|konti pang lakad at mararating na|
|lovely stairway on the way up|
|moss blends with stone creating pockets of green|
|breathtaking even with the clouds covering Mayon|
|the view opposite Mt Mayon|
|The view on the way up or down from the town street|
|A rooster takes his girl-hen for a walk..|
A little challenge never hurt anyone, that's what I told myself, as we made our way to Our Lady of the Gate (The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria) on foot. We got off at the market place at the bottom of the church and slowly began our ascent up the hill where it stands guard over the busy little town. It was all worth it, pawis, hingal and all, the beauty of the baroque church literally takes your breath away as does the majestic view of the Mount Mayon at a distance.
Built in 1773 by the Franciscans, Our Lady of the Gate became a refuge to those who were affected by one of Mount Mayon's eruption. It also sheltered the Americans and was later bombed by the enemies during World War II.
A place of refuge it remains as we watched a couple who parked their motorcycle in front of the courtyard continue on to share a few moments of togetherness inside the church. A playground it has become, too, for two kids enjoying themselves outside. And, for once, instead of a funeral we chanced upon a tribute to a new life via the arrival of a young couple and several witnesses for their baby's christening.
That is the life of a church - to shelter, to comfort, to welcome. A role that Our Lady of the Gate is seemingly performing well.