Thursday, September 8, 2016

Enchanting Dumangas Adventure

CPU tourism students on top of the 18th century lighthouse in Siete Pecados

Dumangas, Iloilo has developed over the years from a small settlement into a beautiful, thriving town. The town is known for its deep historic roots which reveal themselves throughout the town. The surrounding landscape is as picturesque as the town itself, with typical coastal and agricultural scenes of fishing villages, mangrove areas, rice paddies, and seafood restaurants that runs past the town center border from the coastal road.

The town has largely retained an unspoilt, historic ambiance that lead up to the beautiful church which crowns the town. The Gothic Byzantine architectural style of the present St. Agustine Parish Church remains to be one of the more impressive churches in Iloilo. It was constructed in 1887 under the supervision of Fr. Fernando Llorente and finished in 1896 by Fr. Rafael Murillo. Built using red bricks and coral stones, it measured 72 meters long and 22 meters wide and was considered to be one of the best churches in the province during its time and the most artistic in the Philippines. It was declared by the National Historical Institute as a National Landmark in January 14, 1974. The first church along with its convent said to have been built in 1572 under the supervision of Fr. Martin de Rada OSA was burned in 1628; the second structure finished before 1787 was destroyed by an earthquake.

Under the supervision of Father Juan de Alva OSA, the First Stone Chapel in Panay was built in 1572 in Barangay Ermita formerly called “Araut.” Now in ruins, it is housed on an elevated land where the base made of coral rocks and old wood is exposed. Originally the chapel was made of nipa.

The ruins of a smokestack chimney in Barangay Rosario approximately 6 kilometers away from the town center had been left in much the same condition in which it was found. A huge Balete tree blends into its red brick walls with its old thick roots giving the structure a surreal appearance. The atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the surrounding sugarcane farm makes it one of Dumangas’ most popular tourist attractions.

Overlooking the town via its coastal area is the enchantingly beautiful Siete Pecados, a group of seven islets located between the towns of Dumangas, Iloilo and the municipality of Buenavista in Guimaras. Located in the largest islet amongst the seven is an 18th century lighthouse finished in August of 1884 under the supervision of Domingo de Escardillas. With limited space in the islet, the tower was constructed in the middle of its pavilion.

You know what they say about good things in small packages. The coastal barangays of Dumangas has managed to turn the area into an oceanic dining hotspot. These best seafood restaurants in Iloilo serve drool-worthy seafood cuisine and seafood dishes, such as fish and shellfish. Set on tapered-roof back patio for beachside-style dining, these restaurants Uphold and build on such cherished local traditions while making spectacular waves on their own. PIAD’S Seafoods, Joy-Joy’s Seafood Restaurant, River Pearl Seafood Restaurant, Siete Pecados Seafood Restaurant, Tytche Grill and Seafoods Restaurant all have at least one thing in common: they deserve your attention.

one of the islets of Siete Pecados

Dumangas RORO Port in Barangay Sapao- Sitio Nalu-oyan is a seven hectare Port Complex made possible with the assistance from the government of Japan. Daily trips to Bacolod City is serviced by Tri-Star Megalink Corporation every 2 am, 5 am, 7 am, 10 am, 12 noon, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 8:30 pm and 11 pm; Montenegro Shipping Line leaves the port at 4 am, 8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm, 8 pm and 12 midnight; Millenium Shipping Company Incorporated departs at 6 am, 11 am and 9:30 pm. Regular Fare is P96.00 with discount upon presentation of I.D. for students, Senior Citizens, People With Disabilities and children ages 3-7.

CPU tourism students pose with Dumangas LGU rescue team before a
motorized boat trip to Siete Pecados

Dumangas is a 1st class municipality in the province of Iloilo. Politically subdivided into 45 barangays, it has a land area of 11, 677 hectares. The town is located northeast or 30 kilometers away from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by the Municipality of Barotac Nuevo, on the south and east by the Guimaras Strait and on the west by the Municipalities of Pototan and Zarraga. One can travel to Dumangas via the Monfort Coast Boulevard. Vans are readily available at Baldoza Transport Terminal in Barangay Baldoza, Lapaz, Iloilo City.

Know more about Dumangas on the 12th TUMANDOK, a Tourism Month celebration on September 22-25 at the fountain area of Robinsons Place Iloilo organized by the Provincial Culture, Arts, History and Tourism Office of the Iloilo Provincial Government, the Department of Tourism Region VI, the Iloilo Tourism Officers Association, Inc. and Robinsons Place Iloilo in cooperation with Central Philippine University, Tinukib, Department of Trade and Industry and The Daily Guardian.

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