Baclayon Church Reviews
you will witness old traditions, rich religious beliefs and rich culture as well Jul 12, 2012
When you are visiting Bohol and you have a “thing” for Old Catholic churches, this pear-shape island in the Philippines has a lot of them! Or even if you don’t have a “thing” for religious stuff, visiting churches in the Philippines, in general is like witnessing old traditions, rich religious beliefs and interesting culture as well. Even though I visited only one church in Bohol, I’ve truly enjoyed it! I wish there is a day-tour package called “Church-Hopping in Bohol” where the concentration of itinerary is just to visit or hop from one church to another!
We visited the Baclayon Catholic Church as part of our tour itinerary. Baclayon church is beautiful with all its collections of old gold embroidered ecclesiastical vestments, books with carabao’s (Philippine version of the animal Tamarraw) skin covers, and librettos of church music written in Latin on sheep skins. The large murals on the ceilings and paintings by old masters are stunning.
The construction of this church started in the year 1717 and was completed ten years after. The materials used to construct the church were from coral stones, which they took from the sea, cut into square blocks, and piled on to each other (very similar to how the stone houses in Batanes were built). They used bamboos to move and lift the stones in position, and used the white yolk of a million eggs as to cement them together. I was a bit emotional when I found out the church was built by only few men about 200 Indios (Filipinos were referred as “Indios” by the Spaniards during the colonization, which meant “illiterate, uneducated, ill-mannered”). They were forced to work under any time of the day or whether it was raining or under a scorching heat. In the church is a dungeon, which was used to punish Indios who violated the rules of the colonizers.
The emerald greenish walls and the gilded altars are the focal points inside the church. It is quite a site and good for photo ops especially if you are into shabby structures or church antiquity!
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.
Baclayon Church is free to enter. It is a few minutes’ drive from Tagbiliran (the capital city) of Bohol.
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