Archival photos of Oslob Church’s retablo mayor

I was looking at archival photos of churches in my files and found two images of the retablo mayor of Oslob Church in Cebu. It is resplendent with all those finery and decorations that are done on special occasions like the feast of the main patron, Inmaculada Concepcion or during the Lenten Season.

The photos might have been taken during the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Notice the benches placed infront of each other just before the altar. These were usually reserved for the elite while the townspeople stand further with no benches or seats provided.

At the left image, notice the painted ceilings which, unfortunately, during the fire of 1955 was totally gutted by fire. The interior seems to have its own trompe l’oeil judging from the topmost photo wherein at the right, one of the pillars is painted. Compare these with the interior circa 2005, before the fire of 2008 and really, there’s a big, big difference. These two archival images are courtesy of Pedro Galende, OSA, San Agustin Museum Director.


  1. Beautiful and impressive interiors. Could have any of the silver works/frontals or saint survived to this day? One of the outstanding and unique features that I’ve noticed about most Cebu churches is the light color that they have, being made from coquina.

  2. that i’m not sure if these are still existing. Before the fire, there were metal ramilletes used as wall decoration in the kumbento. re the color, that’s an interesting observation that I haven’t noticed 🙂

  3. the first retablo fo me is the most beautiful. i love the rays… is it the relieve of the imaculada that is being enshrined since then?

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