Amlan’s long neglected watchtower in ruins

History wasn’t really so good for coastal communities in Negros Oriental, like many coastal communities for most of Visayas, Bicol, Palawan and Northern Mindanao. During the height of the Muslim slave raiding which reached its peak in the early 19th century, several towns were pillaged and townsfolks sent to be sold in the slave market …


The cemetery chapel ruins of San Pablo

The municipality of San Pablo in Isabela used to be the capital of Cagayan province. And for this, it has the oldest church in the province, dating to the 17th century and has the tallest bell tower in Cagayan Valley. However, the current church has been in ruins with the nave without a roof. The …


The Banza Church ruins of Butuan City

When it comes to heritage churches, Mindanao can only show us a few structures sprinkled around the big island. There’s just a few Spanish colonial era churches. There are a few forts and some ruins, a cemetery and a few more watchtowers. But when I read online that there is a ruin of a belfry …


Help rebuild Dumarao Church

Dumarao means to be in mourning.

On 16 November 2009, a fire broke out at the ceiling of the second level of the Our Lady of the Snow Institute at 0130H that gutted the whole building and the adjacent parish church of Dumarao. Today, it is being rebuilt.

Oton Church architecture

The lost church of Oton was the only one of its kind in the Philippines in form and structure. It’s architecture is a combination of different architectural styles: gothic, classical and romanesque, a trait that is very much common in most Spanish colonial period churches in the country.

The lost church of Oton, Iloilo

It would have been one of the country’s spectacular churches, if not the most beautiful were it not for a natural cataclysm that razed it to the ground. Oton’s once majestic church, in the form of a Greek cross, was unique as it was the only one with such a plan and architecture blending Byzantine with Gothic and classical elements.

Over the ruins of Oslob Church, hope and the future

Last March 28, at 1 AM, a fire broke out in the room of the parish priest in the “kumbento” or parish house of the 178 year old church of Oslob, a southern municipality in Cebu and three hours ride from Cebu City. Of the two firetrucks available in the town, one was broken and the other cannot start that the townsfolk has to push it near the church. However, despite their efforts, the fire raged on. It was only contained when firemen from the neighboring towns of Argao and Santander came in to help. After eight hours, the “kumbento” burned down.

Ruins and lost churches

The simbahan and its related structures are not always permanent. There are many factors that have caused its destruction, abandonment and left to ruin. In the course of a town’s life, populations rise and fall as what happened in Calavite, Mindoro where the constant Muslim slave raids greatly decimated the populace.