Oslob Church belfry


The 4 level belfry of Oslob Church in Cebu.
Note the bent cross at the top.
On 26 March 08, an 8 hour fire gutted the more than a century old kumbento (parish house) and church of Oslob in Cebu. What was left were the thick stone walls and belfry as well as an icon of the parish patron. This is my tribute to this beautiful and historic church with photos taken in 2005, 2006 and 2008. This is the 6th installment of a series.

The belfry of Oslob church is imposing owing to its size relative to the facade. It was constructed during the time of Fray Mauricio Alvarez (1866-1881). Originally a 5 level structure, the topmost level was destroyed by a very strong typhoon during the time of Fray Gregorio de Santiago (1892-1898). Most of the bells, including the biggest one fell to the ground and cracked. Instead of restoring the topmost level, it was left as it is and the fourth level was just covered.

The belfry has 11 bells put mostly in place by Fray Alvarez and, according to Agustin Villalon, has the most number of bells of any colonial era church in the country. The earliest bell was cast 1825 and still bears the name of Boljoon of which Oslob was still a visita then.

As for the bells:

1. CORAZON DE JESUS AÑO 1872 with inscription at the back: Fundi. M. Reyes (from the foundry of M. Reyes) (cracked)

2. SANTA FILOMENA with inscription near the base: REGALO A LA YGLESIA POR PUEBLO SIENDO CURA PARROCO MAURICIO ALVARES

3. CONSOLACION with inscription near the base: REGALO A LA YGLESIA POR PUEBLO SIENDO CURA PARROCO EL M.R.P.F. MAURICIO ALVARES AÑO D 1874 (cracked)

4. No inscription, with a cross relief

5. SAN ROQUE AÑO D 1863

6. SIENDO EL M. R. P. F. MAURICIO ALVARES CURA PARROCO DE OSLOB AÑO D 1873

7. SAN MAURICIO with inscription: SIENDO CURA PARROCO DE OSLOB P. F. MAURICIO ALVARES AÑO D 1874

8. SIENDO EL M. R. P. F. MAURICIO ALVARES CURA PARROCO DE OSLOB AÑO D 1873 (cracked)

9. IMMAC. CONC. B. M. VIRG. BOLJOON ANNO 1825

10. LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION with inscription: SE MIZA ASTA CAMPANA SIENDO CURA PARROCO EL M.R.P.F. APOLINAR ALVARES AÑO D 1862 (cracked)

11. LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION DE MARIA SANTISIMA with inscription: SIENDO CURA PARROCO M. R. P. F. MAURICIO ALVARES DIEZ AÑO D 1882, and at the top: HILARIO SUNICO (the bell caster)


Left, detail of blind windows at 1st and 2nd level; middle, view of window with bell as seen
from the roof; right, inside the belfry that used to be the baptistry now a makeshift storeroom.


Different ways of accessing/going about the belfry: left, the makeshift but very narrow
staircase; middle, century old wooden stairs leading up; right, original access going to the
belfry from what used to be the choirloft (photo taken after the fire).


At the fourth level of the belfry showing some of the eleven bells.


Detail of two bells: left, bell dedicated to San Mauricio; right, inscription of another bearing
the foundry of M. Reyes where it was cast.


Wooden floor littered with age old wooden balustrades.


View of third level as seen from the top of staircase.

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6 Comments

  1. Pingback: » Oslob church camposanto Simbahan: Philippine Heritage Churches and Related Structures

  2. tungod sa usa ka pari nga gadanghag,nasunog ang kumbento ug simbahan nga parte na sa legacy sa mga tawo sa oslob.asa man siya makit an sa mga pictures nga nitabang ug clear up sa simbahan ug kumbento.kalami ug life!!!!!dawat limpyu ra ka!!!!

  3. ang maayong buhaton sa taga Oslob, ilang petitionan ang ilang pari kay sukad siya na destino sa Oslob dili gyud nimo siya makita nga magsuroy-suroy or makighimamat sa mga Oslobanon.

  4. Pingback: Carcar Church baptistry | Simbahan

  5. Pingback: Revisiting Oslob Church, still a long way to go | Simbahan

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