It was close to 5 in the morning on a Saturday. I was sleepless, thirsty and hungry. We were walking in the middle of the dark streets of Lazi Siquijor while men on their motor bikes were constantly following us from the pier trying to lure us into renting their motorbikes at an exorbitant price.
We knew better. We were adamant. We decided to hit the historical century-old church of San Isidro Labrador – our first destination – sans breakfast.
We reached the top of the slope covered with age-old acacia trees where the familiar site of the famous convent and the church were. It was drizzling but we patiently waited outside chatting and taking pictures until the church opened at 6 in the morning. A young man opened the door and allowed us in.
We climbed the compana with the friendly young man who told us stories of snakes creeping up the belfry. The doorkeeper/bellringer rang the bell for the first mass in the early morning. Later he offered us to take turns ringing the bell twice.
So on that day, June 11, 2011 we rang the bell for the first mass at Lazi, Siquijor.
The church pretty much reminds me of the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception at Baclayon Church in Bohol. There were no frescoes at all but they had elaborate retablos some of which were already looted for its treasured antiquity. There were also structures set on the opposite sides near the altar where the priest used to deliver the mass. I don’t know what they are called must be some pulpit.
What tickles my fancy are the old nail-free wooden tiles set on the floor with great artistry; the old doors, which are personally significant for me; the stained glass windows in deep colors; and the intricate carvings on the coral walls.
We left our bags in the church and explored and took more pictures of the outside. We were nothing but fascinated and happy of our historical encounter. We went back to get our bags we left behind the door. The old lady whom we small-talked and greeted at the door warned us to stay away from Cambuhagay falls where a Korean tourist recently drowned. “It’s not nice, anyway,” said she. We thanked her and proceeded down the hill to find a place to eat.
I rarely write about my travels unless there is something to really write about. I have written about three posts about Siquijor because the experience and the sights are extraordinary. Writing about it is something that I would not want to pass by. Please clink on the link below for more.