Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Where's the "Free" in Freelancing?

      It looks like you guys won't be seeing any new post in this blog for the rest of April. I'm busy again... well, I'm always busy. I have a pretty long list of things to do. What you see above is just the ASAP page.

   I certainly am not trying to convince everybody that I am the busiest person in the world, though sometimes it feels like it. Especially when you see your friends on Facebook traveling here, vacationing there, attending this, experiencing that...

   Times like these I kinda miss working in an office, you know, for a company that only needs me 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Being a freelancer, I tend to work even on weekends and holidays just to get the job done the soonest, so I can get back to the work that has more to do with my long term goals.  Also to get back to some non-profitable creative stuff, that always seem  more fun to do.

    But after the completion of a "survival" project, another one comes along.  It really is a good thing but it sure feels draining. Trouble is, and you might find this amusing,  that when I'm working on a graphic project I get chained to my old laptop for days and I can no longer bring it anywhere because the battery doesn't work anymore, and it now uses an external monitor and keyboard. So yeah, I become like a prisoner in my own room, that I've been decorating to make it look less of a ward. Believe me, a beautiful ambiance does help.

    Yet I do need to replace my 8-year-old  laptop soon. Then I could just bring work anywhere again when I feel confined.  Yeah this means another major purchase. Arrgh! I also need to buy new tires for my motorcycle! Which to spend for first? *sigh* Bohemian problems! LOL

   Well I'm going to Puerto Galera with my peers on May 1st. I think I will need this 3-day vacation more than anything else!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Old Churches of Cavite:
Dasmariñas Church

     We arrived at our 11th church around 7PM, I think. And I am glad to see another old church with an an impressive facade. Dasmariñas Church, is another church built in honor of the Immaculate Conception. The church's mains structure made of stone was built in the same year when the parish was established in 1867. It was simple and had no belfry then. Improvements and repairs were made in 1874 and 1880.

      However, I didn't expect the not-so-high ceiling. I realized that pediment part of the facade was just a veneer. When we got here there was a mass going on and we had to wait for it to finish before we could take closer shots of the altar. There were also plastic sheets covering the renovation at the right side of the church, hence such cropping of this photo hehe.

     The retablo at the altar certainly isn't 17th Century. But the image of the Immaculate Conception was carved in 1857 by a famous sculptor Don Esperidion Arevalo from Sta. Cruz, Manila who also carved the retablos at Imus Church, Cavite.

     Another remarkable thing about this church are its doors. Aside from the front door, it also has large doors at the side aisle and transept. Each panel is carved with a relief of a known Marian image, like Lady of Fatima, Lady of Lourdes, etc. The church is a good place to test your knowledge of Marian imagery. ^_^

      As I mentioned earlier, we targeted to visit 12 known old churches in Cavite. The last church was the Cathedral of the Lady of the Pillar. When we got there sometime past 8 PM, it was already closed for the day, no lights and totally creepy. And it's a shame because it was a cathedral that we missed - a large an important church. Ironically, Imus is close to Manila but our route is a loop starting in Bacoor, then the coastal towns of Kawit and Rosario,  then General Trias, then Tanza, Naic, and Maragondon, then Ternate, then a long trip to Indang, then another to Silang as it was getting dark, then Dasmariñas and Imus, then back to Dasmariñas to get back to Metro Manila via Daang Hari Road.

     Don's route plan is actually good because it allowed us to visit a lot churches by mid afternoon, since the first number of towns are smaller and close to each other. Anyway, Don and Fitz will come back for Imus Cathedral with their folks. Too bad I can't *sniff* but it was really nice of Don to offer the use of his photos of the cathedral. But you know, the experience of seeing it yourself is important too. Well maybe some other day. Imus after all is near the Metro.

    And so this concludes our Cavite Churches Tour that happened 11th of March 2015. Muchas gracias to Don Trivño of and; and Fitz Villafuerte of

    Have a blessed Holy Week!

Old Churches of Cavite:
Silang Church

     As you may have noticed, it was already dark when we got to our 10th church. The battery of my old point n' shoot camera was all used up, and the cam of my Galaxy tab is just no good for low-light. But Don offered me to use his iPhone hehe.

     Anyway, Silang Church is also known as the Our Lady of the Candelaria Church. The present stone church was built from 1637 to 1639 and was dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria in 1640 shortly after a statue of her was discovered in the mountains of Silang. Like most of the very old churches, it underwent a series of repairs because of damage from fire and earthquake. Restorations were done in the 70's and in the decades that follow.

     Apart from the retablos, everything else in the church looks new, even the evenly-cut masonry of the walls suggest newness. And I'm loving the combination! My idea of a nice contemporary interior is that which use natural finishes, and of course very very old conversation pieces! ^_^

    In the central niche of the 3-tier retablo is a statue of  Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. The spanish word "Candelaria" means Candlemas which celebrates the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. In Jewish tradition, a woman who naturally has expelled blood while giving birth is considered "unclean" so after 40 days the woman shall present herself and her new baby to a priest in the Temple to be purified once again.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Old Churches of Cavite:
Indang Church

      The 9th church I visited in our Cavite church tour, that took place  March 11th this year with my long-time blogger friends Don and Fitz, is San Gregorio Magno Church or Saint Gregory the Great Parish Church, established in 1611. The major  part of the stone church was built from 1672 to 1676 and it's completion was in 1710.  The  church was burned during the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards. Repairs and restorations were made in 1953 and 1987.

        This church's uniqueness makes it one of my favorites. Of all the old churches in Cavite, this one has trope l'oeil (illusion of decorative mouldings and reliefs through paint)  on the walls and ceiling. It reminded me of Betis Church in Pampanga which is a National Historical Treasure.

    A life-size statue of St. Gregory the Great stands at the central niche of the main retablo. San Gregorio de Magno was Pope from year 590 until his death in 604.  He is usually depicted with a dove resting on his shoulders because of a story recorded by his deacon friend.  The deacon was writing down words dictated by the pope for a homily and there was a thick curtain between him and the pope. As the pope remained silent for long periods at time, the curious deacon made a hole on the curtain and, looking through, saw a dove seated on Gregory's head with its beak between his lips. When the dove withdrew its  beak, the pope spoke and the deacon  took down his words. But when the pope became silent again, the deacon peeped through the hole and saw that the dove had re-placed its beak between Gregory's lips. Cool, huh? Looks like the dove was feeding the pope some words of heavenly wisdom.

     This large painting of the Seven Archangels displayed at the right side of the altar was  discovered by the local parish priest at the back of the church, and it was "rolled and among burnt trash". I'm not sure when the discovery took place. Perhaps it was when repairs began after the church was burned in the late 1800s. Anyway, when it finally had a place among the church walls, Indang Church became a church of 8 patrons - St. Gregory and the 7 Archangels (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Simiel, Oriphiel, and Raguel)

Do check out the rest of the photos of this very artful church! ^_^

Old Churches of Cavite:
Ternate Church

   I must confess that the 8th church that we visited here in Cavite really isn't one of my favorites. Well simply because the present church structure of the Parish of Sto. Niño de Ternate was built in the 1900's so it doesn't look so old, and I'm such a big fan of oldness.  But I've read that parish was founded in 1633 and there was an original stone church that was built in 1863. But that church was turned to rubble while Filipinos fought for independence in the late 1800s. Nothing was left of the original church but one miraculous treasure...

       The statue of the Santo Niño de Ternate came from Moluccas (Moluku Islands) an archipelago in Indonesia, particularly the island of Ternate that was once a powerful Sultanate. It was an island coveted by the Portugese, Spaniards, and the Dutch for its resources.  When it became impossible for Spain to take over Ternate (because of the Chinese!), they called for their troops there for an expedition to Manila in 1633. Joining them are faithful Christian Ternatean allies, also called Mardicas (Men of the Sea), who brought with them this image of the Holy Child. Eventually the Mardicas were granted land in the vicinity of Maragondon  where they settled and established a town of their own. They named the town Ternate in remembrance of their old home in Moluccas.

      The image is known to be miraculous. Every year the image is bathed and the water that ran down its body is claimed to cure sickness.