Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Remarkable Churches of Southern Cebu 2

As promised, I will continue my story about the old churches which I have written last week. Moving on to the southernmost part of Cebu, I have seen more churches built from limestone which is predominant in the island. It was through the influence of Spaniards who brought Christianity to the island and colonized the Philippines for over 300 years that made these historical structures in existence.


 Passing through the municipality of Dalaguete (pronounced as Duh-luh-geh-teh), we stopped in front of an old church with an octagonal belfry and simple facade. The chuch is dedicated to St. William Gellone, Duke of Aquitaine, and was constructed in 1802, finished in 1825. I have seen pictures of this church and what made it so special for me was the cloud formations which gives the structure an impression of immortality.

 The interiors of the church is richly accentuated by a retablo in Rococo design with gilded moldings. The four-sided altars have similar elaborate ornamental designs. The church has a barrel ceiling painted with biblical scenes and personalities.

The construction of this baroque-rococo church of St. Michael de Archangel in the municipality of Argao, started in 1734 and was completed 1738. It has a resemblance to the church of Dalaguete which I have mentioned ealier.   


 The facade is not as simple as the first church in this blog but it is carved elaborately with cherubs and ornamental plants. Right above the main entrance is the Spanish royal seal, an indication that this church like many other churches in the country was built from the funds of the Spanish monarchy. Flowers and cherubim  also decorate the facade and the side entrances.

 The church of Immaculate Conception in the municipality of Oslob has survived three fire incidents in the years 1942, 1955 and the last was in the year 2008 and later parts which were affected by the fire. What was left was the belfry and the main building of the church, the coral stones used for the belfry and the walls were quarried from the seas, cut and polished and placed on top of each other and cemented with ashes of seashells. The construction began in 1830 and was finished in 1848.

 The last church I had visited was the Church of Patrocinio de Maria in the municipality of Boljoon. This is the view of the chuch from the south bend and the Ili Rock, a natural watch tower located at the end of the municipality. 

The church was built in the 18th century by the Augustinian friars, the church and convent still uses clay roof tiles for its roof. The complex was a fortress church. With in the complex are; block house at the front left side of the complex served as a watch tower, a school at the left rear side built in the 1940′s, series of wall ruins, and an 18th century cemetery. Numerous church artifacts are intact. The ceiling painting was done by local painters in the 1920′s. The church walls are made of coral stone. The fa├žade is ornamented with ecclesiastic symbols. 

I know I haven't seen the rest of the heritage churches, I may have visited some of them but I am eager to see more and know their history. I am a Catholic and  it is significant for me to learn about the existence of these churches in our country, I am not a religious person but every time I see old churches standing still for centuries showing strength and faith, it makes me feel so small...there is a something that tells me to come, be grateful and praise the holiness of the structure.

Thank you for reading.

Source:Heritage Conservation Society
            Cebu Heritage
            Official Website of Dalaguete

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