This visita iglesia series focuses on the different churches in various areas in the country that can be followed as a guide for the much observed Filipino Catholic Lenten tradition of the Visita Iglesia. This part focuses on non Augustinian built churches in the island province. Check out the other posts on Cebu Churches: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
6 Catmon Church
Catmon was a vicarage of Danao and was separated as a parish in 1835. Even before its separation, it was already administered by the Augustinian Recollects, first by Fray Miguel Martinez from his church in Danao.
The original site of the church used to be in what is now known as Catmon Daan (Old Catmon) where, atop a hill overlooking the sea, only the walls and a watchtower of a fort remains. Here the first church was built but unfinished as it was then relocated to it’s present site at the current poblacion.
The current stone church was constructed by Fray Bernando Ybanez and was finished in 1875 during the incumbency of three other parish priests. Fray Francisco Vergara did the finishing touches. The interior has been remodeled but fortunately, it’s beautiful ceiling woodwork is still intact.
It is one of the few Spanish colonial era churches in Cebu that still has its attic located above the sacristy intact.
San Guillermo Hermitanio is the patron saint.
7 Sogod Church
The town of Sogod was declared as a separate parish in 1832 but it’s first parish priest was the one assigned in Parian (Cebu City) before the latter was downgraded into a visita. It was only in 1842 that it had its own priest, Fray Patricio Cudelia de San Jose who took charge until 1851.
Nothing is known about when the present structure was constructed. Felipe Redondo in his Breve Resena (1886) already mentioned about the stone structure including its parochial house or convento. It was badly damaged during World War II and a typhoon in 1951.
Today, its very simple facade is what remains of the original structure. At its front is a ruined watchtower or baluarte, testament to its dark past when Muslim slave raiders used to terrorize the seas.
Like the church in its neighboring town of Catmon, the one in Sogod is located at a high promontory that overlooks the sea.
Santiago Apostol is the patron saint.
8 San Remegio Church
San Remegio was separated from Bogo as an independent parish in 1864 with Fr. Ceferino Montecillo as its first parish priest.
The church, built during the curacy of Fr. Ygnacio Espina, now immortalized on the floor with a marble plaque, was still being built when Felipe Redondo’s book, Breve Resena, was published.
The structure originally faced the sea but in 1972, Fr. Diosdado Isobal renovated the church, closed the facade and made a new entrance at what used to be the back of the church.
San Juan Nepomucena is the patron saint.
9 Daanbantayan Church
Daanbantayan (also Daan Bantayan) used to be part of Bantayan Parish and it was separated through a declartion of a diocesan decree in 1858. It was under the administration of the Seculars.
While Felipe Redondo, in his book, Breve Resena, published in 1886 still recorded it as having timber and tabique pampango walls, wooden floors and cogon roofing, a cartouche above the main portal details the construction of the church in 1886 during the curacy of Fr. Feliciano Torres.
The three sided facade of the church is the only one of its kind in the province of Cebu with the ones flanking the central part angled. The position of the belfry is also unique as it recedes from the facade, a feature that is shared with another church in Marilao, Bulacan.
The interior has already been renovated with the wooden retablo discarded and replaced with a much simpler one.
Santa Rosa de Lima is the patron saint.
10 Bantayan Church
Bantayan, located in the island of the same name is the oldest parish in Cebu being the first to be established by the Augustinians in 1580. A well populated town, it has suffered frequent incursions by Muslim slave raiders. In fact, the church used to be within a walled settlement.
In 1603, it was handed to the Seculars and administered the towns of Daanbantayan (separated in 1858) and nearby villages in north Cebu as well as the island of Maripipi in Leyte. The current stone church was constructed in 1839-63 by Fr. Doroteo Andrada del Rosario.
Bantayan church is one of the most impressive churches in the province and in the country. It’s richly ornamented facade is a sight to behold with its bas relief of saints and floral motif. Along the walls of its nave, both interior and exterior are profuse with another roster of these stone carvings.
The town is also famous for its lenten processions with lifesized and mostly antique images being borne on carozzas.