Throwback Thursday: Basilica del Santo Niño and Baclayon Church

Tuesday, October 15. I woke up to a slew of photos and news articles on Facebook about the 7.2 earthquake that hit Central Visayas, particularly the province of Bohol. Several other cities and provinces were affected, which includes the Queen City of the South, Cebu. Experts say that the magnitude of the earthquake was equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs, causing major damage to structures and claiming more than a hundred lives.

I am creeped out by antiques, but old churches always amaze me. I felt sad especially after seeing pictures of several old churches in Bohol and Cebu which are now severely damaged. As I was watching the news, it depressed me to hear that it would be a big challenge to repair these old churches. Nonetheless, I am thankful that I was able to visit two of these churches during my Cebu-Bohol trip in 2012.

One of the must-see places in Cebu that I am so glad we visited is Basilica del Santo Niño. It is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines, and unfortunately, its facade and belfry were destroyed by the quake. These are the pictures of the historical landmark that I took during last year’s trip:

basilica del sto. nino, cebu, bohol earthquake, church

basilica del sto. nino, cebu, bohol earthquake, church

basilica del sto. nino, cebu, bohol earthquake, church

Another historical place that was badly affected by the quake is the Baclayon Church in Bohol. The church dates back to 1727 and was declared as a National Historic Treasure. Sad to say, the oldest and best preserved church in the region was ruined by the earthquake, too. It might be impossible to fully restore it to its former glory because of the unavailability of materials that were used to build the structure hundreds of years ago. Looking back at my photos reminds me of the sense of awe I felt upon entering Baclayon Church:

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baclayon church, cebu, bohol earthquake, church

baclayon church, cebu, bohol earthquake, church

baclayon church, bohol, bohol earthquake

Both Cebu and Bohol are still under dire conditions. It’s heartbreaking to see these glorious structures in ruins, and it’s much more difficult to witness our fellowmen trying to recover from this catastrophe. The least I can do is pray for them and trust that they will get by. Armed with indefatigable faith and belief that things will be okay, I’m sure that they will survive this. Let’s continue praying for our kababayans in Visayas.

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