Everytime I visit a place for the first time I never failed to stop by its churches especially the old ones and take pictures of them. It is so amazing to see old structures standing still in its glory, flaunting their magnificent styles, designs and the stories behind them. Cebu, pronounced as Se-bu, is one of the most developed city situated in the Visayas, Philippines, it is famous for its narrow coastlines, limestones and other natural resources. It can be reached either by a watercraft or an aircraft from the capital city of Manila, Philippines. It was my second visit to Cebu, the last time I went was 10 years ago but I never had the chance to visit the southern part of the island and I never thought that it holds so many treasured structures just waiting to be revisited.
I seldom see Gothic churches in the Philippines, the only one I saw was in the capital city but not fashioned with coral stones, although I still consider it as one of the most treasured churches in the country. Travelling along the national highway, this white church caught my attention and so we have to stop and get to know this stunning structure. The San Isidro de Labrador Church is located in the quiet little town of San Fernando, Cebu. The church is probably the pride of the town since it attracts tourists due to its flamboyant style accessorized with dainty and colorful flowers in front of it. The construction of the church started in 1870 and was finished after over 10 years in 1870.
The Santa Catalina Alejandria Parish is located in Carcar, Cebu, it is the second oldest church in Cebu. The classic Greco-Roman and Muslim inspired church which shows on its two bell towers was constructed 1860 and was finished in 1875. The 138-year old church was undergoing minor construction to maintain its beautifully adorned facade.
The interiors of the church boasts of its intricate designs thus it has become of the most remarkable church in Cebu. The Moorish architecture was influenced by the belief that the town was once settled by Muslims.
Another Gothic church we passed by was the Church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza in Sibonga, Cebu. The facade is not elaborately adorned but the simple architecture is a reflection of the lifestyle of the cozy little town of Sibonga. The Neo-Gothic church was built by the Augustinians in 1868 was completed in 1881. There is a well-maintained park with centuries old acacia trees standing in front of the church where locals spend their leisure hours under the shades of these trees.
The front door of the church was closed but the side doors were left open so I took a peek and I was astounded with the interiors of it! The blending scent of moss and corals cordially greeted me and as I looked up, I was more impressed with the trompe l'oeil paintings on its ceiling depicting biblical characters and scenes. The magnificent artwork were done by a famous Cebuano painter, Raymundo Francia in 1924.
I will be writing the rest of the heritage churches in Southern Cebu in my next blog, for now these will be all. Thank you for dropping by.