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, 2006 and 2008. This is the 6th installment of a series.
The belfry of Oslob church is imposing owing to its size relative to the facade. It was constructed during the time of Fray Mauricio Alvarez (1866-1881). Originally a 5 level structure, the topmost level was destroyed by a very strong typhoon during the time of Fray Gregorio de Santiago (1892-1898). Most of the bells, including the biggest one fell to the ground and cracked. Instead of restoring the topmost level, it was left as it is and the fourth level was just covered.
The belfry has 11 bells put mostly in place by Fray Alvarez and, according to Agustin Villalon, has the most number of bells of any colonial era church in the country. The earliest bell was cast 1825 and still bears the name of Boljoon of which Oslob was still a visita then.
As for the bells:
1. CORAZON DE JESUS AÃ‘O 1872 with inscription at the back: Fundi. M. Reyes (from the foundry of M. Reyes) (cracked)
2. SANTA FILOMENA with inscription near the base: REGALO A LA YGLESIA POR PUEBLO SIENDO CURA PARROCO MAURICIO ALVARES
3. CONSOLACION with inscription near the base: REGALO A LA YGLESIA POR PUEBLO SIENDO CURA PARROCO EL M.R.P.F. MAURICIO ALVARES AÃ‘O D 1874 (cracked)
4. No inscription, with a cross relief
5. SAN ROQUE AÃ‘O D 1863
6. SIENDO EL M. R. P. F. MAURICIO ALVARES CURA PARROCO DE OSLOB AÃ‘O D 1873
7. SAN MAURICIO with inscription: SIENDO CURA PARROCO DE OSLOB P. F. MAURICIO ALVARES AÃ‘O D 1874
8. SIENDO EL M. R. P. F. MAURICIO ALVARES CURA PARROCO DE OSLOB AÃ‘O D 1873 (cracked)
9. IMMAC. CONC. B. M. VIRG. BOLJOON ANNO 1825
10. LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION with inscription: SE MIZA ASTA CAMPANA SIENDO CURA PARROCO EL M.R.P.F. APOLINAR ALVARES AÃ‘O D 1862 (cracked)
11. LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION DE MARIA SANTISIMA with inscription: SIENDO CURA PARROCO M. R. P. F. MAURICIO ALVARES DIEZ AÃ‘O D 1882, and at the top: HILARIO SUNICO (the bell caster)