Thursday, October 8, 2009

The churches of Catanduanes: a refuge from the many storms of life

catanduanes bato church wide angleIt was drizzling when we went the rounds of churches in virac and a bit to the east, in San Vicente. There’s solace to be had inside the church especially when the weather turns inclement and I guess the people of Catanduanes knows this very well, making these places of worship a refuge from the storms, physical and spiritual, that frequently visit the town and their lives.catanduanes bato church black mary imageThe Bato church is an imposing structure, visible to everyone approaching from the highway leading to the bridge eroute to Bato town. according to the site, www.experiencecatanduanes, It took 53 years from 1830 to 1883 to build this church. Made from mortar and coral stones, this church was one of the first churches built by the spaniards here and is the only one of its kind throughout the island.catanduanes virac cathedral ultrawideIn contrast, the Virac Cathedral only looks old from the outside. It must be because of the ravages of the winds and the storms that regularly visit the island that much of the inside of the cathedral is modern. still, the large stained glass windows are beautiful and should i say, mesmerizing.catanduanes san vicente churchWe made sort of a loop of the towns and barangays surrounding Virac and passed by several small churches including the one in San Vicente. Small and wearing the patina of time, it was a quaint place with a size that tells one that every churchgoer knows everyone during Sunday service.catanduanes san vicente Jesus imageTyphoon Pepeng just passed catanduanes as I write this post and iI haven’t heard from the people that we met when were there. I just hope that like these churches, they were able to weather the storm.


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