May 2007


silhig vendor

This old man walks the streets of Iloilo selling silhig (walis tingting in Filipino)– a broom made from the midrib of coconut leaves.

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Located at a corner of Molo Plaza fronting Andok’s Chicken is the first and longest running fishball cart in Iloilo having been around since 1975. Jo-ann’s is also one of the very few fishball makers that puts in real fish and not just flavoring in their balls.

After my marathon blogging this afternoon (fresh from hibernation), I came out of IPX Internet at Iloilo Supermart, Molo, feeling hungry and drained. Then, I remembered that lone fishball cart at a corner of Molo Plaza. Hmm, why not have those fishballs again with a bottle of Mt. Dew? (more…)

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Many interesting details can be found in Pototan cemetery. The stone cross marker for instance is still very much intact. That’s the cemetery caretaker or portero in front of the towering solid cross back in 1995. If Janiuay’s stone cross required 52 carabaos to haul it, I wonder how many this one took.

The cross figures strongly in the celebration of Pyesta Minatay or All Saints’ Day. This is where people light candles to remember their dead in far away places or those whose burial places no longer exist inside the cemetery. (more…)

Janiuay cemetery’s grand stone steps

(Janiuay cemetery’s grand stone staircase. Photo courtesy of Ayala Museum)

Inaugurated in 1884, Janiuay (pronounced as ha-nee-wai) cemetery was hailed as the most artistic cemetery in the Philippines! The town’s parish priest, Augustinian friar Fernando Llorente spearheaded the ambitious project. (Prior to this assignment, he was head of Dingle, a town where he also had a stone cemetery constructed. (more…)

staba3.jpgSta. Barbara no longer has a funerary chapel or capilla, unlike the other cemeteries I’ve featured. What is special about Sta. Barbara though is the stone tablet found just above its arched entrance of bricks and iron grills. Because of its cute size, many people, Sta. Barbaranhons included, have failed to notice it. Of the cemetery inscriptions I’ve discovered, Sta. Barbara’s really made me smile. (more…)

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(Cabatuan cemetery capilla, 1995. Photo by JRSumagaysay)

The cemetery of Cabatuan can boast of its nearly perfect square lay-out with a vast area of 28, 930 sq.m. The newspaper El Eco de Panay covered its grand inauguration on February 4, 1894. It described Cabatuan cemetery as Roman in style with robust pilasters topped by pear-shaped ornaments and iron grills as enclosure. At the center majestically stands the capilla with three entrance archways and eight urns on the cornice. A dome (media naranja) crowned this capilla. (more…)

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Among the eight artistically significant colonial cemeteries in Iloilo, I deduced that Oton cemetery is the oldest, probably built in the early or mid-19th cetury. From the exterior, it does not appear to have been from the Spanish period. The obvious proof of its colonial origin is found some 30 meters from the entrance. It is a circular stone capilla with three entrance openings above which are identical decorations consisting of skull-and-crossbones and narrow brick urns half-embedded onto the stone. (more…)

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