EOS Destination #1!

Right after getting my first DSLR camera, I’m onto my first blog destination!  And it’s no other than, the town of the oldest church in the province of Misamis Occidental – Jimenez!  I had traveled with triple purpose – to attend the christening of the firstborn of my college classmate Angelie, blog about the town’s national cultural treasure, and get some shots of old houses in the municipality.  Unfortunately, I was late for the baptismal rites so I just grabbed the chance to interview the churchkeepers who were left behind after the service.

st. john baptist jimenez

Founded by the Augustinian recollects on the day of St. John the Baptist, June 24, 1859, the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist is at the forefront of the municipality’s history.  Like any other Catholic churches, the aim is not just to further spread Christianity but also to serve as a political backbone of Spanish colonial rule.  When during those times, the church and state were regarded as one.

Nonetheless, the church served as a fortress during the Spanish and Japanese wars.  There was a hidden tunnel as passageway for the townsfolk to use whenever there were rumblings around them.  I didn’t fail to imagine all the chaos the church must had been.  But like a mighty fortress, it stood the tests of times and is standing still as a cradle of Christianity in the locality.

facade2 old church jimenez
As a centuries old church, its facade tells its antiquity.  It is made up of coral stones from each churchgoer who were obliged to bring one during its construction as folktales said so.

Holy Water Basin Made From Coral Stone
Holy Water Basin Made From Coral Stone

The interior boasts of its ceiling which is painted Trompe-l’oeil style.  The three-dimensional illusion is something to be compared with that of the churches in Vatican.  Most importantly, the gold-plated altar hosts a number of saint relics of course including St. John the Baptist.  But sad to say, it is not the original relic anymore because the former was stolen right before his feast in  the beginning of the 21st century.

interior2 old church jimenez

The wooden pillars along the sides are also intricately decorated.  In order to preserve them from termites, careful inspection and protection are made regularly.

ceiling old church jimenez
And never ignore the floor.  Once you step on it, you can experience stepping back in time as it is made of tisa tiles.  These are not just ordinary tiles.  These were handmade out from clay, the ones made from make-shift ovens in the olden days.tisa floor old church jimenez
At present, Father Mario Magcanam is the parish priest governing the church wherein baptism and weddings are frequently held.  Even engaged couples from other places go to the town of Jimenez just to get wed!

silouhette old church jimenez

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