Baclayon Church, Bohol

December 15, 2010

Baclayon Church, Bohol
(also know as the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception)

There are so many churches in Bohol but I consider this Church a must see site. Kids would view it as just one of those churches and would take it for granted. But personally, the magnificence and the size of this Church made me realize that Bohol is considered by the Spanish colonial regime as one of the most important islands in the Philippines. They would not have constructed a Church of this size and detail if they didn't think that Bohol is a very important island. 

By this time, my other kids were already very tired. Only my son went up with me to the 2nd floor of the Church where we found the museum. What my son (being a violinist) found interesting  is the giant hymn book that we saw. It looked so medieval. It was extraordinarily large with square notes on it, as opposed to the usual round notes. 

After this trip, I read in the newspaper that Baclayon Church is the home of the recently discovered cantorales or libros de coro (choir books) sung during Mass in the 1800s.  That was the same hymn book we saw displayed at the Baclayon Church Museum. What was so important about the discovery is that these cantorales is a complete collection and the most intact.  Last May 2010, during the Philippine Heritage Month the hymns were performed by the Loboc Children's Choir at the Manila Cathedral.

For more details and to see a photo of the book, see Ceres Doyo's article ‘Misa Baclayana’: ancient beauty that sounds so new". It was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

What kids should know
  • Baclayon Church is the oldest stone church building in the Philippines

The altar

The play of light and colors is attributed to the stained glass windows of the Church

The mysterious image outside the walls of the Church. It is not manmade. It was caused by normal wear and tear due to environmental factors.

Note: The Church guards are very strict with the dress code. They provide shawls for girls/women in sleeveless tops.

See our next stop: The Blood Compact Shrine

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