This is my third trip to Bohol. The first one, in 2009, was made with Travel Factor, and we stayed at Dumaluan Beach Resort. The second one was made in 2010, with the family, and we stayed at Bohol Beach Club. The third trip was a crazy one of sorts, and what made it different was, instead of staying in Panglao Island, I stayed in the center of Tagbilaran – at Nisa Traveller’s Hotel, where a single fan room, with shared bathroom, could be had for Php400/night inclusive of breakfast. Crazy! But I would recommend this place to anyone. I only quite stumbled upon it, walking down the streets, with my bag, in the rain, I checked into the first establishment that remotely said “HOTEL” in it. I was surprised that it was a decent place, with really friendly staff, and the cheapest room I have come across in all my recent travels. The regular rate is apparently Php550/night but they told me they were on promo. The rate included breakfast, bottled water, coffee and even wi-fi. I just really dropped my bags in my room, and went straight out into the jeepney terminal, which was about 3 blocks away from the hotel. The staff gave me directions on how to get to Panglao Island by commute and I was very pleased.
Anyway, I was supposedly on my way to the Chocolate Hills when I decided I was not up for it. I found myself napping on a bench in the shade of bamboos by the side of the road somewhere in Loboc, with my feet up, sunglasses on, and headphones on. Then it started raining. I took a habal-habal back to the town proper, determined to find a salon, a.k.a. “parlor”, where I can have my nails done. Yes, I am weird like that. I have been traveling nearly a week and my nails needed some care.
My search for a place to have my nails done led me to this two-storey building right by the church and right in front of the church’s bell tower. It is by the way the only salon in the entire town of Loboc, in case you are wondering.
The light from the setting sun made the bell tower stand out. And I was pleased.
“The Church of San Pedro in Loboc is the second oldest church in Bohol. It was originally built in 1602. Located near the river, it has survived a number of floods. Inside the church, you can admire some remarkable naive paintings on the ceiling. A Spanish coat of arms can be found in the stone wall near the entrance of the convent. The bell tower of Loboc is about 100 meters from the church.
Attached to the building is a three storey convent, which today houses the Museo de Loboc on the third floor. This museum houses a few old statues of saints, and some other antique religious artifacts.” – Source: Bohol’s Old Churches at Bohol.ph
“The church of Loboc is one of the most beautiful in the entire province. Its history makes it the most interesting. The first stone church was built in 1602. It was destroyed by fire in 1638 and rebuilt beside the site of the older one. This is the Loboc Church presently standing, a fine example of the Jesuit colonial architecture of the 18th century.
Upon the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1768, the Augustinian Recollects took over and they proceeded to renovate the unfinished structure. They were responsible for the free-standing bell tower, the arcade facade, the mortuary chapel, the heavy stone buttresses and the unique three-storey convento built into the fabric of the Jesuit-built church of the 17th century.
Two saintly figures lived and were buried in Loboc church: Fr. Alonso Humanes, S.J. whose gravesite became the object of pilgrimages after his death in 1633, and the remarkable native boy, Miguel Ayatumo, a student of the Seminario Colegio, who died in the odor of sanctity at the age of sixteen in 1609. Contemporary Jesuit records speak glowingly of this Aloysius Gonzaga of Bohol.
Loboc Church contains a lot of interesting treasures. Among these are the decorative stone carvings and friezes on the exterior walls; a relief of St. Ignatius in polychrome stucco intriguingly hidden behind the main altar, seven ancient retablos from both the Jesuit and Recollect periods; ceiling murals done in the 1920s by the Cebuano artists Rey Farncia and Canuto Avila, one depicting the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the town’s secondary patron, during the great flood of 1876; carved wooden cornices and decorative corbels shaped as gargoyles or mythical animals; and the unique three-story convent, perhaps the only one of its kind in the country.“- Source: Loboc, Bohol on Wikipedia
To be fair, I did not just stumble upon the church. I have, actually, always wanted to come see it. From the very first time I glimpsed its red roof from across the river, when we were on the floating restaurants for our Loboc River Cruise in 2009, I had wanted to cross the river and see it, but it just was not in the itinerary. So I was happy that I finally made it this year.
I did not go inside the church to take photos though. By the time I crossed the street, and finished taking photos of the facade, the sun had set and it was already dark. I did stumble upon the following blogs that have nice photos of the interior of the church, as well as interesting stories of why there is an unfinished bridge right next to the church:
- Bohol, Philippines: Loboc Church
- Saint Peter’s Loboc Church
- Bohol Trip: Loboc, A Tale of a Bridge vs a Church