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.
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.
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.
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.
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!