Perhaps I should have myself be declared an adopted son of Camarines Sur with the many times I’ve been visiting and exploring this province! Yes, CamSur, as it’s popularly known is old churches, outdoor adventure, great food and hospitable people. There’s always something new to visit or taste. And when you do go to the towns, there are lots of heritage architecture to see. That’s why this is my favorite province in Bicol.
Take for example Libmanan. Although these days, it’s famous as the home of the popular 3N toasted siopao, and recently, beautiful Engkanto Falls, I had the opportunity to visit this town and marvel at some of its heritage structures.
The municipal hall is early 19th century, probably 1920s. It has a beautiful yet simple facade flanked by an arcade. Although there have been some renovations of the interior, I was very much impressed by the wide grand staircase.
Like many towns in the province, Libmanan still has its old church although the facade and part of its nave have been renovated and is new. Only the presbytery and the transept are still original. The transept entrances are interesting with both sides bearing the Dominican and Franciscan seal above the main door.
But what really got my interest is the structure located at the side of the church. It’s massive and thick, like a fortification, built with bricks and decorated with several intricate floral bas reliefs. Was this part of the kumbento before? Why the fortress like form? Other than this, the church has interesting antique artifacts in its diocesan museum.
We were also able to visit four heritage houses of which the Dilenco House, built in 1875 is said to be the oldest structure in Libmanan. According to the Libmanan LGU, it was home to three of its mayors. Unfortunately, it’s already abandoned. Another splendid structure is a rare and beautiful art deco house, the Morales Ruins, as it is called, built in 1937. Even in most towns, an art deco house is not common.
The Nacianceno House is another beautiful heritage house that has art deco elements. Already an interesting exterior, the all wood interior is even exquisite. It even has art deco style cabinets that is not common. The Jaucian House, built in 1926 is another heritage structure although much of it has already been renovated.
Although the trip was just short, I do want to go back and explore more of the town.
Thanx to Naga Excursions and Libmanan LGU for making this trip possible.