Northern Antique and Iloilo

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By the sea of Antique I stood, watching how the waters come and go; thinking how I came here and will return home with memories tomorrow.

Holy people; holy place. Antique proved its sanctity, being the cradle of churches both ruined and preserved. I beheld the famous Jaro Cathedral and Miag-Ao churches (others are also appreciated but seemed strange for tourists like me), and the eldest church that had ever existed while our van service passed along the road to Antique (picture unavailable, sorry).

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The Projects team flew for another media literacy and video production workshop in the division of Antique. The travel became smooth since we had our transportation shouldered by the St. Anthony’s School of San Jose. On the other hand, there were locally accredited vans across from the arrival entrance-exit airport gate for commuting either to Iloilo City or straight to Antique. Guards and personnel were also standing by the area to assist you as well.

Father Jr Alojipan was missioned primarily to coordinate with us during the run with assistance from the seminarians in the diocese namely Brother Daryl and Brother Hope (replaced by Brother Jaybee for a religious commitment, hoping to see Brother Hope again). They will be staying at the Bishop’s House with us for the four-day workshop.

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The Sad Egg Can’t Wait. A three-dimensional puzzle of Saint Basil Cathedral, lay aside the next morning while heading for breakfast in the Bishop’s House.

People in Antique speak in Kinaray-A, a language with Chinese influence and different from Ilonggo. I was tongue-twisted to greet the participants “Mayad nga aga!” repeatedly. The natives within the area enjoyed conversations even sometimes I need sudden adjustments and use non-verbal cues in wrecking communication barriers.

The influence of Catholicism was rampant in Iloilo and Antique. A director of Santo Niño parish once told stories about ruined churches caused by Morongs’ arsenal and destructive attacks.

One of these ruins, beside the Saint Peter’s parish, was still preserved and used for some religious purposes such as a matrimonial ceremony; another ruin we saw became a school.

 

Looking for pasalubong and souvenirs? Try Iloilo’s Biscocho delicacies at Biscocho Haus. You could find it at SM City Iloilo, Gaisano mall at San Jose, Antique or at their main store in Jaro. It tastes like toasted bread, but it has a finer crunch. You may also try their Malunggay Polvoron, Brownies, and creamy toasted Mamon. Prices rages from around 54-68 Pesos depending on the number of pieces. An additional charge might apply if you requested a box, perfect for checking it in before boarding your flight.

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At some point you might miss some fine-dine experience from the metro but fear not. San Jose also has a local pizzeria called Alberto’s at no cheap taste yet truly affordable. The double cheese flavor is a must-try, along with the supreme pizza. For those who found tripping exciting but forgot to feed a hungry tummy, no worries because it is open until 10:30 in the late evening.

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Just in front of the Bishop’s House in San Jose we have purchased a Muscovado sugar which only costs 68 Pesos per kilo, but it was on sale occasionally (I overheard to be near Lenten season).

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Somewhere in Bugasong was a handloom weaving house-type shop where tourists like us who dropped by chooses whichever variety of hand-made Patadyong designs.

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It was a blessing to witness successors of this rich heritage that they were living for (economically and historically). Like the Inabel-weaved cloths in Paoay of Ilocos Norte, Patadyong weaves also consists of scarves, hankies, and table cloths (runners).

At last, we have called it a day. We were blessed to chase the sun before we return in our homeland.

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Chasing Sunset. An accidental picture of Film Director “Super” Milo, Josa, and Brother Daryl along the beach of Bugasong, open for public.