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Why Baclayon Church is special ?
Baclayon Church is a Roman Catholic Church in the municipality of Baclayon, Bohol, Philippines within the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tagbilaran. Baclayon was founded by the Jesuit priest Juan de Torres and Gabriel Sánchez in 1596, and became the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol, although in the 19th century, the Augustinian Recollects added a modern facade and a number of stone buildings that now surround the church. It was elevated as a parish in 1717 and the present coral stone church was completed in 1727. The Augustinian Recollects succeeded the Jesuits in 1768 and heavily renovated the church since then.
What to explore at Baclayon Church?
The church, built out of coral stones, is a cross shaped (cruciform) church with its juncture or crossing surmounted by a pyramidal wall. The original tiled roof was replaced by galvanized iron in 1893. The church complex is strategically located facing the sea. It originally has defensive stone walls around but was removed in the 1870s. It also has a school building built out of coral stones in the middle of the 19th century and a wood and stone market built in 1881.
The attractions you’ll see in the Baclayon Church include an old convent with a small museum. There you’ll see some centuries-old relics. Most artifacts you’ll see in the Baclayon Church museum are religious in nature. Antiquities of note are an ivory statue of Jesus Christ dating back to the 16th century, a statue of the Virgin Mary, St. Ignatius of Loyola’s relics, gold embroidered church vestments, a host of books and hymnals, and 1859 paintings of Liberato Gatchalian (famous Filipino painter).
How to get to Baclayon Church?
Baclayon is some 6 km east of Tagbilaran. Catch a bus or jeepney in Tagbilaran, going into the direction of Baclayon. You may also find a tricycle willing to bring you there.
- Historial Church and a good museum
- Amazing Stained Glass Church
- Historical place in the process of rebuilding
- Old historic church with artifacts onside
- The stained glass is simply divine
Tips for you
This is an old stone church with religious relics dating back to the early 16th century. I visited Bohol a year after the strong quake struck on October 15, 2013. Almost completely destroyed so mass was held outside would the church. It still has the museum of life-sized saints with some old church relics on display. I still love visiting old churches because it reminded us of the religiosity passed on by the Spanish conquestador.
Painfully, this beautiful 300+ years old church sustained major damage with its collapsed portico and bell tower when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol in 2013.