Fascinating old churches near Cebu City, I saw these magnificent structures on my way to Carcar. They line the road and are always worth the stopover for a closer look.
The first stop is San Tomas de Villanova -St. Tomas of Villanova- in Pardo. Built more like a fortress tower, its fascinating byzantine design is from this man, Domingo de Escondrillas, said to have been the lone architect during his days, he also designed the Carcel -their version of Bilibid Viejo of Manila – El Carcel is now the city’s Museum.
Next is Minglanilla, with its pretty spacious park, the gothic inspired peach colored church is a site to behold. On the side of the Iglesia is a prayer room -I’m not sure what was its original purpose, it seem to be the only remaining old structure in the compound, made with cut corals stones and tisa roof. Although the church has been restructured several times, it still reveals its splendor even with its modern rebuilding, the old design remains, it’s still a charming church.
Then there is Naga, known as one of the older town in Cebu it is home to the unique church of San Francisco de Asis-St. Francis of Assisi, its style is exceptional, it has some Moorish quality to it, truly a outstanding religious art that Cebuano’s should conserve for the future generation Its foundations are exposed from the its side. Its construction was carried out by Fray Aguirre following Bishop Maranon’s blueprint, a known church builder who was also the hand behind the convent-school of Cebu Cathedral, Sibonga convent and Oslob church.
The last stop was San Fernando’s San Isidro Parish and Pitalo church. San Isidro was closed when I stopover, it just celebrated its feast and there was an arch constructed using bamboo, there was what look like a post American colonial elementary school in front of it. The church is designed by Domingo de Escondrillas, the gothic inspired church was constructed in 1858 but was only finished in 1886, this only goes to show that funds were not really flowing like stream water during those days, these wonderful structure where built by people who endured hardships because they wanted to see their own parish rise.
Then there is Pitalo, San Fernando’s San Vicente Ferrer church. Built in 1925, it’s more like a chapel because of its size, its painted peach it closely resembles the façade of San Francisco de Asis in Naga.