Perhaps the overall beauty of the church facade is carried by the massive and grandiose flanking twin belfries that doubles as front buttresses, precede the entrance and pediment that easily catches the attention of the viewer. Today, its only the left side that still has its bells intact with two still sturdy wooden ladders that carries one to the upper levels. The right tower, on the other hand is already devoid of its bells and the ladder is quite weak with several steps missing. It is this second belfry that provides a path to the open terrace.
There are only four bells that can be found in this church. The smallest bell (not shown and seen from the facade) has no markings.
The second, located at the side only has its cast year with “AÃ‘O D 1838” inscribed under a cross. There are no other information.
The third, which is located at the back, has more detail on its surface. The bell is dedicated to the NTRA SRA. (Nuestra SeÃ±ora) DE LA CONSOLACION (Our Lady of Consolacion). Beneath it is the phrase: SE REFUNDIO EN EL AÃ‘O 1895 SIENDO CURA PARROCO EL M. R. P. Fr. MANUEL DEL BURGO. (this refers to the cast date and the parish priest who commissioned it; this is the same priest who decorated the interior in 1894 but I haven’t found any archival photos that shows how it looked like during that time). And finally, at the bottom, just near the lip of the bell is FUNDACION DE HILARIO SUNICO JABONEROS No. 50 (this is the foundry of Hilario Sunico along Jaboneros St. in San Nicolas where several of the country’s church bells were cast and was active as late as the 1930s; it should also be noted that the inclusion of the street is not common in many other bells that I have seen. It is usually inscribed with just H. Sunico).
The fourth and main bell is huge and dominates the center. Dedicated to the patron saint, it was recast from the original. The inscription reads:
SANTA TERESA DE AVILA
RECAST BY ACMDC FOUNDRY
FROM ORIGINAL BELL DATED 1896
The other details found on the original bell like the weight (in arrobas), the parish priest who commissioned it as well as the name of the foundry were no longer carried into the recast. However, basing from the third bell, the parish priest might have been the same.
A pleasant surprise, the domes of the belfries are made of bricks. I didn’t know that it was also used in Cebu churches which are predominantly made from coral stones. Or is this just a later addition? Entrance to these two towers with two levels is by way of the choirloft. The inner walls have also been covered with a layer of cement.