Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya

Dupax del Sur Church and Convent
Dupax del Sur is the remnant of the once large and single municipality of Dupax, the largest municipality of Nueva Vizcaya during the time it was still undivided. In 1971, Dupax was divided into two which gave birth to Dupax del Norte and Dupax del Sur, the latter retaining the seat of the old Dupax town. In 1979, further division was made when the southern barangays and sitios of both towns where merged and made into another municipality now known as Alfonso Castaneda. In the end, all the antiquity that the old Dupax has was passed on to Dupax del Sur.

Dupax del Sur Municipal Hall
The town's name came from an Isina'i word "dopaj" which means "to lie down to relax" because the site where the town proper is located is believed to be the place where natives lie down and rest after their hunting trip. The "del Sur" suffix indicates that it is the southern half of the old Dupax though in reality, it is the western, not the southern half. 

A Boulevard in Dupax del Sur
Outside the municipal hall is a monument explaining the source of the town's name as well as another one depicting the first ever head of the town, a native by the name Mandalito, a Bugcalot. According to the marker, he served the town as the head in the years 1732 to 1733.

Monument for Mandalito, Dupax's first Capitan del Pueblo
Being an old town by virtue of being the seat of the old town of Dupax, Dupax del Sur is a place where some remnants of the past can still be seen and appreciated. It takes pride in having a beautifully preserved Spanish-era Church and still standing, albeit in danger of being demolished, Spanish-era Bridge.


DUPAX DEL SUR CHURCH

San Vicente Ferrer Church. Dupax del Sur Church.
This church was built during the curacy of Fr. Manuel Corripio, around 1776. Its resemblance with Tuguegarao Cathedral was very striking, though it doesn't have the same size as the latter. The church is primarily made with bricks, which are actually visible in the church's bell tower and some parts of the convent. The facade, though also made with bricks, is covered with lime plaster. 

Dupax del Sur Church Interior
The church's interior is simple with no intricate paintings on the walls and its ceiling. It still has its old pulpit on the left side and the altar is adorned with a beautiful retablo. This church is now considered as a National Cultural Treasure as declared by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).


DAMPOL BRIDGE

Dampol Bridge. Dupax del Sur.
This unreinforced bridge can be found in the town proper of Dupax del Sur, near the Dupax del Sur Church. It is not noticeable when viewed at the road level but if one will go down the creek below the bridge, the brick materials that composes the bridge can be seen. The first bridge over the creek (known as Abanatan creek) was constructed through the order of Capitan Dionecio Telmo in 1788. That bridge collapsed in 1812 but a new bridge, this bridge, was constructed in 1818 under the leadership of Fray Francisco Rocamora. It means that in 2018, this bridge will already be 200 years old! 

Unfortunately, the bridge is in danger of being demolished because of a road widening project of the DPWH. Just last year (2014), there were cry of protests over that road widening project because it will definitely damage and displace the historical bridge. Some of the protective brick walls has already been taken down, as can be seen in the picture (taken in January 2015) above. This exposes the inner fillings of the bridge which will cause the historical landmark to disintegrate. If nothing is done to stop this, the old bridge will surely collapse and another part of our heritage will definitely be lost. 


LA ASTA DE BANDERA


Another historical landmark in Dupax del Sur is the one shown above. It is a cylindrical tower-like structure made with red bricks. It used to be the foundation of a flagpole holding the flag of Spain that once flew mightily over the town. Said structure was erected in 1878, during the curacy of Fray Antonio Xabet (Isinay Bird, 2012). This structure is too inconspicuous and one will not notice it readily at first glance. Actually, it was just a stroke of luck that I shot a picture of it without realizing it was there because what I was shooting is the large covered court at its back (the picture above was actually cropped to focus on the flagpole base).



HOW TO GET THERE?

From Cubao, you can ride Florida, Five Star or other buses bound to Tuguegarao or Ilagan. Just tell the driver to drop you off at Bambang. From Bambang, hire a tricycle to bring you to the Dupax del Sur Church. You may also opt to ride  jeepney (the cheaper alternative) which has a terminal in Bambang Market. Just ask around where you will find the terminal.

If you are coming from Tuguegarao or any town north of Nueva Vizcaya, you may ride any bus bound to Manila/Cubao and tell the driver to drop you off at Bambang, then follow the directions above.

I visited Dupax del Sur both in 2013 and 2015 but most of the pictures here were taken in 2013.


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