Bohol is one of the islands in the Philippines that boast of exotic touring spots, delectable local cuisines, and warm and friendly people. We shouldn’t forget that Bohol is a home to the famous Tarsier that inhabits the well-vegetated forests of the region. These are just some of the reasons why tourists from all over the world visit this place all year round. From hot, summer days to pleasant, rainy seasons, it never loses visitors from all walks of life.
While some fancy the beaches in Panglao, others prefer the historic churches dating back from the early years of Spanish colonization. Read on to find out about their history, and how you can get there.
Bohol’s oldest church is the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon. In fact, it is considered to be one of the Philippines’ oldest churches. It is among the best preserved Jesuit-built churches in the region until the 19th century. During this time, the Augustinian Recollects added modern stone buildings surrounding the church.
Located near the church is the old convent that houses a small museum displaying century-old religious artifacts and other antiquities, which dates back to the 16th century. The collection an ivory statue of the crucified Christ, a statue of the Blessed Virgin said to be presented by Queen Catherine of Aragon, and antique gold embroidered ecclesiastical vestments, among others. It also houses the cuadro paintings made by the Filipino painter Liberato Gatchalian.
How to Get There
Baclayon is just 6 kilometres away from Tagbilaran so you can catch a jeepney or bus in the city. Tricycle drivers are also more than willing to take you there for a certain amount.
Known as Bohol’s second oldest church, the Church of San Pedro in Loboc was built in 1602, but was reduced to ashes. The people thought of building a more stable one near the Loboc river in 1638. Inside, you can find remarkable native paintings on the ceiling, and a Spanish coat of arms in the stone wall near the entrance. It also has a bell tower approximately 100 meters from the church.
A three-storey convent is attached to the church, which has been transformed into a structure that the Museo de Loboc on the third floor. The museum is a home to a few old statues of saints as well as other antique religious artifacts.
How to Get There
Situated just 21 kilometres east of Tagbilaran, Loboc church can be reached by bus. Passenger vans that queue up near the port can also take you there on a package tour.
Last on the list is the church in Dauis on Panglao called the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. It is situated just a bit farther from the bridge that connects Panglao and Bohol. Founded by the Jesuits Fr. Diego de Ayala and Joseph Gregorio, it was built in various styles, and was influenced by both Romanesque and Byzantine architecture. The ceiling is full of impressive paintings done by Ray Francia in 1916. The church was then renovated in 1970 by Lito.
How to Get There
Just three kilometres away from the city of Tagbilaran, you can choose to walk or hail a tricycle to take you across. You can also take the jeepney for an easier and more convenient travel.
These are just three of the most historic churches in Bohol, Philippines. If you wish to visit these religious structures, you can talk to a travel agency for an easier and cheaper way of getting there. Or, if you prefer traveling solo, that is no problem. Simply ask around, and you will surely get there.