The second stop for our tour of the southern part of Batan Island is the town of Mahatao and the San Carlos Borromeo church. This is also where we registered at the Municipal Tourism Office and paid P50 each.
The San Carlos Borromeo Church was listed by the National Museum and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as one of the 26 churches in the Philippines that are recognized as cultural icons.
It was built by the Dominicans in 1789 and the present church was rebuilt in 1873 by Onesimo Polo, who used limestone for the walls and cogon roofing. The stone beaterio or house for laywomen and other structures were built to serve as directions for people, especially the fishermen who use it as a guide on their way home.
The entire site gives a good idea of the simplicity of missionary life (as a counter-balance to the ‘baroque’ sensitiveness of more affluent areas).