Thursday, January 20, 2011

Santa Cruz' Old and Mute Witness

Outside the covered courts in Marinduque, the upper level of the century-old convent in Sta. Cruz (Santa Cruz de Napo was its old name), apparently houses the biggest hall in all of this island-province where until today laughter from banquets for various occasions held there still fill the air every now and then.

The hall, very well-preserved with walls and floors of hardwood up to 2 feet in width could take in as many as 500 guests.

The lower level, converted into classrooms since 1974 as the Holy Infant Parochial School for grade-school kids is made of adobe walls and floors with windows protected by thick iron grills and thick, heavy doors in hardwood.

(Fete a Santa Cruz de Napo from the Marche files)

The convent is located right beside the Sta. Cruz Church, reputed to be the oldest in Marinduque, and has similarly survived typhoons, earthquakes and strife.

Now, comparing these photos recently shot by photography hobbyist Dan Pagulayan (accompanied by this blogger on a weekend roadtour), of this old convent to one brief but significant journal entry with an illustration dated 1881, that showed the interior of a building in Santa Cruz while a banquet was taking place (see above illustration), we may well have a glimpse, in all likelihood, of a part of the same historic convent’s old glory and splendor.

(The staircase with old wood balusters)

The account:

“The next day was the feast of the town. After the religious ceremony at the church, a procession attended by all the faithful went through the streets of the town, adorned with canopies of greenery and garlands of flowers.

"In the evening, a big banquet was given by the parish priest of Santa Cruz. He was the son of a Frenchman and a Spanish woman, but he did not know a word of the paternal language. He also had his collection, from which he was willing to deduct a few shells for me.” (Luzon and Palawan, Marche, with illustration titled Fete a Santa Cruz de Napo)


Photos courtesy of Dan Pagulayan.

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Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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