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.
I visited the Basilica del Sto. Nino, the Augustinian convent in Cebu last 31 October to take photos around the church for a future post at my travel blog, langyaw.com. When I went out, I was surprised that the centuries old icon of the Inmaculada Concepcion (Immaculate Concepcion) of Oslob Church was just outside, encased in clear plexiglass and there were two long lines infront where people waited to come close and touch it.
The church of Oslob will be rebuilt but it is estimated to cost as much as 30 million pesos. Other than the second collection during mass, the icon visits several churches within Cebu to raise funds. During the time that I was there, the Basilica was just one of the stops in Cebu City.
It’s the first time for me to get upclose and touch the icon. It’s really beautiful and ancient. It is made of hardwood and about 5-6 inches in thickness. The folk relief is just stunning. Except for a blackened portion at one part of the bottom, there’s no trace that will indicate that it just survived a fire. I was just beside it and I can’t just help but marvel at this masterpiece.
While people were lining up infront, there were also many who were gathering behind the icon, touching and taking photos. They were abuzz about one portion where a faint trace forming a woman’s face can be discerned. While many say that it might have formed there miraculously, I would say that it is nothing but just some random pattern.