Saturday, August 23, 2008

An Intriguing Town of Lighthouses, Whirlpools, Myths and Legends

Aside from real lighthouses and whirlpools that are present in town, Liloan is a stuff of history, legends and myths. The name “Liloan” itself is an intriguing piece of folklore as it supposedly came from a story of forbidden love.

Once upon a time, there was a couple whose marriage was objected to by their parents. The lovers, defying traditions and daring the perils of the unknown, had to sail to the big sea and flee somewhere else. They came to settle in a place with abundant supply of fish. Later on, they took to fishing and bartered their “catch” in the nearby villages. When asked where they caught the fishes, they would say “sa may lilo” (in the vicinity of the lilo). It is not clear whether the couple had a “happy ever after” but the couple certainly had found a refuge to fulfill their undeniable love for each other. The couple’s refuge is now known as the town of Liloan and “sa may lilo” refers to the presence of whirlpools in Suba River.

My first exposure to the town came three years ago. Fresh from grabbing my college diploma, I went to work in an outsourcing firm based in Liloan. It was thrilling for a first job as it involved a thing I always love to do – writing. But I was intrigued why my first job had to be, of all places, in Liloan. For one, Liloan to me was just one of Cebu’s more than 50 towns with a name. Prior to my first job, I couldn’t recall an instance that my family had actually dropped by at the town. We had trips in some parts of northern Cebu, particularly in Danao and Bogo, but Liloan always came as a passing town. There was nothing extra special about Liloan. It struck to me as a drab-looking, old and sleeping town -- full of vintage memories but had nothing exciting to offer. Or so I thought three years ago.

Hunting in vain for better words to say now, Liloan is such an intriguing place with a myriad of options for the thrill-seekers. Next to my hometown Opon, there is no place else to love than this town which was built by the Spanish conquistadores in 1845. It’s funny how cosmopolitan ways had influenced my wrong notions about Liloan. See, the first reason that endeared Liloan close to my heart was because of its halo-halo (iced mixture of fruits and root crops) sold near the town plaza’s stalls. For a cheap price of 25 bucks, I have never tasted a more delicious halo-halo from anywhere.

But, of course, Liloan is not all about yummy halo-halo. The town can claim a rightful venue for all town adventures which we will little by little show why here.


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LILOAN said...

guys feel free to comment

Sara said...

Very interesting I would love to see Liloan.. Save me some Halo-halo..okay

LILOAN said...

thanks, Sara. if only Egypt were near. :D