Early one morning, just before sunrise, I woke up early to take a short walk and take photos along the shore where a fishing boat was beached into the shallow water for a few days already. After a few minutes of seeing, composing, setting and clicking, I started to notice a group of fishermen starting to pull at a rope. They were trawling the shallows and this got me curious since I haven’t seen this before.

Be careful of what you wish for, it might come true. For many years, Cuyo is a fascination. A sprinkling of islets between Panay and Northern Palawan, I have wondered many times about its isolation, its people and the rich religious cultural heritage found on its soil. It all started way back more than a decade ago when I used to collect butterflies.

It is not only old churches that I am fascinated with but I find Spanish colonial era cemeteries, and to some extent, those during pre-war period with their wonderful architecture very interesting. When I get to places, after asking about the churches, I follow it up with: “Is the cemetery here old?”

In the Visayas, and possibly in the entire country, Iloilo has the best samples of colonial era, as well as pre-war cemeteries.

The church in Silay City, Negros Occidental. Built around the 1930s, the original structure, now a ruin, can be found just beside the present church.

The Cuyo Loop In October of 2006, I visited the remote islands of Cuyo and Culion in Palawan for a photography assignment and passed Negros and Iloilo in transit. This is my account of that journey.

This is the 4th of a series. No doubt about it, I’m a sucker for old churches. That’s why when I travel, the first place that I go to see is the church, especially if it is colonial era. Not to pray, but to admire these architectural wonders as well as to take photos or do some documentation. I always find time to make my own visita iglesia.

For religious heritage lovers, Iloilo and Negros are must go to places in the Visayas. The former is a showcase of the Augustinian legacy as Panay island was where this pioneering order made its mark while the latter was administered by the Augustinian Recollects. Of course, like in other parts of the country, several of these churches have undergone various restorations and renovations that it is now impossible to see still untouched structures.

The San Sebastian Cathedral of Bacolod City.

Dominating the downtown area of Bacolod City is the Cathedral of San Sebastian. I do like its architecture: lofty and solid but elegant as well. Its lines and curves pleases the eye.

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