Spain promises. Spain delivers. As originally pledged by the Spanish ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq, the first batch of restoration specialists from Spain arrived on Monday night in Manila. The team will prepare for the speedy rehabilitation and reconstruction of the heavily damaged but culturally significant churches, particularly in Bohol , after the earthquake that destroyed a lot of Spanish-era churches in Visayas,.
Included in the arriving team are two notable frailes, four guardia civil, and tax collectors with crooked moustaches that clearly are not just for Movember.
“If we are going to do this,” Domecq said in a press release held at NAIA, “we would like to make the reconstruction process as accurate as possible. And that can only be done by recreating the conditions by which we were able to erect such magnificent structures in the first place.”
According to the plan laid out by the Spanish government, after a short pact of “Sanduguan” with the local datu, or barring that, the incumbent town mayor, the frailes will take over the nearby parishes. They will then start imposing Spanish-era laws that force indios to work slave-labor style towards rebuilding the churches in the same manner they were built three centuries ago.
“Trust me, it’s just not the same when you use construction equipment. A church not built by breaking the backs of the natives is just not as … solemn,” excitedly added Padre Miguelito Fernando, one of the frailes.
Understandably, security is a primary concern by the team so the guardia civil will ensure cedulas and mandatory hat-tipping are implemented by the local cabezas. The guardias will also ensure that the moustached tax collectors can go about collecting peseta de indulgencias unopposed in case some of the local populace, reeling from the damages done by the earthquake, resist the localized occupation reconstruction effort. Any resistance will be put down like the insurrectos of old.
“Give us 300 years. You’ll have the churches you can be proud of once again,” said Jorge Domenq. “Who knows? We might even give you even more holidays after we shoot a hero or two?”
The next batch of Spanish teams will be arriving in six months including more frailes, a Governador General, Enrique Iglesias, Capitan Tiago, and a barrel full of chihuahuas. They will be arriving via wooden galleons coming in from the Acapulco trade route across the Pacific ocean.