Sunday, October 09, 2011


Last year I was stripteased into the California Mission Trail.

Never knew it existed.

Until Oyet P and Jack walked me to the Mission San Francisco de Asis (yes, in San Francisco) that was the 6th Spanish mission to be established in California in 1776. Kuya Rudy Palomo also drove me later to the 2nd in 1770 which is the Mission San Carlos Barromeo de Carmelo in Carmel, and to the 15th in 1797 which is the Mission San Juan Bautista (yes, in San Juan Bautista). In a fitting finale, eman59 of Oakland presented me with a book about the mission churches.

I have a mission church in mind as I left Panama City for a brief sojourn in Los Angeles. I was so enamored with it that I refused a $300+hotel accommodation bribe to get bumped off that morning's flight. It kept me in high spirits when I missed the connecting flight to Houston. It consoled me when I found that 2 of my fried bawang jars did not survive Houston-Los Angeles.

The next day, Mama Butch --- he who would not even ride a motorcycle during his PRRM days --- drove me to a pilgrimage in 3 mission churches.

PHOTOS EXPLAINED (top to bottom):

[1] MISSION SAN FERNANDO REY DE ESPANA (Los Angeles, California): The 17th of the 21 California Mission Churches was established in 1797 by Fr. Fermin Lasuen. It was restored in the 1940s through a grant from the Hearst Foundation but was again extensively damaged by an earthquake in 1971. The mission was completely rebuilt in 1974. Comedian Bob Hope and his wife is buried in the mission's cemetery which has been renamed as the Bob Hope Memorial Garden. 

[2] MISSION SAN BUENAVENTURA (Ventura, California): The mission was the 9th to be established and the last by the legendary missionary Fr. Junipero Serra in 1782. It has the unique claim to having the only known wooden bells in all the mission churches. The mission underwent extensive renovation work in 1957. 

[3] MISSION STA. INES (Solvang, Californa): Fr. Estevan Tapis established Mission Sta. Ines in 1804 as the 19th Spanish mission in California. It has survived numerous earthquakes and remained mostly as it was built). 

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