Monday, April 07, 2014

Hungy for Haikyo!

Our annual pilgrimage just took off the other day. We visited churches in Tarlac and Pangasinan. I am meaning to blog about it and I hope to God that I get the focus and discipline to actually do it within the Lenten season, but first, I am excited to share my little side trip while on a pilgrimage. Actually, now that I think about it, I feel a little guilty about skipping a prayer and reflection session because ruins of an old church got me distracted.

It happened on our second stop,  St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Camiling, Tarlac. When I learned from the marker that the present church we were visiting is a replacement to the old one that burned in 1997, I immediately wondered what happened to the old church. This is the current St. Michael the Archangel Parish church.

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While our parish priest was telling us to settle down, I felt the need to pee so I went out to look for the toilet. While walking, I realized the old church was literally just a stone's throw away from the present church as I stumbled upon its ruins. Then I got excited and forgot about the state of my urinary bladder. I immediately jumped in the first opening I saw.

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The facade of the church is still intact and has its old grandeur, but there's really not much to see inside, still I indulged in capturing my first Haikyo exploration.

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view from the Altar spot

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view from the choir loft

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I imagine this is where the portrait of the four evangelists were

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the stained glass

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the main door

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There's something poignant and appealing about the decay of deserted spaces, it makes me think about the "how was" and "what ifs". The way nature reclaims a concrete structure is a profoundly beautiful reminder that nothing in this world is permanent. You may have once been a massive evidence of this nation's colonial past, but today and the coming days, you will slowly dissipate into oblivion.

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once a sacred structure is now tainted with a public service graffiti

I tried to research about the cause of the fire, but I couldn't find anything substantial. I wish I asked around, but I was out of time and confident that I'd find about it online. I learned that parishioners tried to rebuild and restore the old church, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Instead, a construction of a new church took place, financed by former Marcos crony and San Miguel Corporation chairman, Danding Cojuangco. I guess restoring the orginal church back to its old glory using present technology would be too costly.

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