the second half of the 18th century and renovated in the 19th century.
(5) Goa’s CHURCH OF SAN JUAN BAUTISTA was established as a Franciscans mission in 1777. The church was probably built in the 19th century.