The Lost Churches of Bohol

In 2011, I had the privilege of taking some really talented students to Bohol to do a documentary shoot for the Coca-Cola Foundation’s project of bringing potable water to isolated, impoverished communities.

Dauis Church ceiling frescoes

On our last day we were given free time and had planned to go to the beach, but when bad weather threatened we cancelled; the joke was on us, though, as the sun broke out around 8 a.m.. I’m lucky the students didn’t lynch me for making that cancellation call! To make up for it, Foundation rep Pam de Leon took us around Bohol’s historic old churches.

Baclayon Church ceiling art

I’m now glad  we did that, as on October 15, 2013 the churches of Dauis, Baclayon, Loboc and others were severely damaged by a powerful earthquake. The churches of Loon and Maribojoc, which we didn’t get to see, were completely leveled.  Dating as far back as 1727, these churches are marked by old Spanish-style architecture and beautiful ceiling art.

We’re posting these photos here to add to the online visual record of these churches, hoping they’ll be of some use to restoration efforts. While I no longer consider myself a Catholic, these churches are National Treasures for their artistic and historical value so I’d like to see them rebuilt; certainly the people of Bohol can use the tourist dollars these attractions can bring in.

Thanks again to my fellow-teacher Jojo Buizon, DMD, photography students Joyce Co and Jesed Moreno, filmmaking students Rai Gatus, Shallah Montero and Tom Villar, and to Vic Manlapaz and Pam de Leon from Coca Cola Foundation for this chance to appreciate these historical places.

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