Earthquake damage at Pardo Church

The beautiful Pardo Church suffering cracks and damaged parts of the facade

The beautiful Pardo Church suffering cracks and damaged parts of the facade. Note the debris at the base of the church.

The fateful day of 15 October 2013, when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the town of Sagbayan in Central Bohol was an unexpected cataclysm. Almost all the heritage churches of that province were badly damaged with two churches in Maribojoc and Loon went down in rubble.

The neighboring island province of Cebu was also badly affected with several buildings damaged and structures suffering cracks. Two days after the disaster, me and friends from the Cathedral Museum of Cebu inspected some churches in the southeastern side, from Carcar to Argao and I was able to photograph the damages suffered in these structures. A day before this trip, I also surveyed city heritage structures that includes four churches and a cemetery chapel.

The parish church of Pardo, in Cebu City, under the advocacy of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva is one of the beautiful and elegant churches in Cebu City. Built in the Latin-Byzantine style, it has a facade wherein a massive belfry is integrated and flanked by two towers that are lower in height. From a distance, it gives an impression that it is a fortress. The architecture was designed by Arch. Domingo Escondrillas and was allegedly built between 1880-1893 (as per Galende in Angels in Stone).

right side of belfry with slight damage

right side of belfry with slight damage

The earthquake of 15 October affected the church of Pardo with the main damage mainly on the facade. From the top to the bottom of the belfry, front, left and right sides have visible cracks. The windows with the bells have parts of the coral stone finishing loosened exposing the piedra bituca.

The blind windows with small occuli also sustained damaged: the front with parts of its surface exposed while the left and side had loosened stones at the upper parts. The top levels of the two side towers suffered the heaviest with parts of the dome falling off. There are also cracks around these parts.

While there are still no assessments to the degree of damage to the structure, the front of the church has been cordoned off. I was also told that the interior didn’t have any damages.

I’ve also featured the earthquake’s damage to Carcar Church.

Close details of damages on the front of belfry: cracks and loosened coral stones

Close details of damages on the front of belfry: cracks and loosened coral stones

Left, left side view of the same part of the belfry; right, front view of the belfry. Notice the damages on each side from the bell area down to the lower level

Left, left side view of the same part of the belfry; right, front view of the belfry. Notice the damages on each side from the bell area down to the lower level

Cracks at the front of the belfry and at the sides

Cracks at the front of the belfry and at the sides

Both 'shoulders' of the facade with damaged portions. Coral blocks have fallen exposing the piedra bituca

Both ‘shoulders’ of the facade with damaged portions. Coral blocks have fallen exposing the piedra bituca

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  1. Pingback: Why Sto. Nino Basilica’s belfry crumbled | Simbahan

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