Friday, June 24, 2011

Bohol | Baclayon Church

Church of the Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion
Baclayon Church, A Photo Journey

Baclayon Church
On this stop.
I will post what I felt, because this place has historical significance.
I'll try to compare this church to the old church edifices that I grew up with.
For little background.
I'll copy/paste a background info from


The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is one of the best preserved Jesuit build churches in the region, although in the 19th century, the Augustinian Recollects added a modern facade and a number of stone buildings that now surround the church.

The first Spanish missionaries or doctrineros in the region, Fr. Juan de Torres and Fr. Gabriel Sanchez, first settled in Baclayon in 1595. Shortly after their arrival, a visita was erected on the spot.
Although Baclayon was the first seat of the Spanish Jesuit missionaries, fear of Moro marauders soon forced them to move their headquarters more inland, to Loboc. Only in 1717, Baclayon became a parish, and construction of a new church commenced. Some 200 native forced laborers constructed the church from coral stones, which they took from the sea, cut into square blocks, and piled on to each other. They used bamboo to move and lift the stones in position, and used the white of a million eggs as to cement them together. The current building was completed in 1727. The church obtained a large bell in 1835. In the Baclayon church is a dungeon, which was used to punish natives who violated the rules of the Roman Catholic church. Next to the church is the old convent, which also houses a small museum with centuries-old religious relics, artifacts and other antiquities, dating back to the 16th century. Included in the collection are an ivory statue of the crucified Christ looking towards heaven; a statue of the Blessed Virgin, said to be presented by Queen Catherine of Aragon; relics of St. Ignatius of Loyola, old gold embroidered ecclesiastical vestments, books with carabao skin covers, and librettos of church music written in Latin on sheep skins. Here you can also find the cuadro paintings made by the Filipino painter Liberato Gatchalian in 1859.

Getting there. Baclayon is some 6 km east of Tagbilaran. Catch a bus or jeepney in Tagbilaran, going into the direction of Baclayon. You may also find a tricycle willing to bring you there.
On this side is the entrance for visitors, behind me is the museum and side entrance to the church with its many Antique Statues.
Antic Relics
Facing front. This is the left side of the altar.
I'm not good at determining the style of the edifice, but I feel like comparing it to the old churches I grew up with. It's like coming home for me. I'm a Capizeno, and I grew up attending Sunday Church Masses in Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City and the old Santa Monica Church in Pan-ay Capiz. I knew them to be in the Baroque Style, Baclayon church is probably the same.
The interior being in a T Shape with huge arch windows, thick walls, and arch ceilings.
Round Columns will hail you from the entrance.
As is with these old churches, they usually 2 big round columns from the entrance.
The lights, especially during daytime hours are coming from the high windows.
One of the arch windows with colored glass panels.
The size of the edifice is already a marvel to behold. It gives us a better grasp of our glorious past.
The old musty smell, and the cold temperament provides us a hint of it's age and what secrets it keeps hidden.
I remember the Santa Monica Church to be a sanctuary to Bats, and that it was always filled with green mosses, headstones of people long dead scattered on the walls and floors of the church, old family names carved in the benches as donors, the tiles are uneven and most are in pieces much like the ones in Baclayon Church, the huge wooden double doors so old and expose to elements that you can't even make out the tiny carvings.
Unlike the modern churches and chapels we have everywhere, the altars of the old churches are very similar,
it would always have pedestals for with saints inside them and framed with columns with ornate carvings and is cast in glorious light. As always, the altars are well maintained by the faithful believers.

The Souvenir shop beside the church. Bought my Mom a rosary made by the Nuns.
Now this is Blah!!! Lol! If I were a nun, I wouldn't want to be represented like this.
A long shot, to show you how how big is this Church.
Thick walls made of Coral Stones, too sharp I can't really lean on them.
Behind me is the front entrance huge and weathered double doors.
Arch side entrances.
Thick columns outside the church.
The outside walls, exposed to elements, you can only guess the great age it has witnessed.
The roof is a new addition to probably better maintain the sanctuary and save the church from its eternal decay.
For comparison only, Santa Monica Church of Pan-ay Capiz, taken April 2011

Francis Balgos is a Call Center Agent, Weekend Travel Warrior, Amateur Spelunker, Sometime Surfer, Newbie Mountain Climber, Photography Enthusiast, Certified Beach Bum, A first born son, Faithful lover, True Explorer...

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1 comment:

  1. nice shots. i wanna see and go to bohol soon..


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