Anda coastline

Dispatch: Going around in Bohol

From Quinale Beach in Anda, the silhouette of Camiguin can be seen

From Quinale Beach in Anda, the silhouette of Camiguin can be seen

This so far has been my longest stay in Bohol, nine days, in fact, documenting what’s left of the churches, both affected heavily by the earthquake of 15 October and those that remained standing. As I gaze into the ceilings of many of these churches, I am seeing a glimpse of heaven as painted by the Cebuano artists, Rey Francia and Canuto Avila in the 20s and 30s.

But of course, in between shoot, breaks and traveling to the next church, there was the beautiful Bohol countryside that is not often visited by tourists. While having lunch in Anda, I was eating under the shade of a big talisay tree with a white sandy beach infront of me.

In the distance, the silhouette of Camiguin Island, born of fire, with its many volcanoes, is taunting me. It’s been years, probably a decade since I last went there and everytime I plan to go, it always doesn’t materialize. But soon.

Beautiful view from the church of Cortes. Damaged Abatan River bridge in the distance

Beautiful view from the church of Cortes. Damaged Abatan River bridge in the distance. The white patch in the mountains is a landslide.

I was standing behind the church of Cortes where a portion has fell, forming a cliff. But the view was just so gorgeous. It was so serene and calm. But there were traces of the earthquake. First, the white portion in the mountains in Loon is a landslide, exposing the limestone.

At the portion of the highway visible at the image above are several vehicles parked. This is the portion of the Abatan River bridge that gave up thus cutting off Maribojoc. One has to go further inland, via Balilihan to visit the devastated municipality. The green portion along the river are nipa palms.

Cellphones, rechargeable lamps and other devices charging at the church

Cellphones, rechargeable lamps and other devices charging at the church

Over at Guindulman, when I went to the parish office to ask permission to shoot the interior of the church, the above greeted me! Because of the brownouts due to typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the power plant in Tongonan, Leyte, got damaged and is being repaired. That sent Bohol to darkness.

The church is offering the generator to its parishioners to charge their cellphones, rechargeable batteries and lamps. There was even a mobile wifi device somewhere. And I just got so fascinated with it.

Under the shade of this tree, I rested

Under the shade of this tree, I rested

After shooting the church of Garcia-Hernandez, one of the old churches in Bohol, I just stayed under the shade of this talisay tree. The afternoon was so hot and humid and it was only here that I found solace. It was breezy and gave a good view of the church with its renovated facade, which got destroyed during the earthquake of 1990.

I still have to finish several churches here but for the meantime, enjoying my time here in Bohol.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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