Oslob Church kumbento

View of kumbento from the front lateral entrance.

Archival photo of kumbento
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 7th installment of a series.

The kumbento was first started by Fr. Julian Bermejo and was finished between 1848 and 1850 by Fr. Juan Aragones who reinforced it with buttresses. In 1977, Fr. Constantino Batoctoy renovated it. It is one of the very few kumbentos in Cebu which still retained its tejas roofing like Boljoon` but some sections are already with corrugated sheets. The first floor has been partitioned with cement walls. These are not apparent outside.

Front view.

Back-side view as seen from the nave of the church.

Detail of back entrance and window. Note the coral stones and exposed areas.

Back view of the kumbento as seen from the tennis court.

Roof view as seen from the belfry. Note clay tiles and corrugated sheet as roofing.

View of one part of the kumbento, right side. Note the tejas roofing.

View of interior: left, dining area; right, one of the wooden posts made from a single tree trunk.

View of the interior: left, view of sala; right, detail of ramillete which is used as wall decoration.

Originally a passageway where horses, carts and people pass, it is just under the kumbento and just
beside the church like in Dalaguete. It has been covered and converted into a sacristy as the original
sacristy located at the back of the altar was converted into an adoration chapel.

View of flooring: left, flooring of second floor as viewed from below; right, still original tiles of 1st level.

Century old wooden carving (top: full view; bottom right and left, details) which was said to be the insignia of a past bishop (or cardinal?) which greets the visitor as he comes up the stairs going to the second floor.


  1. Hi. Thanks for showing these pictures, proof of the rich religious cultural heritage of Cebu and the Philippines in general. Your historical comment appears very scholarly. I wonder if this is the beginning of a more comprehensive study of at least the old churches in Cebu, perhaps towards a coffee table book on them. There is a Committee of the CBCP that oversees old churches and related architecture. This is headed by Bishop Julito Cortes, D.D. who is also the parish priest of Santo Rosario Parish in Cebu. I feel you should be a lay member of this committee. With your interest and the committee’s mission and resources, you could come up first with historical documentation of the old churches and later with rules on preservation and restoration of these cultural structures. Keep going on and maintain your interest. God bless.

  2. Pingback: Oslob’s icon up close | Simbahan

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

  4. Pingback: Additional Oslob Church archival photos | Simbahan

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