Abraham G. Tan writes me, "We have an online group currently working on putting a stop to the construction of a gasoline station in a parcel of land which was originally a portion of the church's outer patio. The gasoline station, once finished, would superimpose itself on the ancient belfry and could only be but an eyesore. Yes, we were told that it indeed was all our current bishop's idea. Thus, we're not really expecting an easy fight. We already sent him a letter, for which we are yet to receive any response."
If you want more details, check out the nine page letter the group sent to Most Rev. Arturo M. Bastes, S.V.D., D.D., Bishop of Sorsogon.
On the Bulusan belfry, Tan writes in Flickr, "Its original pyramidal dome had been removed and replaced with a new one, the same period (early 1970s) that the old stone church was torn down (don't know if such destruction was really necessary), so I was told. Still, this belfry, the largest of the four baluartes de piedra dotting Punta Diamante in Bulusan, the Moro piracy days defense muralla, the stone fort that encloses the church complex of the Parish of St. James the Greater (one of the oldest in the province, founded in 1630), remains grand in its antiquity."
Learning about this development in Sorsogon is very frustrating. When will this ever stop? When will they ever learn?!