Tuesday, April 05, 2016

THE CHURCHES OF ORIENTAL MINDORO AND THE MORIONES OF POLA

The first church that we visited in Oriental Mindoro coming from Occidental Mindoro was that of Bulalacao. Founded in 1952, the church is dedicated to Sts. Peter & Paul as its patron saints. The church was not that impressive and found it small for such a locality.  Being on a corner, the second floor of the church facing  the roadside had a balustrade surrounding it which extended to the front of the church which formed as a canopy to the main entrance.  

Since it was already noontime, we took lunch in one of the restaurants near the market place and jeepney station. We saw tarpaulin signs advertising a FastCat, a kind of a fastcraft which departs from Bulalacao to Caticlan four times a day and vice versa. The travel time is three hours.

As we were driving from Bulalacao to the next town of Mansalay, we saw along the road a signage for a Buktot Beach.  We were curious to see this beach and decided to make a detour and follow the road inland leading to the beach. We found of beautiful white beach cove  with plenty of people. This was indeed a popular beach in this area.  Not content with just watching, we found ourselves dipping into the seawaters of Buktot Beach.

After that refreshing  swim at the Buktot Beach, we passed by the St. Joseph Parish Church of Bongabong.  Along the way we passed by some Moriones, men dressed up like Roman soldiers parading around the town.

Then we reached Pinamalayan and made a courtesy call first to the pastor Fr. Arnold Magboo who gave us snacks. We booked at the Super M Pension house that was near the market.  We were told later that the parish priest called up the Pension house and told the staff that he was the one going to pay our lodging.  I concelebrated at the Lord’s Last Supper mass at it was already a Holy Thursday. We had dinner at the convent after the mass.  After dinner we went for a visita Iglesia just going to the next town of Socorro.

The following day, we again passed by the parish church of Pinamalayan to thank the parish priest for  taking care of our accommodation. We were asked to take some light breakfast since it was a day of fasting.

Then we proceeded to Pola which was an out of the way town after Socorro to see the Moriones.  Visited first the church of Pola. Like other churches in Mindoro most of the main doors are not used. It is the side door that becomes the main entrance to the church. Went for a walk in the town and noticed many old two storey houses. We were about to leave when the Moriones came along the streets for a parade. Got the opportunity to take pictures with them.

From Pola we proceeded to Puerto Galera. Noticed that the road from Calapan to Puerto Galera was mountainous and zigzag. Reached the house of Fely Calupaz, the sister of Fr. Vic Japson, a good priest-friend from Naval.  We were given one of their guesthouse.

At three pm I concelebrated with Fr Willie Villas SVD, pastor of Puerto Galera  for the Good Friday celebration. I  Joined the procession around town after the liturgy.  Then we drove to the White Beach which was almost ten kilometers away from the house we were staying. Went for a walk at the beach.  Then after going back,  Fely brought us to an Italian resto in the town. Veem, the husband of Fely joined us.  We were informed that Veem's mother just died that very morning.

The following day after breakfast we went to Talipanan  to the best Italian restaurant in Puerto: Luca Cucina Italiana. It's at the end of the highway in Puerto Galera. Was told that Pnoy was there recently to formally open the road construction which would connect Puerto Galera to  Abra de Ilog.  Then we decided that we go first to the White Beach for a swim then just go back to Luca's in time for lunch as Fely invited us to join them there. Stayed behind after lunch as Fely and family went ahead. Went for a swim until five in the afternoon when we returned to the house to prepare for the Easter Vigil at seven. Carried the blessed candle to the church after the blessing. Thought that not all the readings will be read as the pastor was sickly. Was wrong. The readers were in pairs as they read in dialogue form. Was asked to give a short sharing after communion. Mass over in three hours.

After the Easter vigil, we went to the house of the sister of Veem where they were having the vigil for the deceased mother of Veem.  Had supper and went back home at past midnight.


            After breakfast on the Easter morn, we bid adieu to our host Fely and drove to Calapan in order to take the ferry back to Batangas. 


The municipal hall of Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro


STS. PETER & PAUL PARISH
BULALACAO, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Founded: 1952









Jeepney and tricycle station near the market where we took our lunch. 


Our car parked in front of the restaurant where we had our lunch. 

Signage of a fastcraft from Bulalacao to Caticlan in Boracay. 


Saw this sign of the Buktot Beach along the road and decided to check it out. 


There were a good number of cars parked and many people on the beach. 

Buktot Beach had clear white sand. 




We were just watching first the sea but then decided to plunge and experience the cool waters of Buktot beach on that sunny day. 


Soon we were testing the waters. 








ST. JOSEPH PARISH CHURCH
BONGABONG, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Founded: 1938








There were some Moriones along the road parading. Being near Marinduque, several towns in Oriental Mindoro have Moriones during the Holy Week. 








ST. AUGUSTINE PARISH CHURCH
PINAMALAYAN, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Founded: 1937
The parish church of Pinamalayan


Inside the church of Pinamalayan.




The parish priest washing the feet of the Apostoles. 


The parish convent. 

The bell tower was separate from the church. 


A group of women doing the Pabasa on a Good Friday. 

Having breakfast with the parish priest of Pinamalayan, Fr. Arnold (leftmost).





HOLY FAMILY PARISH CHURCH
SOCORRO, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Founded: 1954











The police station of Pola. 




ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH CHURCH
POLA, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Founded: 1937
The main entrance to the church is also on the side. 




A garden beside the church has the Stations of the Cross. 



There were many two-storey old houses in the town of Pola. 





The municipal hall of Pola. 

Just as we were about to leave, the Moriones came parading by around the town of Pola. 


















GOOD SHEPHERD PARISH CHURCH
VICTORIA, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Founded: 1956












IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH CHURCH
PUERTO GALERA, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Founded: 1947







The altar of the church of Puerto Galera. 


Inside the church of Puerto Galera on Easter Sunday. 




The bell tower is separate building from the church. 



The Good Friday procession around the town of Puerto Galera. 

The Santo Entierro on procession on Good Friday. 




Luca Cucina Italiana is supposedly the best Italian restaurant in Puerto Galera. It is found in the northernmost part of Puerto Galera. It is here where the highway of Oriental Mindoro ends. 

Pizza from Luca.


The pizza and the pasta of Luca. 


The Luca restaurant at the back. 

The Luca Cucina Italiana is found in a cove at the northernmost part of Puerto Galera in a place called Talipanan. It here where the highway of Mindoro Oriental ends. 


Posing at the White Beach





One of the newer and most luxurious boutique resort in Puerto Galera, the Infinity Resort and Spa.

Infinity Resort and Spa has a beautiful location facing the sea and with a beautiful mountain at its back. 





THE STO. NIÑO CATHEDRAL
CALAPAN CITY, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Founded: 1937

Inside the Cathedral of Calapan on an Easter Sunday morning mass. 

The  Rizal Park of Calapan. 



The City Hall of Calapan. 

Calapan City Hall.


The 2Go Ferry boat that would bring us back to Batangas. 

The 2Go Ferry boat is a new ship with modern facilities unlike other ferry that we rode on. 



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