Monday, July 16, 2012

Dapitan City: Saint James Church



DAPITAN CITY, Zamboanga del Norte - During the time of Dr. Jose Rizal's exile in Dapitan, it was in this church where he heard mass every Sunday. The church was built by the Jesuits in 1871 and is located right at the center of Dapitan, next to the plaza.


The most striking feature of the church is its beautifully designed ceiling. The orange and white rectangles form a swirling pattern on the dome creating an optical illusion of depth and motion.


The church was named in honor of  Dapitan's patron, St. James the Greater. During the time of our visit, banners saying "Viva Señor Santiago!" adorn the streets of Dapitan setting the festive mood in the city for the week-long town fiesta, culminating on July 25, the Feast Day of St. James.






How to get there:

from Dipolog City
At the Dipolog City Bus Terminal, take a non air-conditioned bus bound for Dapitan. Inside Dapitan City, take any tricycle and tell the driver to take you to St. James Church. Alternatively, you can take a Rural Bus from Dipolog bound for Ozamiz, Pagadian or Cagayan de Oro. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Dapitan-Polo Junction. From the junction, take a tricycle and tell the driver to bring you to St. James Church. Total travel time is 30-45 minutes.

from Ozamiz City
At the Ozamiz City Bus Terminal, take a Dipolog-bound bus, just ask the terminal crew where the queue/line for Dipolog is (there is a separate queue for air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses. Air-conditioned buses usually come from Pagadian, Zamboanga City or Cagayan de Oro, and would only drop-off or pick-up passengers at Ozamiz City, so be prepared to wrestle your way into the bus. Air-conditioned buses bound for Dipolog leave every hour. There are non air-conditioned buses that begin their trip from Ozamiz City and they depart from the terminal every 30 minutes (usually only half full). Tell the conductor to drop you off at Dapitan-Polo Junction. From the junction, take a tricycle and tell the driver to bring you to St. James Church. Travel time to Dapitan is 6.5hours, fare is P230.00 (air-conditioned bus).
How to get back:

to Dipolog City
From Dapitan, there are non air-conditioned buses bound for Dipolog. Alternatively, you can take a tricycle from Dapitan and tell the driver to bring you to Polo Junction. At the junction, you can take Rural buses bound for Dipolog. At the Dipolog City Bus Terminal, take the tricycles passing outside the gate to your destination in Dipolog City. Tricyle fare is Php10.00 per person.

to Ozamiz City
From Dapitan, take a tricycle and tell the driver to bring you to the Polo Junction. From the junction, take the Ozamiz, Pagadian, Zamboanga City or Cagayan de Oro bound buses (air-conditioned and non air-conditioned) and get off at the Ozamiz City Bus Terminal (fare is P230.00 for air-conditioned buses). Take the tricycles stationed at the terminal to your destination in Ozamiz City (fare is Php10.00 per person or Php50.00 special rate if you don't wish to wait for other passengers). Total travel time is 7hours.

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