Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bulusan, Sorsogon: Bulusan's Belfry (Punta Diamante)

St. James the Greater Church
Poctol, Bulusan, Sorsogon
by lakwatserong tatay

After our journey to Lake Bulusan, we headed to the town of Rizal and Gutbat, Sorsogon, but before going exact to that placed. We missed not miss this opportunity to see the one of the historical sites of Sorsogon. Also known as Bulusan's Belfry and the Parish Church of St. James the Greater of Bulusan, Sorsogon.

Bulusan Belfry
Here some informations about its belfry:

This tower is the biggest among the five baluartes de piedra (stone watch towers) which, together with the thick and high stone walls, comprise Punta Diamante, the stone fort that encloses the church & rectory of the Parish of St. James the Greater in Bulusan, Sorsogon.

Believed to have been built even before 1799, the tower now serves as the church belfry, with the old bells still intact.

The "campanario" as it is locally known, is also a good vantage point wherein one could enjoy a commanding view of the poblacion, of the Tawog Point, Bulusan Volcano, and the wide expanse of the Pacific. Gone were the Moro piracy days but one could still imagine their colorful sailboats coming up the sea, bringing terror to the inhabitants.

Under its bells, Buluseños and evacuees from other towns sought refuge inside the stone fort -- for Bulusan was then considered to be comparatively affluent and well-protected, as evidenced by its watch towers.

After two centuries, the belfry at Bulusan has been serving more than its purpose. Standing tall and proud amidst the ages, it has and will always be a symbol of pride & unity for the Buluseños, and the Sorsoganons at large.
St. James the Greater Parish Church
Here are some facts about this Church:

First and foremost, the church in Bulusan, Sorsogon is dedicated to St. James the Greater, not St. Joseph (although one of Bulusan’s current visitas is indeed dedicated to this saint).
The church had already seen a major renovation in the sixties up to the year 1970 - when the new facade totally eradicated its original baroque appearance. Prior to these renovations, the church at Bulusan had been one of the oldest in the present province of Sorsogon, and the former province of Albay. Sorsogon as a province was once a part of Albay, until 1894 when it gained independence.
The old Spanish church must have been erected sometime around 1760, when the townsite was moved to its current location in the plains - from its original upland founding site. It had been already established though that the town indeed was once a mere visita of Casiguran until it became a separate parish in 1630, and became the first pueblo civil among the present-day Sorsogon towns, when it was elevated yet again to this status a year later.
Other visitas that would later become separate parroquias/pueblos were: Gubat (1771/1764), Matnog (1785/1800), Bulan (Gate - 1690, rebuilt 1801), Barcelona (1867/1866), Irosin (1873/1880), and Santa Magdalena (1890/1894-from Bulusan then under Matnog).
Today, the walls are almost still intact. There were a total of four baluartes de piedra included in this development - the biggest of which now serves as the church belfry.

Church marker
We just stayed here for few minutes, of course to do what we do most.....hehehe...Photo sessions again. Below are some of the photos that are taken when we visited this historical place.

in photo session mode
church altar
This church has a wide green grass view on its both side, although on the other sides also serves as an cemetery that been used to be buried on this place.
left side of the church
Here is the cemetery area on this Church
Being on this place, is a privilage because to see the one of the five baluartes de piedra and the biggest among the 5 stone watch tower that been used in the time of spanish era. You could reminisce what really happen to our past. Seeing its diamond type tower and it original structure is a must. Even though we dont have the chance to go up to this tower. Maybe next time when i go back to this place. We could have the chance to go up to this wall towered stone.

Balaurte de Piedra
Church bell on this tower
Of course, we will not miss this opportunity to have a souvenir pic of this tower. And to add to the places that we've stayed and XPLORED.
it's been XPLORED

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