Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Baclayon Church: One of the Traces of Religious History in our Country

The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion
(also known as Baclayon Church)
Baclayon, Tagbilaran, Bohol
By Lakwatsero

Our second stop for our tour, The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon is obviously one of the very old church structures, yet stays in original condition. It is one of the best presevered Jesuit-built churches in the region, although in the 19th century, the Augustinian Recollects added a modern façade and a number of stone buildings that now surround the church. Baclayon Church is one of the interesting spot if you want to learn things about the early history of the Philippines especially during the Spanish Era occupation. A brief history of the Baclayon Church, and perhaps find some religious heritage of it.

Baclayon Church

The Baclayon Church, is just six kilometers away from Tagbilran City, Bohol. Baclayon is the second oldest stone church built in the Philippines, (the Oldest is San Agustin Chruch in Real Street, Intramuros, Manila, built in 1571). Baclayon Church was constructed in 1595 by the Jesuit priests, it is still intact and houses important relics and images reminiscent of the historic Roman Catholic religion in the country. It was constructed during the Spanish occupation and the first Spanish missionaries (called doctrineros) settled in the area in the late 15th century, and was completed as we see today way back year 1727.

View from Baclayon Museum

The Baclayon Church's ancient, massive edifice still retains its centuries-old architectural design. Church relics and artifacts from this early period can also be viewed at an adjacent museum within the church, where a rich collection of religious art wrought by Boholanos, ecclesiastical vestments embroidered in gold thread, and librettos of church music printed in Latin on animal skin are housed.

Baclayon Church Altar

The seashore just across the Baclayon Church was even more enchanting. With fresh air and sands untainted by commercialism, the picturesque Laya beach was so inviting that I settled down for a few minutes to enjoy the scenery and its crystal clear waters.

At our back, is the large bell tower that was added way back in 1835. To end our trip to Baclayon we were so lucky, to have the opportunity to witness how beautiful and majestic is this church together with its museum, knowing it is built way way back of our ancestrals, how it was preserved through the years, and give us some informations about our religious history and also helps us to understand more about our religious history.

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