Whenever a tour guide would say that the next stop would be a local church, my heart would sink and my facial expression would deadpan before you could say ‘thechurchhatesgays‘. So I wasn’t exactly thrilled to find out that the next destination was the St. Isidore Labradore Parish Church and Convent.
However, these historical landmarks don’t just become part of tours for no reason. In fact, what I find most interesting in old churches is the architecture and how much they have survived through the years, aging gracefully like hot MILFs.
The old Lazi Church and Convent are no exception. They looked like your old but feisty grandmother wearing a bright floral sundress whom you keep wanting to visit back in the province. You know they’re old, yet they seem young. Walls have been grunged and grimed up but they still smile at you like young girls at their sweet sixteens.
The town of Lazi is at the southernmost tip of Siquijor island and the church and convent can be found facing each other amidst grand acacia trees at the heart of the town. Coral stones were used to build the facade and a lot of intricate patterns can be found carved for decorations. I also loved how the walls have mixed hues of pale yellow and gray giving it an added quirk to its already charming exterior.
Massive wooden doors guard the entrance. Inside, the church seems to be deteriorating but a few scaffoldings are in place near the altar which means repairs are being done. During our visit, several students were rehearsing for something as they were in line until the entrance, marching slowly up to the altar. This made me a bit hesitant to continue taking photos so I decided to take a quick nap outside.
On the other side of the road is Asia’s largest convent which now co-functions as a school for kids on the ground floor. On the second floor is a museum or exhibit of some sort but cameras are not allowed inside. We didn’t even bother enter the convent anymore because of that and since we didn’t want to disturb the kids in school.
The most attractive part about the convent, for me, is the different patterns that can be found outside. As a visual person, the mix of parallel and intersecting lines and shapes played in my head. The convent is your typical ‘Bahay na Bato’ with foundations made of thick stone layers and hardwood panels on the second floor.
After casually strolling around the grounds, we realized Gael was missing, probably wandering off somewhere to take some more photos, so I decided to continue napping by one of the concrete bars by the church. It was a lovely morning and I couldn’t help but appreciate how laid back the town was. I wanted to stay at that exact same block of cement for a few more hours staring at the blotches of light peeking through spaces between the leaves of the huge acacia trees that surrounded me.
I guess Siquijor brought out the kid in me. I was secretly all smiles while the sun kissed my face lying down. I walked up to some of the acacia trees and marveled at just how big they were.
To get to Lazi, you can take a tricycle or multicab from Siquijor port. I give up trying to figure out the exact fare because different drivers will probably ask different amounts from you.
It was a lazy day in Lazi which is perfect for a lazy ladyboy like me.