Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Waiting out the rains, staying indoors and marveling at St. James Church in Dapitan

It was a hot and sunny day when we boarded a bus in Zamboanga City heading for Dipolog at midday. The winding Lobregat highway made the bus ride a smooth if very long trip. It didn't help that the bus we rode made several nearly hour-long stops, stretching our southernmost-to-northernmost Zamboanga journey to over nine hours. Along the way, the weather turned overcast, then inclement.The rains continued well into the next day when we decided to venture to Dapitan in lieu of exploring its twin city, Dipolog. We found some very spacious, cozy and very reasonably-priced loading in Monina's pension house tucked along the strip of Dapitan's Sunset Boulevard. The precipitation, however, left us with little inclination to go around and shoot so we settled on exploring the St. James Church. I've seen images of this charming church on the internet and found it intriguingly-designed to say the least.Our national hero, Jose Rizal, went to mass in this very same church every Sunday while in exile in Dapitan from 1892 to 1896. The marker at the back of the church marks the spot where Rizal always stood. Standing on the same spot, one gets the somber feeling of history pulsing through the air, permeating the old walls, the chipped columns, the floor tiles faded by the footsteps of millions of feet.

We said our prayers, observed the few devotees filing in for the afternoon novena, and respectfully stowed away our cameras and tripods. The rains have abated somewhat as we stepped out into the overcast remains of the day.
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