The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

21 September 2011

Around Lipa: The Cathedral

Despite the recent growth and expansion, Lipa's cityscape is still dominated by the dome of the Catedrál, an imposing structure in the core of the city which a lot of locals still use as a reference point where every significant landmark radiates from. The Lipeños are deeply pious and hold their patrôn, San Sebastian dear.

The puerta mayór (main door) of the cathedral is made of muláwin and is decorated with bas-relief depicting the history of salvation from Biblical times until, believe it or not, eleven years ago (the last panel depicts the logo of the 2000 Jubilee, not in this photo). What's interesting on the left photo is the scene on the lower right; a Santacruzan scene, what is actually a Filipino re-enactment of St Helena, accompanied by her son Constantine, and their search for the Holy Cross.

The interiors are typically in the colonial baroque style, and this seat of the Diocese of the Southern Tagalog Provinces is not be outdone. Frescoed ceilings done a la Michelangelo, trompe l'oeil decorations, chandeliers, and a dazzling silver retáblo typical of the Augustinians.

But even if the design is imposing and awe-inspiring, the catedral is an intensely-personal matter for every local. A lot have had something significant held there, from one's christening to a wedding or even something as mundane as a new vehicle's blessing. The cathedral is never without people, and I guess that alone shows that it is very much an intergal part of daily life.

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