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Townscape: Sibonga | Monastery of the Holy Eucharist in Simala

Backpacking with a Book

MALONG. P100. The chest, the legs must be covered—further accentuating the frailty of humankind even in the house of god.

CROWN. Right in front of the elephantine Mama Mary's statue.

CANDLES. They signal hope, they signal death.

DEVOUT. Perhaps faith is a necessity.

FAITH. Humans have vulnerable yet withstanding belief in faith.

TESTIMONIALS. Concretizing the idea of faith. One couldn't completely understand why we have the tendency to give the whole credit to the church for passing an important exam, for a cured illness, for a good health. How about science, how about pure chance, how about luck, how about diligence?

CLIMB. The newly constructed steps remind one of the Great Wall of China.

POND. Perhaps one is perpetually fascinated with shadows, water, reflection, green.

REFLECTION. When the reflection is more apparent than the real.

THORNY. Perhaps this is the right metaphor here.

BOX. Faith has colors, perhaps mine is dark.

DUALITY. Dogs idling inside the church. Although dogs are often conceived as man's bestfriend, there is an undomesticated character in them, perhaps this gives birth to dog-eat-dog world. In several books I've read, however, dogs have higher importance to humans. Jemubhai, Kiran Desai's judge character, found his mutt more valuable than his own granddaughter. Paul Auster's Mr. Bone in Timbuktu has profound intelligence, which is an unlikely character for a dog.

FRUSTRATION: The view over Minglanilla's Flyover has been a source of frustration. This is not the shot I wanted. Have to try harder.

SHADES. Street vendors sell them P70 apiece. In wholesale stores, they are just around P45.


South Bus Terminal. Board on the bus bound south. Advice the conductor of your destination: Simala. Bus Fare from Cebu City to Sibonga is P53.00 only. Get off in Simala. Hire a habal-habal for Upper Lindogan where the monastery is located. It’s only P20 per person.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at Find me somewhere else!

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  1. Pat says:

    Are there any transportation from simala church to cebu proper?

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