Like many of us, I am surrounded with a lot of churches. There’s almost always a church in my place every seven kilometers. Because I see them more often than I could count, when I go to another province as a tourist, I don’t bother checking up these religious structures, which is, I recently realized, a mistake. I could say my mother who has only gone to three places outside Cebu and took photos of and appreciated the architecture of the churches (and at the time I could not understand why) is a more advanced tourist than I am who had gone to thrice as more places than her.
Churches in the Philippines, no matter what denomination they are, are not only witnesses to history for decades. As in the case of the Spanish invasion in my country, these churches that are tangible representation of Christianity somehow compose part of the map on where the Spaniards spread their mission. And one would be surprised when seeing a small sturdy church by a coastal remote area still standing after all theses decades. The double wonder there is how in the world did they do it. There was hardly any proper civil engineer in the 1500s to guide them through in the first place.
I would like to attribute the book “La Casa de Dios: The Legacy of Filipino-Hispanic Churches in the Philippines” by Fr. Rene B. Javellana, SJ for opening my eyes to the beauty and awe and encouraging me to take pride of the religious structures we have. The book is dedicated to Rafael Ortigas Jr. who initiated the project of documenting all Spanish era churches in the country. The book is owned and distributed by Ortigas Foundation, Inc.
I wanted to post some photos in the book here but for some reason, I decided to take photos of full churches in Cebu from the Internet instead. Please click on the image for the credits/original source.
|The old Boljoon Church in Cebu (source: takenfromdwater.blogspot.com)|
|The Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino in Cebu City (source: philippineinfo-iphilippines.blogspot.com)|
|The Church of Argao (source: beachanatic.blogspot.com)|
|The pilgrim Church of Simala in Cebu (source: beachanatic.blogspot.com)|
|Parish Church of Carcar, Cebu (source: beachanatic.blogspot.com)|