Jabonga Church retablo, one of the oldest in Mindanao

The antique retablo of Jabonga Church

The antique retablo of Jabonga Church

The town of Jabonga in Agusan del Norte is one of the oldest in Mindanao established as a mission of the Augustinian Recollects in 1621 at the banks of the Calinawan River at present day Barangay Colorado. There is not much history that can be found about this mission but fast forward to 1876, a strong typhoon was said to have destroyed the church, now under the Jesuits and the parish priest, Fray Saturnino Urios, SJ, in 1877, led the townspeople in gathering hardwood and other materials in building the church at its present location.

In the 20th century, the church was modernized (date unknown) with the whole exterior made of cement. However, the retablo has remained intact. The pulpit is still there while the antique altar table is probably of the same year as the retable. At the time of visit, only one bell cast in 1892 remained and was placed on the floor at one corner of the church.

The church has a beautiful baptismal font of wood in the style of 19th century fonts made of marble. Hardwood trunks are still present that are used as structural posts.

Baptismal font and details of the

Beautiful baptismal font made of wood (left), details of the altar table (center) and details of one of the wooden columns (right)

Detail of one of the panels of the antique retablo

Detail of one of the panels of the antique retablo

The remaining antique bell cast in 1892

The remaining antique bell cast in 1892

Left, close up of the tree trunk used as post; right, hardwood used as post

Left, close up of the tree trunk used as post; right, hardwood used as post

Clockwise from top right: view of the nave from the altar, exterior of the present and modern church, view of the nave from the main entrance and view of the nave from the side. Note the tree trunks used as posts.

Clockwise from top right: view of the nave from the altar, exterior of the present and modern church, view of the nave from the main entrance and view of the nave from the side. Note the tree trunks used as posts.

Different views of the pulpit

Different views of the pulpit

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