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Exploring The Churches Of Bohol

Some say... "Once you've seen one church, you've seen them all"

Well that's not the case in Bohol!

Our first day in Bohol, started with prayers... in the most aged and beautiful churches of the Philippines. Tita Victoria (my friend's cool mom) is religious as most of the Bol-anons are, and their well-preserved churches is the evidence of their zeal to Catholicism.

1. Baclayon Church
La Purisima  Concepcion de la Birhen Maria in Baclayon is considered as the oldest stone church in the Philippines.

Upon entering the church, the caretaker of the church caught our attention while holding pieces of plain silk fabrics. She began tying the fabrics around our shoulders and bottom explaining that our attire was not appropriate. The good thing is, she managed to do it without humiliating us.

2. Tagbilaran Church
Cathedral of San Jose in Tagbilaran to my observation is the most lively church among all as it is located in an area full of commercial buildings and establishments.

We attended a mass but stayed outside as our dress we're not appropriate.

*Note to self - always ask where you're heading as sometimes, what you wear matters.

3. Loon Church
Nuestra Senyora de la Luz Church in Loon, Bohol is located far from the busy streets of Tagbilaran. 

I was amused by its facade but was astonished when I saw the piece of artwork on its ceiling. Jesus' actions were well depicted on the murals which made me feel like being transported into the Byzantine era. Chos!

4. Cortes Church
Our visit to this church was brief but relatively astounding. I am pretty impressed that they were able to restore or maintain the condition of these old structures.

5. Calapi Church
This is considerably different from the churches we have visited in Bohol because of its modern facade. More like an Iglesia ni Cristo church.

I remember my friends gaped upon seeing this church as it looks like a castle.

6. Santa Monica Church
It was the fiesta of Santa Monica when we visited there. So we attended the mass and surprisingly, nobody lifted an eyebrow on us even though our outfit was not appropriate.

The homily shared the life of Santa Monica who wept every night for his son St. Augustine of Hippo and lived a prayerful life dedicated to the reformation of her son. Makes me think of my mom. Sweet!

7. Loay Church
The last but not the least -- and my most favorite church of all. This might not have a complicated structure compared to others but it has some effect on me that I don't understand.

Feels like Maruja eh? :-)

8. Dauis Church
This is a well-populated church and a go-destination for tourists known for their bottled blessed water in exchange of a 15PhP donation.

I usually scoff in odd beliefs but when my father had a stroke attack which impaired his cognitive and verbal skills momentarily, I suggested that he drink the water I bought from Dauis church plus prayers. 

And guess what? He's doing fine now! :)

- According to my friend, taking a flower from a church you visited for the first time will bring you luck. So, I took a little flower from a vase in Baclayon, Santa Monica, and Loay church... not for luck but as a remembrance! I let them dry on my bible, laminated after, and gave it to the special people of my life.

Conclusively, Bol-anons are generally religious folks and that’s not a surprise as you can see a lot of aged, beautiful churches around the city.

Update Sadly, just today October 15, 2013... some of these churches appeared moribund due to a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. My heart sank thinking that I won't be able to see it again or tour my future kids on those astonishing historic structures.

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thisisLOVELEE said...

This is one thing that I love about Bohol..the old churches! So beautiful and old. Truly a part of their rich culture =)


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Thank you explorer! --- Always challenge yourself to do something you have never done before. ♥