The city of Talisay, located around 12 kilometers south of Cebu City at the eastern side of this island province, was formerly an estate or hacienda of the Augustinians and was a visita of San Nicolas. As early as 1589, the first recorded rebellion in Cebu happened here when land was acquired by a Spanish colonist and angered a few Cebuanos who then rebelled but were swiftly quelled, executed and their possessions sold at auction.
During the 19th century, it was separated from its San Nicolas matrix, by royal decree, to become a town in 1834. It was also one of the main producers of sugar.
The Parish of Sta. Teresa de Avila in this city has one of the unique Graeco-Roman churches not only in Cebu but in the Philippines as well. Unique in a way that its kind of architecture where the main entrance and pediment are recessed, falling behind its flanking twin belfries, only has its parallel in another Augustinian church which is in Bacnotan, La Union in northwestern Luzon and to some extent, San Luis in Pampanga and Carcar in the same province. But even with that similarity, it still stands out because of its covered porch supported by two columns and a balustraded terrace that connects the two towers.
The first church was started in 1836 and finished in 1848 however a typhoon in 1877 destroyed the roof. Another one made of masonry was started in 1880 and finished in 1881 (note that for this church, construction took only 1 year!). The convent, on the other hand was built in 1877.
Like most churches in this province, the structure is made of coral stones. The kumbento (colloquially, convent but is in fact the priest’s house or casa paroquial) used to stand in line with the facade but during World War II, it was bombed and totally destroyed by the Americans to flush out the Japanese. The presbytery and nave also suffered while, luckily, the facade including the two side chapels of which one might be the baptistry were spared.
As far as the facade is concerned, little has changed. The main differences only are the rose window that marks the choirloft which is now covered up and the cross with cherubs which has been replaced with an image of the patron saint.