The thought of sleeping in one of the country’s best preserved but more than a century old kumbento thrilled me. It’s not always that this happens everyday or when I travel.
The first time I slept in one such kind of place was in Bantayan Island but it was very much comfortable, airconditioned with cable TV.
But in Lazi, Siquijor?
The room is basic and spartan. With still original ceiling made from woven bamboo covered with lime wash. Its herringbone patterned wooden flooring still shiny after a hundred years. There is not much old furniture left around except a few butacas (lounge like chairs with long arm rests), however, the bed I slept on looks old. Probably a four poster bed with only remnants of the original four corner posts. The rattan weaving has also been replaced with nylon.
Come bedtime, mosquitoes can be a problem and I just covered myself up with the thin blanket while the small electric fan was directed at me to stave off the pesky insects. But its a quite Siquijor night.
Is it creepy? I should say, no, it is not. I even had a comfortable and deep sleep. My imagination didn’t run wild with strange sounds or footsteps outside. When you do get out of the room, the wide main hall can get daunting at night because of the patina of old age on the walls and columns lit only with a single light that conjures images of ghosts and spirits.
The local heritage group has plans to offer lodging inside the kumbento in the near future. This will be a welcome development, whenever, if ever, this happens.