Old churches in the Philippines have grand and impressive structures made of stones built by the Spaniards. Many has been rebuilt numerous times over the centuries because of wars and natural disasters. They stand as the muted witnesses of the places’ culture and history. Majority of them have been declared as national treasures as they represent the Philippines as the only Catholic nation in Asia.
Along with these old churches, bells have been instruments for spiritual purposes. They were rang to call the faithful to worship, to highlight the climax of a particular stage of a church service, to remind them of God’s presence in their daily lives. Church bells were also used for practical purposes of alerting the faithful of important events and emergencies, such as, fire, end of war, disseminating information over far distances.
During the People Power Revolution of 1986, church bells were rang when President Marcos escaped and departed from the Palace.
The biggest bell in the Philippines measures 7 feet in diameter, 5 feet in height and weighs 10,400 kilos… It is housed at the belfry of Sta. Monica Parish church in Pan-ay, Roxas, Capiz together with the other olden church bells. It is considered as the “Biggest Catholic Church Bell in Asia”.
Through its powerful sound and simplicity in communication, they have become one of the most important influential percussion instruments in the world.
When we were on the road for a tour of nearby province of Capiz, in Panay Island, Philippines, after a seemingly fruitful plan of buying pineapples on the roadside, we decided to proceed to a beach resort where we could rest for a while after the long drive. We were not familiar with the place so we asked people from the street to direct us to a beach resort nearby. We drove and drove until we got to spot a resort. This was unplanned so, whatever it was, so be it. And these are what we got.
CAPIZ, is a province in the central section of Western Visayas. Its location at the northeastern portion of Panay island made it a top producer of seafood products such as, prawns, milkfish, blue marlin, squids, oysters, seaweeds, and angel wings. The wide expanse of swampy lands that were converted into fishponds plus its 80 kilometers of coastline are the sources of the aquamarine products making the province the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines”.
Capiz is always on the top list when people talk about witches, spirits, and ghosts of the local folklore. We don’t believe the stories about “aswangs” I guess our elders told stories about them just to scare the children, so they would be home earlier. It’s my opinion though, I was also scared driving in the middle of the night. So, in the afternoon of 2PM we made our exit from the scene. We would still drive in 5 to 6 hours home.
We ate our dinner at the Iloilo-Capiz border at a roadside restaurant. Home was still 2 hours drive.
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