Baclayon Church and Museum in Bohol: A Symbol of Resilience and Grace
Contrary to what is believed, Bohol is not only known for the famous Chocolate Hills or for the glittering waters of Alona Beach. With its longstanding history linked to the spread of Christianity, Bohol is also known for its old churches, one of which is the pristine Baclayon Church.
Baclayon Church is at its pure glory, looking like a white pearl washed from the sea.
Immaculate Concepcion Church of Baclayon, prominently known simply as Baclayon Church, is one of Bohol’s greatest sacred treasures of all time.
The church’s roots can be traced back to 1596, established by Father Gabriel Sanchez and Father Juan de Torres, the first Spanish Jesuit priests to set foot in Cebu.
Baclayon Church’s coral stone building which you can see now was actually completed in 1727.
With these in mind, it is, therefore, a necessity to tour Baclayon Church which often starts with a roundabout in its museum. A tour costs Php 50 per person and can be settled in the entrance to the museum.
Upon arriving at the church museum, you will be welcomed by students who will tour you inside.
Tip: Take note that guests cannot take pictures inside the museum to preserve what remains of the old church.
The church might have been struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013, but the memories of its past can never be forgotten through the remnants which survived the disaster.
Inside, colorful liturgical vestments worn by the priests depending on the occasion are displayed on a glass inside the museum. Different church decorations can also be seen inside.
Statues of saints plus the Sagrada de Familia, which was struck by a cannonball during the world war, are also displayed inside the museum.
What’s more, is that baptismal and marriage records dating back from 1785 to 1829 can also be seen encased in a glass.
At the end of your tour, a gift shop is located with some of the most unique memorabilia to bring home as a souvenir.
Despite being struck by disaster, Baclayon Church is still standing with its pure glory, looking like a white pearl washed from the sea.
With its white coral stone walls emphasized through the neoclassical architecture of the centuries-old church, guests will be amazed by how the church looks inside.
Inside, the altar and the traditional pulpit where the priest stands to convey his preaching stands out with its designs resembling that of royalty. The ambiance also exudes a kind of glow coming from the stained glass windows reflecting different vibrant colors.
In its rightmost, you will see the elevated pulpit overlooking the congregation.
Looking up, the ceiling, although unpreserved, was made new with a huge painting made by Filipino artists from Manila, Zamboanga, and Cebu.
Filipino artistry is also evident inside the church as the ceiling is painted by several artists from different parts of the country.
Baclayon Church holds masses for the public every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. For those who wanted to attend the mass, do not forget to wear modest clothing and to have your voices toned down to a whisper as a sign of respect.
For those wearing shorts, shawls are available inside the church.
Inside, the altar and the traditional pulpit where the priest conveys his preaching stands out with designs resembling royalty.
All these make up an ideal ending to your Baclayon Church tour!
How to get here:
The spot featured here is included in the Countryside Tour provided by Bohol Tours and Nature’s Wonder Travel & Tours, Inc.
For a complete list of their itinerary, you may visit their website at Bohol Tourism Philippines. You may also visit them at 0573 N.A.J. Bldg., CPG North Ave., Tagbilaran City, Bohol or call them at 038-422-8321 / 0926-750-4755.
Address: Bohol Circumferential Rd., Baclayon, Bohol
Operating Hours: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (Museum)
A version of this appeared in Philippine Primer Japanese (Vol. 133) and English (Vol. 38) magazines.
Written by Chin Sanigan