A few months ago my brother planned a trip to the Philippines and we began to discuss the potential of meeting up at the same time. It’s always difficult to know where you will be in a few months ahead of time, but luckily the timing worked out and I met my brother in Cebu City on May 12th, after catching the ferry back from Bohol earlier in the day. The mission was for us to explore Dalaguete, a small town south of Cebu, where my Great-great Grandmother was from and to do some family-bonding-sightseeing along the way.
After a long, delayed and crowded bus ride, we arrived in Dalaguete, a small town 80km away from Cebu City, the capital. There’s not much within the town, but it’s still fairly busy with buses and tricycles driving around the main roads. I can’t imagine what it was like back in the early 1900’s when my Great-great grandmother was here.
We walked from the main road to the waterfront boardwalk where the San Guillermo Church is located. It’s the oldest church in the area, dating back to 1802 when it was first built, and 1825 when it was completed. There’s no way to verify, since the records only go back to 1940’s for baptisms and 1920’s for census records, but I imagine she attended this church when she was younger back in the day.
After taking a few photos and looking around the surrounding park and boardwalk, we ate some lunch at a small restaurant, and left this small town. My job was to find out more about our Grandma on my own time, since my brother was on a tight schedule and there were many places to explore.
In the end, after staying for another day, I learned that there wasn’t any records dating before 1920 of birth or baptism. This part of history was not recorded or got lost, and so I may never know exactly my family’s history on this side completely. Still, I feel like I am closer to knowing my Filipino side and at least got to spend time with my brother.