December 18th, 2006 |
This is my second time to visit Caraga and this time, I decided to take the long trip. From Davao City, I went to Mati via an airconditioned Bachelor bus and from there, a jeepney. I was thinking that the sights and scents from an open vehicle would be more appealing than to one that is enclosed, airconditioned and in the case of V-Hires (actually, vans plying a route), an uncomfortable disposition since the passengers are tightly seated like sardines in a can.
At first, being in the front seat with the driver, I was excited about it. But then, after it left the terminal, it still went to the public market to get cargo and stuff and to the gasoline station to fill up its tank as well as another passenger’s big containers numbering 10 – 15 then to another loading point for a passenger to get his other wares that when we finally left Mati, it was almost two hours from our departure time! Excitement gave way to exasperation at the delay.
When we were already on the road, dark clouds started to gather and eventually, rain just poured. And hard. The front seat’s rain protection was not in good condition that water trickled in. But after a few hours, the pour became just a drizzle. Tired and weary, I arrived 5 hours later. If I rode a van or a bus, it would have just taken me around 2.5 hours. Anyway, that was an experience in itself.
Left, the provincial jeepney that I rode. Note the open front. I’m not really sure why they do this (it can also be seen in other provincial jeepneys around the country). Right, a stop at the market where it loaded stuff and goods for the trip.
The San Salvador del Mundo church in Caraga is reputed to be the oldest in the entire Mindanao. A very simple structure devoid of facade embellishments, the top of the main door is inscribed as 1884.
From the Wow Philippines site:
“17th Century Caraga Church Considered as one of the oldest churches in Mindanao, located in the town proper of Caraga, 70 meters from the edge of a built-in port made of ancient rocks overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It houses the 1802 Church Bell brought by the friars from Spain along with the antique image of San Isidro Labrador and other ancient files and archives. The baptismal registry from year 1835 up to present is still intact. These documents proved that from 1835 up to 1846, the places of Baganga, Manay and Mati used to register their newly baptized inhabitants at Caraga church. Part of the convent was used as a prison cell during the Spanish times.”
Left, this is the remaining half of an antique bell that used to hang from its belfry. The other half was stolen by thieves just a few months ago. Even the reamaining part is quite heavy and no wonder that the thieves left it. Right, the church’s ledger/records dating to more than a hundred years ago.