Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baclayon Church in Bohol

The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (more popularly known as Baclayon Church) is located along the highway of Baclayon, Bohol, about 6 km east of Tagbilaran City. It is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines and is one of the best preserved Jesuit-built churches in the region.

According to www.bohol-philippines.com, construction of Baclayon Church started in 1717. Some 200 natives were forced to labor, cutting and dragging coral blocks from the sea, using only bamboos in moving and lifting the stones in position.  Millions of white eggs were said to have been used as cement. The current building was completed in 1727. Today, it is one of Bohol's major attractions regularly visited by many tourists.

During our two office outings in Bohol, we never failed to drop by Baclayon Church. Its location is just along the way (from Tagbilaran City) when going to Loboc River and Chocolate Hills.

This photo was taken during our first outing in 2005:


We went back to visit Baclayon Church again in 2009. An old woman outside the church approached and told us to point our digital cameras to one of the pillars (located on the right side if you're facing the church from the highway). I obliged and an image appeared visibly clear in my camera's LCD display:

The image that formed in the pillar of Baclayon Church.

A closer look of the image.

I would later learn that this is the image of Fr. Pio, an Italian missionary who became a saint. No one can explain how the image appeared in the pillar but it already became one of the reasons why many tourists flocked to Baclayon Church.

I was standing in one of the church's doors while taking this photo inside the church:
 
Typical of Spanish era churches, Baclayon Church also has ornate ceilings, altar area and colorful stained glass windows.

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. I wasn't able to check the museum though due to time constraint.

One tip to remember if you are planning to visit Baclayon church: The church follows strict dress codes as mandated by the Catholic Church. If you are wearing sleeveless shirt, plunging neckline, mini skirt or shorts, you will be given a piece of cloth by the church ushers. This will be used as shoals or long skirts before you are allowed to enter the church.

With my officemates Papo and Dennis standing outside Baclayon Church. We are wearing cargo shorts, that's why we cannot go inside.Hahaha!

I 'd love to visit Baclayon again someday, stay a little longer and explore not only the famous Baclayon Church but also the whole town as well.


4 comments :

  1. ah mao diay ning gi ingon nila nga image... taga bohol ko pero karun ra ko kabaw. hahaha.

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  2. @fetus: bol-anon pud diay ka.pareho diay ta.hehehe. asa man inyo sa bohol?my mother is from maribojoc while my father has relatives in corella.i was born in tagbilaran and studied grade 1 in maribojoc.after that, sa bukidnon na dayon ko until now. : )

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  3. ah mao ba. taga tagbilaran ko, pero i'm cebu-based na because of my work, and my family doesn't live in bohol anymore.

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  4. I also visited the Baclayon Church when we went to Bohol, maybe one of the oldest church I visited. Hope we can preserve this kind of churches for the next generation to visit it.

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