Backpacking with a Book
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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 | Backpacking with a Book

Hi, I'm Jona! I write stories and poetry and take a lot of photos, which I'm too lazy to upload. If you want to receive some photos that I don't share here on the blog, please leave your email here. I'm crazy about cats too. Feel free to browse through BWAB, and I would love it if you say hi! For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at For more stories about BWAB, check here. Connect with us through

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  1. Pat says:

    Are there any transportation from simala church to cebu proper?

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