Going to church remains to be every Boholano’s tradition. As we celebrate Holy Week this year, let us contemplate and build our strong connection to the Holy Father. Amidst the challenges that we are facing today, let us not forget to remain thankful and faithful. To celebrate with you in this solemnity, we created a list of the beautiful churches of Bohol.
St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral, Tagbilaran City
Founded by the Jesuit missionaries, St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral is among the first parishes in Bohol. It is located at the heart of Tagbilaran City, where catholicism flourish. Situated in a place where people can enjoy, and doves can linger, St. Joseph easily captivates. St. Joseph, Bohol’s patron saint, stands in the former atrial cross. More than its enticing outside appearance, its Neo-Romanesque facade appears to attract locals and tourists even more.
Today, its historical touches have been genuinely modernized. Despite this, they maintained its purpose and its historical pieces from the 18th-century Baroque style. In addition to that, the 19th-century Neoclassical touches have remained in the center altar.
Church of the Our Lady of Assumption, Dauis
The arrival of the first Spanish missionaries in 1697 have brought sacred and historical places of worship. Panglao, the island separated from Tagbilaran City, houses one of Bohol’s attractive churches, the Our Lady of Assumption. Along with its dainty appearance is the picturesque seashore that beams in tranquility during sunset. While locals maintain its beauty, tourists can enjoy a captivating view of the church from the Gov. Jacinto Borja Bridge.
They have renovated the church’s interior and exterior appearance at present. But to maintain its artistic styles, the Gothic influence has been kept into the church’s tower. Even when specific innovations have been included, the Our Lady of Assumption preserved its sophisticated structure.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish Church, Baclayon
The Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish Church, commonly the Baclayon church, is known to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. With its long history, only in 1717 that Baclayon became a parish. The use of coral stones has helped in building the structure of a sacred place that many people visit today. Although Augustinian Recollects have modified its facade during the 19th century, it is still considered as the most preserved Jesuit built churches at present.
As a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the region on the 15th of October 2013, many have been affected. Among those is the Baclayon church, which affected most of its structure. But later on, the church stood still and regained its beauty. From then on, that circumstance remained to be a history.
San Pedro Apostol Parish Church, Loboc
Second to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish Church in Baclayon is Loboc’s Church of San Pedro Apostol. Although it was built in 1602, they soon began to reconstruct it until a stronger one stood still in 1638, which lived in the present. Located near the river where the flood remains persistent. Despite this, its admirable interior and exterior beauty demand more tourists to come, visit and enjoy.
Going into detail, part of the church’s history is the Spanish coat of arms attached to the stone wall located at the entrance of the covenant. With intricate carvings, attractive emblems, and unfinished medallions, history outshines. But more than that, people admire the beauty of an unfinished bridge that is located across the Loboc river. It seems that the bridge has long been abandoned. But its history shall remain clear to the locals as to finish the gap, giving up the church would be necessary.
San Agustin Church, Panglao
In the Northern Island of Bohol, where white sand beaches are located, houses the San Agustin Church. It occupies the southwestern portion of the Island facing opposite from the seashore. On the right is a spacious plaza where people mostly go around. Regardless of the modernized setting, the Church stands beaming in Spanish-time vintage appearance. The church can be easily seen as it stands along with a watchtower, which is considered to be the tallest of its kind in the Philippines.
The surviving structure of San Agustin Church in Panglao has a portico-facade. Inside, a choir loft is located, which is typical among Bohol churches. And perhaps, in places of worship around the country as well. As most churches have been genuinely renovated, San Agustin Church retained most of its enticing arrangement, including the carved flowers, dove, and vine patterns.
Santa Monica Parish Church, Alburquerque
Albur, as Boholanos are more familiar with, is where Santa Monica Parish Church is located. Established in 1886, the church is placed alongside the highway. Its foundation is made of light materials, considering the time it was built. Fast forward to 2013, it was acclaimed to be an Important Cultural Property.
Even when Santa Monica Parish Church suffered tremendously during the 2013 earthquake, the faith never ended. Because of this calamity, the church was declared as a National Historical Landmark. It took a year after the National Museum of the Philippines announced its significance in history. Not even a tragedy perished this treasure. Now, a severe restoration made it stand tall again.
Nuestra Señora de la Luz Parish Church, Loon
Standing as the biggest church in Bohol is the Nuestra Senora de la Luz Parish Church. Although this was already established during Fray Manuel de Elizalde’s term in 1753, the Augustinian Recollects replaced it with Corinthian design touches. Its facade highlights the Baroque style. Carefully and intricately carved bring the balance of a maintained beauty.
The ancient times have given so much that we now enjoy today. Part of that is visiting old yet enticing churches. The world is small to not look around the beautiful places around you. Bohol, indeed, has a vast number of churches that you can include in your list. But as we go on, let’s not forget to maintain and preserve these beauties that will eventually live a hundred more centuries.