Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pictures of Tubigon Church, 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake in Bohol, October 15, 2013

On October 15, 2013, Bohol Island in the Philippines suffered a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. My mother comes from that island, where she grew up until she went to Manila to attend college.

I'm praying for the safety and the recovery and return to normalcy of all my relatives and friends and the rest of those affected on the islands of Cebu and Bohol. Luckily no one I know was hurt, but an uncle got trapped in his bedroom, when part of the ceiling collapsed and blocked the door. His neighbors were able to get him out to safety. 

It is also going to become a financial drain for the residents. My brother shared with me pictures of the Tubigon church, which was sent to him by a relative. I decided to photoedit and share the pictures because the media initially publicized that only two churches were affected. Fact is, a lot of buildings, including churches and some of my relatives' homes have collapsed and will have to be rebuilt. 

Above is the front of Tubigon Church, in the town of Tubigon, Bohol. The feast day or fiesta of the town is on May 15, the feast day of San Isidro Labrador, St. Isidore the Farmer. It's when most homes have food, and relatives and friends go from house to house to eat and drink. A good number of couples get married on that day, not just because it's convenient to do so, but because it's the middle of May, when it's still summer and school is out. As kids we lived in Manila, but we went to Bohol for the summer break. My grandpa's house that burned down years ago, which I wrote about in one of my books, which has yet to be released, where we used to stay, was in front of the town plaza, the Tubigon Town Square, on the southwest side of the plaza, and this church is on the southeast side of the plaza, was located at a more elevated spot.

I made a before and after comparison of the church. I got the before picture from Wikipedia. I remember I used to look up the ceiling, because it had a lot of religious scenes painted. I can't believe how hollow the ceiling is. It looked so solid from where I sat during Sunday mass.

Every 6 pm. The church bells ring. People at the plaza and elsewhere would stop and face the church. The gesture seemed surreal, like a scene from a scifi movie, like "The Stepford Wives," but the entire town simply seemed to belong to the same Catholic religion. My mom had us memorize the 6 pm prayer, called The Angelus. I don't suppose now that everyone who stopped prayed it, but when I was small, I assumed everyone did. 

It would seem that Bohol is not related to my dollwork. I have written about my misadventures in Bohol in at least one of my memoirs that I have yet to release (I'm still hoping a publisher would take over the publication and distribution). Like I said, I was only able to go there in May, not Christmas. My aunt inherited a huge nativity scene from my deceased grandmother, and only displayed it in December. It supposedly took over at least 1/4 of the entire hurge living room in the house we stayed at.

I never got to see the setup, which included little houses and antique statues, which I imagined were the size of my current dollwork. I acknowledge that my current art dolls are a manifestation of my frustration of not having seen those supposedly antique dolls.  

A new Filipino saint, Saint Pedro Calungsod, was recently canonized on October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI, although his beatification was on March 5, 2000, by Pope John Paul II. Above is St. Pedro's fallen statue, which is obviously life-sized. I'm sure people will recover from the earthquake, but I hope it does not happen again anytime soon. I believe that the last earthquake that hit Bohol before this one was in 1990.

I also got pictures of my relatives' homes which were damaged, but I thought it was too personal to share them..


  1. It's been years since I've been there but it was a beautiful town. Hope everyone is basically OK.


  2. Again, I don't think the typhoon ran over your family's home, but I hope everyone came through it OK.


  3. Hi Larry, oops sorry i was not checking my blog coz of my dad. My relatives' 2-story house is, or was just across the street to the right of the church as you face the church. I was told that the back portion of the house sunk into a sinkhole. They are demolishing it. The church asked for the rubble to be donated because they are building a new smaller church where the basketball court is located, which is the more street level area front and left of the church facade, if I remember it correctly.


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