Inmaculada Concepcion relief of Oslob Church

The venerated image of the Inmaculada Concepcion.
On 26 March 08, an 8 hour fire gutted the more than a century old kumbento (parish house) and church of Oslob in Cebu. What was left were the thick stone walls and belfry as well as an icon of the parish patron. This is my tribute to this beautiful and historic church with photos taken in 2005 and 2006. This is the 5th installment of a series.

I’m posting the article in Cebu Daily News regarding the venerated image in Oslob Church.

Only venerated relief in Cebu

Cebu Daily News
First Posted 11:11:00 03/28/2008
Originally posted at

The image of the Blessed Virgin that survived in the dawn fire on Wednesday in Oslob town is the only relief image venerated in Cebu churches.

But is she the Our Lady of Guadalupe or the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception?

According to iconographer Louie Nacorde, the image was that of the Immaculate Conception because it contained symbols which are attributes of the Virgin Mary.

These are the sun on her left and the moon on her right. The others were a well, a field, a tree and a staircase that represents the Virgin Mary as the gateway to heaven.

Her other attributes that can be found the relief include the Mirror of Justice, the Tower of Ivory and the Tower of David.

A history professor of the University of San Carlos said the relief was that of the Immaculate Conception.

Trizer Dale Mansueto, also a member of the Archdiocesan Commission on the Cultural Heritage of the Church, said the difference between the Immaculate Conception image and that of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the color of the veil and dress of Mary.

“The Immaculate Conception has a white dress that symbolizes purity and a blue veil. It is also of European origin so it’s Caucasian,” he said.

“The Virgin of Guadalupe is from Mexico and is brown-skinned and has a pink dress and a blue veil. It has a cherub in front of it,” he added.

But some parishioners told Louella Alix, member of the Archdiocesan Commission on the Cultural Heritage of the Church, that the religious icon was the Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Alix, also chair of the Commission on Ecclesiastical Archives said she was told by the parishioners that the image was one of the oldest in the province and was brought by the Spaniards to Oslob from Mexico.

According to Mansueto, the relief in Oslob is the only one venerated in Cebu because the others are whole images. /Editorial Assistant Ma. Bernadette A. Parco


  1. A comment on the use of a term in the last statement of the article: A relief sculpture is still considered a whole image. Perhaps what the “historian” was referring to is a free-standing image.

  2. Pingback: Oslob Church 10 months after the fire | Simbahan

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