Churches in Southern Cebu have a very detailed architecture that makes them great tourist spots.
The Philippines is a melting pot for beautiful churches. The impressive architecture has lasted for several decades, and many of these are located in Southern Cebu.
Churches in the province are very different from the ones in the city. The San Pedro Calungsod Chapel, for example, has more of a modern aesthetic. Provincial structures, on the other hand, conversely show styles that are unchanged since their inception.
They mostly use classic church architecture styles while borrowing other religious aesthetics. Watchtowers, pulpits, and ceiling murals are common features.
Architecture isn’t the only interesting aspect, either.
Churches are incredibly relevant to the cultural heritage in Cebu, being one of the biggest islands in a mostly Catholic country.
During the colonial ages, churches were the last refuge of pirate attacks from the open sea, taking place in some of the well known towns in Southern Cebu. Watchtowers were even built to warn locals about incoming raiders.
There are many historical places in Cebu province worth learning about during any road trip to the south.
ST. CATHERINE DE ALEXANDRIA CHURCH (Carcar City)
Statues of the 12 apostles surround the entrance to the St. Catherine de Alexandria Church in Carcar City.
You may have heard of Carcar because of their famous and delicious lechon, but the city is also home to the island’s second oldest church.
The St. Catherine de Alexandria Church in Santa Catalina sits atop a hill, with a design that reflects many other colonial churches. The twin towers look like Muslim mosques, and detailed statues of Jesus’ apostles surround the entrance.
The Carcar Church is the second oldest on the island, next to the Basilica del Sto. Niño in Cebu City.
The church is a two hour drive from Cebu City, and is only three minutes away from the very popular rotunda near their public market, where you can buy many of their delicacies.
ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL PARISH (Argao)
The St. Michael the Archangel Church has subtle architectural designs that you can find in other provincial churches.
Further to the south is the municipality of Argao. This town is popular for its native delicacy, Torta, as well as the weaving culture of Hablon.
Their main church, St. Michael the Archangel Parish, is also famous in the south. The architecture is known for its subtle features, like the half columns that divide the church’s facade into three.
The interiors have many features similar to centuries-old churches like ceiling murals and pulpits.
There are other Argao Cebu tourist spots worth visiting. The Municipal Hall is the oldest one on the island, and the large open park outside the church lets you relax and enjoy the clean air. There is also a beach resort nearby if you want to cool off and watch the sunset.
SAN GUILLERMO CHURCH (Dalaguete)
Fresh flowers from the nearby park lead you to the church.
Among the many tourist spots in Dalaguete, such as Osmeña Peak and Obong Spring, is another historical landmark, the Dalaguete Church.
Its design is similar to Argao’s, and just like the Basilica del Sto. Niño, its belfry broke after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013. Luckily, the church was unscathed.
The Dalaguete Church might as well be considered a hidden gem because of the municipality’s many other famous tourist spots.
There is a park and some eateries nearby. You can hang around outside the church and relax at the park, or visit the eateries. They even have a baywalk similar to the one in the City of Naga.
NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL PATROCINIO DE MARIA PARISH CHURCH (Boljoon)
The Boljoon Church is known for its subtle architectural design.
The municipality of Boljoon may not be one of the most popular places to visit for tourists, but their church is one of the best built in Cebu.
The ocean is a stone’s throw away from the church entrance. As such, you can expect a cool and calm breeze that you won’t otherwise experience in other churches.
The watchtower and old house outside the church serve as additional historical attractions.
There are also other attractions in the area for you to look around, as if you were in an outdoor museum, with several religious images, a historically significant well, an old canon, and a huge watchtower located in front of the facade.
Southern Cebu has some of the most famous Catholic churches in the Philippines because of their classic architecture and historical significance. Make sure to pray for safety and security whenever you visit these huge and magnificent churches.