March 11, 2015

Tangalan: Afga Point and Jawili

Why is it that the more you want to forget something, the more you seem to remember it? Perhaps I just need a little distraction - a beach, a change of scenery, just to unwind all by myself, and set aside time to express my feelings. There’s this wonderful place near my hometown that can do the trick - Tangalan.

Situated at the midpoint between Kalibo and Caticlan, Tangalan is a quiet coastal town that boasts of its hidden bucolic and natural beauty. I’ve been here only quite a few times before, but somehow it feels like coming home to an old friend.

At the heart of the town, is the century-old St. John Nepomucene Church, one of the oldest churches in the province of Aklan. Made of limestone and coral blocks, the church was built under forced labor system by the locals, including women and children for almost three decades during the Spanish colonial era. It was finished sometime in 1889, and until now still remains intact and off-white beautiful.

Not far from the church is Afga, notable for its unique wave-rock formation formed by the hands of men and nature. Its shores used to be the quarry site for coral stones used in building the church, as well as the houses of the most affluent members of the town.  With the erosion brought by the waves, the quarry site eventually developed into wave-like rock formation.  I don’t know why but for now I like it to be the landscape of my soul. 

Walking alone may be the hardest, but it’s also the strongest. Yes I survived my solitary walk at the Jawili Mangrove Footwalk.

Jawili Falls is the most well-known attraction of town, with seven natural pools and basins with cascading fresh water coming straight from the mountain. When I was still in college, I got ill for more than a week right after swimming here. The witch doctor told me that a fairy living in one of the trees near the falls got smitten with me. Whether it was true or not, somehow that incident makes a good back story to my sickness compared to the scientific findings of my medical doctor.

And finally, my last stop-over - Jawili Beach and Blue Starfish Resort, a wonderful place to relax, laze around, run on the sand, and forget all my problems.

I don’t know what tomorrow may bring but I just want to stay on the sunny side of life, even if I had to make my own sunshine.
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