Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Davao's San Pedro Cathedral

Among the first structures that the early missionaries put up in this place when the (Christian) settlers first arrived in the late 1840s and pushed the heroic Datu Bago deep in the hinterlands of Waan and beyond. The shape of this Cathedral used to puzzle me until recently, when I finally decided it is shaped like a boat. When you happen to stand right at the gate of Camp Domingo Leonor police barracks just across the street, you could almost say, only the masts are missing!
By posting it here I don't mean to glorify the spirit of conquest that this Cathedral may stand for (if only to be blunt and honest about it) but only to reflect on that time of the past that hasn't gone away.As if to straighten out the rough edges of history, some groups who want to make their message clear love to bomb this Cathedral during Davao's most turbulent times, so, until now, as I drop by to light a candle sometimes, I can't help looking around just to see if it's not one of those days again. In the good ol' days of the early 90s, Sunstar reporter Charles Maxey used to love to recount to me how Digong , as what the media like to call Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte, had made a 60 year-old man accused of raping his 10 year old granddaughter to walk down San Pedro street to the Cathedral on his knees. I did not see it. I was still with Sunstar Cebu at that time but for Charles, it was a great spectacle that seemed to speak something about him and his people.

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