Thursday, July 25, 2013


Bohol after 10 years is more complicated than the distant memory of a topless Caucausian tourist flirting with the fine white sands of Alona Beach, her feet teasing the small clear brine, her glossy tanned skin in heavy intercourse with the early morning sunbeams. 

But I might have been expected because tucked in an array of seafood buffet is a soggy and oily version of the bihon guisado which only a pansit fanatic like me can appreciate.

We came to Bohol to work so right after lunch, Mayor Boyito convened a plenary of his department heads and gave them stern marching orders for the next three years of his last term in office. I was there to present what I thought the Mayor wanted done and possible ways of doing that.

That night, we settled in a beachfront bar with buckets of beer and enjoyed the music of a band of a gyrating female Black Jack, her chubby counter alto, and their Ref Valera guitarist. I thought the fire dancer is trying too hard and wished he should just stick to the classic routine of drinking gas and blowing fire.

Bohol don't happen often and I was determined to go beyond the tarsiers and chocolate hills this time. So early the next morning, I rented a motorbike for P600 and with Brod Moi driving, we headed for the old church that a blog informed exists in Panglao. And there it was, 19th century and its importance as a cultural property etched in the old gray stones, the nearby ruins of an earlier church a testament to the fires that destroyed many other colonial churches. But as usual, I forgot to do an advance research and would only learn later that the old municipio, the school, the archway, and the church in the camposanto are also worth shooting too.

But that's going fast forward. 

After Panglao, we next headed 12 kilometers to Dauis that I first heard from those MDG articles of Social Watch Philippines and which I first thought is in mainland Bohol. I had a feeling it has an old church too and it does: 19th century, a declared catholic shrine, and designated national cultural treasure. The convent too has earned a plaque from the National Historical Institute. But the morning mass was still in motion and we have to get back to Alona Kew before 8 am. That means the church's fabled freshwater well in the altar area will have to wait for another trip. 

But not after another 10 years I hope.

Bohol definitely needs a lot more untangling.          

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