The neighboring island province of Cebu was also badly affected with several buildings damaged and structures suffering cracks. Two days after the disaster, me and friends from the Cathedral Museum of Cebu inspected some churches in the southeastern side, from Carcar to Argao and I was able to photograph the damages suffered in these structures. A day before this trip, I also surveyed city heritage structures that includes four churches and a cemetery chapel.
The Parish of Carcar in southeastern Cebu has one of the beautiful churches in the province. Its facade is a blend of different architectural styles: Muslim, Neoclassic and Baroque. Located on top of a hill, it is imposing.
The 15 October earthquake didn’t spare Carcar Church. Although the damage is not as grave among Cebu heritage structures as compared to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino wherein the belfry fell, this one suffered with cracks both exterior and interior. Also, last February, the church also suffered cracks on the facade when an earthquake struck centering in neighboring Negros Oriental province.
A cursory glance of the exterior of the structure doesn’t give much information about the effect of the earthquake. However, a close inspection will reveal that the left belfry (when facing the facade) has the heaviest damage. The other belfry seems to be okay.
Carcar Church’s belfry is one of its outstanding features because of the minaret like dome. Some say it calls to mind mosques or Russian Orthodox churches. Inside these belfries are bells of different sizes cast from as early as 1810, the oldest, to as late as 1929.
The damage on the left belfry is hardest on one side, although all sides suffered cracks. The crack is such that the bell that used to hang at the opening was dislodged. Parts of the coral stones fell down while some are scattered at the floor.
Other than the belfry, the pediment, which houses also a mechanical clock has suffered cracks as shown below. Inside the church, coral stones from the capitals have been loosened and when one observes the ceiling of the right aisle (when facing the altar), it seems to separate from the central aisle. A lapida has also been dislodged.