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 11th installment of a series.
Oslob is one of the South Cebu municipalities that still retains its original camposanto or cemetery with its main entrance arch, perimeter fence and mortuary chapel located at the center. It was built by Fray Mauricio Alvarez, the same parish priest who built the belfry and the stone perimeter fence surrounding the church.
Entrance to the cemetery is via a stone arch with columns about a meter thick. What is peculiar about this structure is the notable relief of a skull and crossbones, the letters RIP [Latin, requiescat in pace (rest in peace)] and the date, believed to be the time it was finished, 1870 located on top.
On one of the perimeter stone fence between the cemetery and the church is an inscription, though barely recognizable, bearing the name of the street and the year: Calle de Camposanto 1897.
The perimeter fence of the cemetery is similar to the one constructed around the church. The mortuary chapel, located at the center has already been renovated with cemented parts and partitions as well as a badly made portico. Several modern niches have been constructed at the front flanking the main doorway of the chapel that only the capital of the columns can be seen, barely. The roof, originally tejado (made from tiles like the roof of the kumbento) is now replaced with galvanized iron sheets and steel frames.
The mortuary chapel facade has some similarities with that found in Argao.