Baclayon Church Retrospection

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Baclayon Church retrospection

It was on August 14, 2004, when I first set my foot inside Baclayon Church. It was part of a side trip after work. Even with a limited memory capacity (32MB) of my first point and shoot camera, I was able to take some photos of the church.

Having captivated by the beauty of Bohol, I visited Baclayon again in summer of 2005 with my family for a vacation. However, luck was not on my side. My hard disk crashed and lost all my photos about that trip to Bohol. It would have been great for my two rascals to look back and reminisce those times they enjoyed the days under the sun.

I made a promise to myself that I should do a re-shoot of the church when I have the chance to go back to Bohol again. In the coming years, I have frequented Bohol due to work, but we were merely passers by and did not have the chance to really take some time to visit it again.

In January 2013, I had the chance to visit Bohol on a family holiday, and I made it a point to have Baclayon Church included in our itinerary. I had to forgo the museum tour which would not allow photography, but, instead lingered on the church grounds to take photos of the church.

Bohol's Baclayon Church

It was raining and it was not really a perfect day for photography, but I had to make do with the uncooperative weather. I had a feeling it would take a long time before I would be able to see it again and capture it in my lenses. Having a water resistant camera (Olympus OMD), I braved the rains. I silently said a prayer for the rain to subside so I can photograph the church well, and it turned out that my prayer was answered. The rain turned into just drizzles in the middle of my shoot, and just before it was time for me to photograph the interiors.

Bohol's Baclayon Church

Bohol's Baclayon Church

Bohol's Baclayon Church

Seeing Baclayon Church in its full glory is a privilege on my part. Inside this age-old structure speaks of how Boholanos love their Catholic faith that was nurtured in many centuries. Walking along its aisle and sacristy literally brings you back in time. Its thick and sturdy walls held together by whites of millions of eggs as mortar back in the day are silent witnesses to both joyous and painful moments of its parishioners and pilgrims. Boholanos' efforts to preserve and take pride in their heritage as a people and as a Church is, as we say, incomparable.

Bohol's Baclayon Church

Built last 1596 by the Jesuits, Baclayon Church or the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. The 7.2 earthquake on October 15, 2013, destroyed its outer facade (the church has inner and outer facade) and the bell tower.

The temblor that brought the outer facade and the bell tower down pains a lot of travelers and the faithful. I was not spared from this pain. But I believe in the resiliency of Bol-anons. Their strong faith in God does not easily crumble with this centuries-old church. I just wish and pray that it would be rebuilt and restored to its full glory.

Padayon, Bohol!


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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.

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