Monday, April 18, 2011

Church tripping in Bohol

It's been weeks since my family and I took a week-long stay in Bohol. It's my parents' home province and my daughter and I got the chance to see the wonders that it beheld.

Visiting relatives aside, our stay in Bohol was marked by a road trip around Tagbilaran, the capital city, and its neighboring towns. Of course, going to Chocolate Hills and Panglao Island was included in our itinerary, but one other thing I enjoyed during my stay in Bohol were visiting its centuries-old churches.
Our Lady of the Assumption - Dauis, Bohol
The first church we went to was the Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Dauis, Panglao, Bohol. It's a really huge church (well, I think all the main churches in Bohol are colossal) with painted ceilings (another main fixture in Bohol churches).
The altar of the church in Dauis
The painting at the altar area
If you notice, the altar has a staircase that allows devotees and other people to come close to the images. That's also what all the churches in Bohol have.

What made Our Lady of the Assumption interesting is that it had a well inside the church, near the altar.
The well inside the church
The well is like 20 feet deep, and there's water in it. The water is said to have some healing properties, and since there are also a lot of people who want to get water from the well, the church staff have taken it among themselves to put the water from the well into some bottles and give them to the people, in exchange for a monetary donation (regardless of how much you want to give).

Next stop for us was the oldest church in Bohol: The Immaculate Conception Cathedral, or more known as the Baclayon Church.
The famous Baclayon Church
It was constructed during the 1700s and is one of the most visited spots in Bohol. It also has a baroque-style architecture, stained glass windows, and painted ceilings.
The lights were turned off, as there was no Mass heard that day.
Stained glass windows (apologies for the crappy photo quality)
Images on the left side of the altar
The painting by the altar
Baclayon Church also has a museum beside it that features all artifacts and items that it has used since the church was erected. Unfortunately, due to their delicate condition, cameras were not allowed inside.

We also visited St. Joseph Cathedral in the capital city.
St. Joseph Cathedral from the side (didn't get to take a facade shot)
The altar of St. Joseph Cathedral in Tagbilaran
Weird, I kinda got shy taking photos of the inside. There were too many people and the elders were looking at me weird. Or that was just me.

Our last stop was the Church of San Pedro Apostol in Loboc.
Church of San Pedro Apostol, Loboc
Unlike St. Joseph Cathedral, the church in Loboc was empty. Too empty, in fact -- there was no guard or a member of a church staff even in the office area. Might I add, it was a creepy experience for me: an empty church, a dilapidated museum at the back, an iron wrought gate that was left open, and a dark back door entrance were all it took to send shivers down my spine.

But when we got inside, I found the church to be pretty awesome.
The altar of the Loboc church (sorry for another crappy and dark shot)
The pipe organ
A section of the church's fully painted ceiling
The painting by the altar
There were still some old churches that we have failed to go to, as it was already far from the city. The next time I'll be there, I'll try to drop by these other churches.

Hmm, I think I had my Visita Iglesia quite early, don't you think? But hey, if you're visiting Bohol, visiting these old churches proves to be a great experience. As I have learned, there's more to Bohol than just the Chocolate Hills.

1 comment:

  1. Nice pics! I've been to Baclayon church, too, and I felt like I've been transformed back in time... :)