We asked the curator about Captain Donato. She had never heard of him.
As we left the museum a kid on a bicycle called, "Good afternoon sir." I waved back. Then it sank in - "Good
afternoon sir"? What a change from "Hi Joe," that GI legacy so common in the south.
We walked back along Burgos Street to the Cathedral of Vigan, one of the largest and oldest churches in the
Philippines. Built in 1641, it replaced a wood and thatch chapel erected by Juan de Salcedo in 1574. The church was
packed for the 3:30 mass, so we stood outside by the massive double wooden doors. A plaque set into the wall
described Father Burgos's baptism here in 1837. On the same wall a poster advertised the opening of the Vera Cruz
Skin Clinic on September 8, 1993. It looked strangely out of place.
At the south end of Quezon Avenue we found the cemetery chapel. It was closed, but the gate to the cemetery was
open. We walked among the marble tombstones and wondered at the strange mix of religious symbols and graffiti.
A block away we came across another old house, also needing repair. A sign above the door said National Museum. The
shutters were up and the wooden doors were bolted. No sign indicated when it would open - or, if it ever would. We
asked a passer-by when the museum would open. She said, "Perhaps tomorrow." Our guide book said the Museum was
mainly a tribute to "the good ole Marcos era."