My mother pulled over to the uphill lot occupied by rows of churchgoers that Palm Sunday. I inspected the church, now awash in chipped white paint, from facade to belfry and heaved a sigh of disappointment. The unfinished coat seemed haphazardly splashed on and decimated that old world charm that makes Daraga Church endearing.
The paint, which is actually lime wash – coating used to preserve exteriors of deteriorating but super important infrastructure like, uhm, this 240-year old church – was up for completion in 2012. But as in many government projects in the country, they just ran out of budget midway – which makes it even more disappointing.
But then I turned around and saw this…
…and I remembered why I will always look forward to coming back to this now National Cultural Treasure – paint or without paint.
|Mayon seemingly witthin arm’s reach (or not) and at eye level from the Our Lady of the Gate.
And the place even has a new restaurant on the side!
|If this was your view, wouldn’t you be more than thrilled to go to Church every day?|
|I love it that that lady figure holding a Red Labuyo overhead has Mayon as backdrop. Speaks so well metaphorically. Because, well, Daraga and Mayon Volcano are smokin’ hot like that.|
How to Get To Daraga Church:
1. Take a Daraga-Legazpi-bound jeep and ask the driver to drop you off at NOVO.
2. The church is located atop a hill amid the central market (near Jollibee). You’d have to take a 10 to 15-minute walk up a paved stairwell from the street across Generics Pharmacy.