A week has passed and the drive to create a new post is a painstaking decision. My travel partner Anwar reminded me, what I’ve been up to this weekend. I saw an imaginary light bulb with that question. I thought of having a break from the internet as my busy hands need rest. A eureka is throwing pixie dusts that I should go on, start tinkering the keyboard because the self is a forgetful bitch. I am catching up with my ebbing memory thinking what a waste to forego such intricacies of the moments and how we treaded our own way of adventure. This is the second part of my One Place, Two Places travel notes and this time it was in Oslob.
Oslob being one of the towns in the South, bears the distinct sing-song Cebuano intonation and the L’s in every syllables makes the utter difference. Getting inside in one of the local sari sari store was hilarious experience. The lady who is responsible for the store’s operations and cashiers the payment is like the leader of the orchestra band. She asks, answers questions, and threaded a cheery conversation like she was singing and everybody around her responded in chorus.
Among us here in the City, if we knew somebody hails from the South we joked by saying “Hala ang babae ni kalakat sa bulongbong” (Hey, the woman climbed up the wall) with the pitchy rising tone. But here in the North we could’ve said it as “Hala, ang babae ni katkat sa bungbong” with a neutral tone. Just like any other towns in the country like in Bicol or in Leyte-Samar, our language is an emblem of our diverse customary traditions and practices being an archipelagic nation
Going to Oslob offers lot of exciting sights and places to go. We could easily associate the whaleshark sighting as one of the great activities in Tan-awan. But we decided not to have this in our to do list, for many reasons. One absurd reason, is the that I might be gnawed alive by a huge whale shark like a size of a Ceres bus. The probability of animals gone wild in their unnatural habitat is quite least, but for me it was an unnecessary risk. Pardon me, gutsy thrill seekers, I am just a chickenshit in those kind of adventure– being bold at the sight of huge animals. Secondly, the logistics impracticality at that time. We don’t have the right gears brought out by the sudden impulse of just going out for the weekend. And most importantly, I don’t want to add to the ecological impacts of altering whale sharks in their system.
For the sake of having the private sense of distance and freshness, Oslob is the ideal place.
I feel a sense of being warped back in time of the colonial days where old structures, churches and time of patadyong and kamisa de chinos are still in. The Cuartel located at Calle Aragones named after the first parish priest in Oslob Fray Juan Jose Aragones, which according to history trails was built as a barracks for Spanish guardia civil and remained unfinished until the end of Spanish occupation. I was imagining what strokes of people back then who goes in and out of this cuartel after the Spanish regime.
What memories and love stories were unfolded while fighting between survival and war. A feeling of solitude and melancholy crept in on that afternoon. The sight of a fire tree and its blossoming leaves, in front of the museum sprung an inviting feeling. A place where you keep coming back because it’s peaceful, colorful, and for a moment, time stops. The small corners along the old Calles would take me back to the past. Some memories that are etched in the stone walls and only the see breeze could understand.
The more you walk inside the arches and the columns the more eerie feeling it gets. But this place is a beautiful spot for wedding pictures and horror movies.
Church of the Immaculate Concepcion
The church called Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepcion was constructed in 1830, designed by Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon the same priest who built the kiosk of the Magella’s cross. But the construction was credited to Fr. Julian Bermejo the priest who completed Boljoon church which I would be visiting in the next few months. The church structure that stands today was already the renovated one after a fire razed in 2008 eating most parts of the rectory.
Among other beautiful structures we went is the Baluarte. It was built to use a watchtower for the 19th century marauders. I say with approval, as the location of Oslob facing the seas is a vulnerable spot for Moro pirates.The watchtower serve as a beauty in the wide expanse of the Poblacion’s park. Along the coastline was the contruction of the sea walls. In that open area are the benches where enjoying a cozy reading is a good retreat.
It was cool and breezy afternoon, everybody is in their siesta while we are marveling the remains of our old heritage. We could have continued our walk down to the other streets to Calle Eternidad and Camposante where scenic and historical routes are waiting to be seen but since we lack time and headed off to our final destination – the private beach of Cancuaay.
The private beach is located near Seafari Beach Resort and few minutes away from the whale shark jump off point and the Tumalog falls. From the Poblacion, after buying our lunch supplies, we spotted a jeepney waiting to be full that only plies the street hourly. We were already exhausted after a quick stroll from the Poblacion and to be challenge to go up and down to much like a 7-storey steps might rip off our leg and rib cage. At first, you wouldn’t easily notice that the parking area is meant to be for Cancuaay. But as you get inside, the huge rest house is envious.With its white neat paints and modern design, the rest house was a stunner. We were enthused by the owner about our way around. The place was packed with beach goers but there is a lot more to enjoy. The clear blue waters and the sight of boulders and rocks gives meaning why a restless soul must have a sense of distance from reality, occasionally. There are lots of beautiful spots we missed to capture on our camera, but for me the best memories can’t be Facebookable.
But this is a heartwarming one, lying around the hammock, frolicking the few remaining fiber of Summer.