San Vicente Ferrer Chapel in Pitalo after the fire

The small chapel of San Vicente Ferrer in Pitalo, San Fernando, Cebu was gutted by fire before 5PM last 3 May. News reports indicated that a cancer surivor bought P5,000 worth of candles to offer as thanksgiving, although warned not to light it simultaneously, just didn’t follow and proceeded to light all the candles.

The area where devotees offer candles and prayers is found at the back of the chapel and it was where the fire started that damaged the roof, the presbytery, side of the presbytery including heritage paintings on the ceiling, the kumbento (parochial house) and several houses at the back.

Responding fire fighters were able to control the fire and the rest of the chapel was spared. I visited this last 9 May and photographed around. The Pitalo Chapel, based on the inscribed years was built in several stages. The facade was completed in 1925, the belfry in 1931 and the back in 1939. It is under the jurisdiction of the parish church at the Poblacion (town center) of the town.

View of the church interior with the roof burned off

View of the church interior with the roof burned off

View of the nave with the roof burned off

View of the nave with the roof burned off

Another view of the burned section of the presbytery

Another view of the burned section of the presbytery

Burned section of ceiling with two of the paintings, originally done by one of Cebu's 1930s masters

Burned section of ceiling with two of the paintings, originally done by one of Cebu’s 1930s masters

Partially burned section of the altar. The antique image of the patron saint, right, was left unscathed.

Partially burned section of the altar. The antique image of the patron saint, right, was left unscathed.

Left, burnt feet of the lifesized crucifix; right, back portion of the church with a 1939 date. It was here, where devotees can light candle that the fire started.

Left, burnt feet of the lifesized crucifix; right, back portion of the church with a 1939 date. It was here, where devotees can light candle that the fire started.

Nave of the small church and burnt kumbento or parochial house

Nave of the small church and burnt kumbento or parochial house

Interior of the kumbento or parochial house which burned down.

Interior of the kumbento or parochial house which burned down.

Facade of the San Vicente Ferrer church in Pitalo, San Fernando, Cebu. It was left unscathed from the fire.

Facade of the San Vicente Ferrer church in Pitalo, San Fernando, Cebu. It was left unscathed from the fire.

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