My plan to visit Bohol from October 10-13, 2013 to celebrate my birthday was cancelled due to sickness. My intention was to go around Bohol to visit the heritage churches of the province and take good pictures of them, Only if I knew what's going to happen a few days after!
That tragic morning of October 15, 2013, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the entire province of Bohol and other parts of the Visayas and Mindanao. The devastation of this strong force included some of the oldest churches in the Philippines, our cultural and heritage treasures which endured the test of time for more than 300 years, to turn into rubble. Experts said it would be impossible for these churches to be restored in their original forms. No amount of duplication can be possibly made due to unavailability of the original materials (coral stones) crafted by hand to build these iconic churches.
I had the opportunity to visit Bohol again this year and was able to see the damages. The site of the ruins are really heartbreaking, knowing I won't be able to see these heritage sites standing proud and mighty again.
Church Of San Pedro Apostol
|Loboc Church before the earthquake|
Santissima Trinidad Parish
|Loay Church before the earthquake|
Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
|Baclayon Church before the earthquake|
Parroquia Del Senor San Isidro Labrador
|Bilar Church before the earthquake|
Similarly, the churches of Loon (Church of Our Lady of Light), Dauis (Church of Our Lady of the Assumption), Dimiao (San Nicholas Church), and Maribojoc (Santa Cruz Parish Church) were not spared from being severely damaged.
On the other hand, old churches which are not made entirely from coral stones suffered only minor damages or no damages. Wood was the primary material used to build these structures.
Santa Monica Parish Church
The Church of St. James the Apostle
Saint Joseph Cathedral