Photo: Filamerian Student Community Roxas City Blog
The Pan-ay or Santa Monica Church in Capiz province, Philippines is the home of the biggest bell in Asia, and the third largest in the world.
The Santa Monica Church is best known for its 10.4 ton bell popularly called dakong lingganay (big bell). The bell was cast by Don Juan Reina who settled in Iloilo in 1868. Reina who was the town’s dentist was also noted as a metal caster and smith.
The bell was cast at Pan-ay from 70 sacks of coins donated by the townspeople. The bell was completed in 1878. The bell bears an inscription which, in translation, reads: “I am God’s voice which shall echo praise from one end of the town of Pan-ay to the other, so that Christ’s faithful followers may enter this house of God to receive heavenly graces.”
There is also a small museum in the convent showing artifacts from the original church (Various Internet sources).
Mabuhay ang Panay Church Bell!
Despite the frenzied hotel-apartment complex development in the last few decades, rare is the visitor who fails to be enamored with Boracay. When it comes to great sunsets, cream-colored, powdery soft beach sands, spectacular diving and pure, pure bliss… Boracay easily tops the A- list.
This butterly-shaped island in Central Philippines, located off Panay Island in Western Visayas, has consistently drawn both local and international visitors. Sadly, the local government has allowed the hardcore commercialization of this island a free reign. Result: irreversible impact on the environment (waste dumping) and the local population who, while grateful with tourism income, has to deal with dire socio-political consquences.
And yet if one needs a memorable escape from city life, Boracay is the most accessible among the many fabulous beach island destinations in the Philippines, many of which are better left alone, far from the eroding influences of Big Money Tourism.
Some simple pleasures in this island: waking up to the blinding whiteness of the main beach, a riot of colors at sunset or enjoying a glass of fresh mango juice while watching the world go by.
Hopefully, the native people of Boracay will retain their charming, gentle nature, and that the environment (cross our fingers here) will survive the onslaught of creeping/creepy commercialisation.
Mabuhay ang Boracay!