I alighted from a motorbike, my hair all windswept and my knees wobbly from the ride. I glanced briefly at Tangalan’s St. John Nepomucene Church and the darkening evening before heading straight to a barbecue vendor. Laying down two sticks of isaws on her grill, I immediately paid with a hundred-peso bill and waited for my change; I needed a couple of twenties for my ride back to civilization.
Shadows were looming as I started my two-hour walk back to Tangalan’s town proper. After witnessing a gorgeous sunset at Jawili Beach, I was forced to walk back to town since there were no more tricycles plying the road to Poblacion. Flagging anything with a headlight, a motorcycle finally slowed down and allowed me to hitch a ride.
The guy was clearly drunk and he drove like a horde of aswangs were at our tail.
I wasn’t sure which was better, walking alone in the dark for hours at the backroads of Aklan or riding a motorcycle with a drunk speed freak. In the end, I guess it’s latter since I still arrived in Tangalan’s Poblacion in one piece, albeit with shaking legs.
While waiting for my isaws to get crisply done, I started setting up my tripod and camera to photograph what I really came to Tangalan for. I know the town has its multi-tiered Jawili Falls and its secluded Jawili Beach, but those are only secondary on my list; it’s really their 125-year old St. John Nepomucene Church I came for.
Pardon me, but I’m crazy for old churches like that.
Construction of Tangalan’s petite old church started in 1889 as inscribed on its limestone walls. For 28 years the people of this small town labored to build this church under the Spanish rule; manually transporting blocks of stones from the nearby Afga Beach (which I failed to visit).
It has an asymmetrical façade due to the bell tower rising from its left flank. Upon closer inspection though, one can see that it is but a later addition to the edifice as is evident from its building material, concrete. The original stone church is perfectly symmetrical in form.
The heavy wooden double doors of St. John Nepomucene Church were closed during my stopover. I tried my luck asking the gatekeeper of the church to let me have a peek, but to no avail.
Oh well, back to the barbecue vendor. I plunked down two more sticks of isaws on the grill.
St. John Nepomucene Church
Address: Brgy. Poblacion, Tangalan, Aklan
Contact Number: (0917) 694-1088
GPS Coordinates: +11° 46' 36.63", +122° 15' 34.38"
How to Get There: From Kalibo Bus Station, ride a bus that will pass by Tangalan. From its town center, you can walk to the church.