Saturday, April 16, 2016

ROMBLON, A PARADISE WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED. Part Three: Sibuyan island and Cresta de Gallo

On our third day, after a hurried breakfast we were brought to the pier of Romblon for our trip to Sibuyan island. The boat leaves every day for Sibuyan at 7:30 a.m. Sibuyan is famous for Mt. Guiting-guiting and the various waterfalls around the island. The island which is not yet that developed still has some of the best preserved species of flora and fauna not found in other islands.  I wanted to go to Sibuyan to see the oldest preserved church in Romblon which is found in Azagra, a barrio of San Fernando which is on southernmost part of the island.  With the little time that I will have in the island, I was also torn between going to a waterfalls or the Catingas river resort or the Cresta de Gallo island, which is a white sand island with a long stretch of sand bar, an hour away from San Fernando. In the end, I decided that I would like to go to Cresta de Gallo. The boat ride on the Montenegro ship Maria Querubin took almost three hours.  It was passed ten in the morning when we arrived at the Ambulong port in Magdiwang. There to meet us was the car of the municipal mayor of San Fernando which was there also to pick up the daughter of the mayor who was working in Odiongan. The wife of the mayor who also was a former mayor and is now the municipal health doctor of Cajidiocan, Dr. Tansingco was a good friend of Fr. Nars.  Instead of taking the shorter road from Magdiwang to San Fernando, it was decided that we will be taking the Magdiwang-Cajidiocan- San Fernando road as there were road constructions on the other side.  The road mostly along the coastline was cemented in some parts but dusty and uncemented in many parts. Perhaps the cemented road was already fifty percent. What was good was that there were no potholes. The roads were paved. Lunch was waiting for us when we arrived at Azagra. The chapel leaders were the ones who prepared the  food. The parish priest Fr. Pershing Faeldog was also there.  Since it was very hot that day, it was suggested that we go to Cresta de Gallo late in the afternoon already.  We still were able to take our  siesta. Since I was feeling the onslaught of a cough and I was not feeling that  well I used the time to take a rest in the convento.

It was already four o’oclock when we went to the Cresta de Gallo  island. It took us about an hour. The place is like the island of Kalanggaman in Palompon. It is in the middle of nowhere. There was sandbar at both ends of the islands, with the northern part stretching to almost a half kilometer away. Near the southern end of this long island was a small hill with some trees and shrubs which served as the only shade in the whole island. A lighthouse was on top.  I was not feeling well to plunge into the sea. It would be my first time to visit an island and I was  not able to swim. I was feeling a bit cold and I was afraid that I might get worse if I would take a swim. Just enjoyed taking pictures. I did not even go to the end of the sand bar.  It was past sunset when we sailed back to the mainland of Sibuyan. We were sailing across the moonlit night on this Holy Tuesday.

We took a tricycle from Azagra to get into the town of San Fernando where dinner was prepared for us by the parish priest at Benjs place, a small restaurant by the sea.  Azagra was five kilometers away from the poblacion. It was said that Azagra used to be the poblacion  years past but had to be transferred because of the lack of potable water. 

We were billeted at the rest house by the sea  of the Mayor, a kilometer away from the town. 

Breakfast was already prepared by 6:30 am the following day. The rest house had two guest rooms on the ground floor and several beds were spread at the attic. Then Dr. Tansingco came by 7:30 in the morning as she would join us in the ride as she had to report to her office in Cajidiocan.  Ronnie in the meantime decided to leave us and take the boat from San Fernando which was going to Roxas City. He will be joining his employees who will be going to Dumaguete City for the holy week.

We left San Fernando by 7:30 and passed by the church of Cajidiocan. Then we also passed by the parish church of Danao, Cajidiocan. By past nine we were already in Magdiwang. We visited the parish church where the parish priest prepared some snacks for us.  Since it was still early,  Fr. Nars brought us to Sanctuary Garden, a mountain resort. Nearby was a swimming hole by the dam. 

The boat arrived almost at eleven in the morning. We were surprised that it had to wait until twelve before it departed. We were later told that a patient was supposed to join us but had died along the way. 

The Ambulong Port in Magdiwang, Sibuyan island. 

Azagra, San Fernando, Romblon
Azagra church in Azagra, San Fernando. This is said to be the second oldest church in Romblon. 

Inside the church of Azagra. 

Approaching the island of Cresta de Gallo. 

Cresta de Gallo with its long stretch of sand bar. 

White sand and the only shade available in the island is this rocky hill with some trees and shrubs. 

The sandbar still stretches far behind those rocks at the distance. 

The sandbar of Cresta de Gallo. 

The moon was rising above the waters as we sailed back to the mainland of Sibuyan. 

Last look at the Cresta de Gallo. 

San Fernando, Romblon
Founded: 1881

The Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in San Fernando. It was already evening when we visited the church. 

Inside the church of the San Fernando. 

Church altar of San Fernando. 

In front of the Beach house of the Mayor of San Fernando where we stayed overnight. 

Cajidiocan, Romblon
Founded: 1848

The Parish Church of  Sta. Barbara, Cajidiocan. 

Inside the church of Cajidiocan. 

The Stations of the Cross. 

A closer look of the Altar retablo. 

The convento still has old  wooden floors. 

Danao, Cajidiocan, Romblon
Founded: 1987
The Parish Church of Sto. Niño, Brgy. Danao, Cajidiocan. 

The three-storey convent of Danao. 

Magdiwang, Romblon
Founded: 1868

The Parish Church of Magdiwang. 

Church altar of Magdiwang. 

The interior of the church of Magdiwang. 

Sanctuary Garden Resort in Magdiwang. 

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