Upon entering inside Carcar Church, the interior just amazes. To one’s right directly beside the main portal, space has been cordoned off with a low open grilled partition with a twin entrance. This is the baptistry or baptistery. It’s easily recognizable because of the baptismal font and the somewhat requisite image either statues or relieves of St. John the Baptist pouring water on Christ.
The photos used in this series were taken between 2005 and 2008 as the author visits this church from time to time. Special thanx to Lorens Gibb Lapinid for the assistance in 2008. The one in Carcar differs greatly from the typical setup, a consequence of it’s construction. In other churches, the baptistry is at the hollow base of the attached belfry, as in the case of Oslob or its in a cul-de-sac/niche like San Agustin and in Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya.
The open section is quite sparse except for a bas relief of St. John baptizing Jesus. But below it, is one beautiful and unique baptismal font that I have ever seen. In most churches, the typical fonts are made of a wide marble basin with two plain sections. Here, it is not as big but what it does compensate is a splendidly crafted and detailed half of a bivalve shell with a drain at the deepest part. Beside it are two circular depressions.
At it’s side, are two letters with the “S” superimposed on the “C” which might refer to the patron saint, Santa Catalina Martir. A ribbing at it’s slope can be seen just before terminating atop an octagonal stand. Looking at it however, I can’t help but think that this area might have already been disturbed. Upon close inspection, one would notice that a portion of the other half has been integrated into the wall and the depression cemented which will indicate that this is a later addition.
A made over space? Was this really where the baptistry was originally found? Unless I can ask people who might know about it, see archival images or someone can talk about it I can just speculate that it was renovated.