Updates on Carcar and Sibonga Churches

Part of the churches that we visited during Maundy Thursday last 17 April’s visita iglesia I was able to photograph developments in the churches of Carcar and Sibonga which also suffered damages from the 15 October 2013 earthquake that hit Cebu and Bohol. Below are notes. Carcar Church Carcar Church had its left belfry badly …

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Salug, the original location of Carcar Church

Barrio Inayagan in Barangay Valladolid is the former site of the visita of Salug. In 1622, Muslim slave raiders destroyed it forcing the people to transfer inland where the present town center of Carcar is now located. While there are no longer any trace of the structures, archaeological excavations found segments of walls.

Salug continues to live in the memories of the people as Barrio Inayagan is also known as Daanglungsod or the old town.

Carcar Church kumbento interior

The kumbento of Carcar Church is one of the biggest in the province of Cebu. It was also one of the richest. Unfortunately, the interior today is just a shadow of it’s former self when church items were sold by a parish priest during his incumbency between the 80s and 90s. But one can still see beautiful ceiling and wall paintings as well as sala embellishments inside.

Carcar Church kumbento

The kumbento of Carcar Church is one of the biggest in Cebu, a testament to its wealth in a prosperous town. The masonry and wood structure was built, probably around 1885, during the term of Fr. Mauel Fernandez Rubio, an Augustinian friar who has done much for the town.

Carcar Church sacristy and attic

Behind the presbytery is Carcar Church’s sacristy. It’s spacious and almost bare that one’s eyes notice immediately the lengthy antique cabinet/table between the two doors that opens to the main altar. Wide windows give ample lighting as the musty coral walls give an old feel to it. At the back, a wide, wooden and rickety staircase leads to the attic that serves as the church’s storeroom.

The dead inside Carcar Church

Like most old churches in the country, one can find many tombs of notable people of the town inside Carcar Church. Creepy as it may sound but it has been the practice especially for those individuals and their families who contributed greatly to the church through it’s construction or donated something for the church’s use.

The choirloft of Carcar Church

In most old churches in the Philippines, the choirloft is situated at the far end of the church and just above the main portal. Carcar Church is no exception. Entrance is through a flight of wooden stairs at it’s left. A close inspection of the walls near these steps indicate a previous installation that shows a direct ascent up. Today, one negotiates a total of three flights.

Carcar Church’s pulpit

Carcar Church is one of a few simbahan in Cebu that still has its pulpit intact. Like it’s simple neoclassic façade, it echoes the architectural style and you’ve got an unassuming woodpiece that nevertheless, stands out from the whitewashed walls

Carcar Church’s coffered and painted ceiling

Of all the churches in Cebu, Carcar Church differs for it’s breathtaking coffered ceiling at the lateral naves. The series of patterns done in wood looks simple but upon close inspection, the intricacy is stunning. Despite its simple and almot bare façade, the details on the ceiling does give a pleasant surprise to the visitor.

Carcar Church baptistry

At 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. But is this the original location considering that a portion of the baptismal font was cemented and integrated into the wall, marks of renovations done?

Carcar Church’s simple yet beautiful interior

The church of Carcar has one of the simple yet beautiful interiors that I’ve seen in the country. It is one of very few, if not the only original edifice in the province that has three naves. The massive and simply decorated door opens below the choirloft to an interior 66 meters in length, 22 meters in width and 12 meters high at the center. Each nave is partitioned by an arcade with massive, around a meter thick, pillars that run all the way until a few meters to the presbytery.