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.
THE MOST POPULAR SOUTHERN CEBU CHURCHES
St. Catherine de Alexandria Church (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 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)
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.
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)
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.
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 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.
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.