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Loboc Church

The San Pedro Apostol Parish Church (also Saint Peter

the Apostle Parish Church, Spanish: Iglesia Parroquial de
San Pedro Apstol), commonly known as Loboc Church,
is a Roman Catholic church in the municipality of Loboc,
Bohol, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of the Roman
Catholic Diocese of Tagbilaran.

the country in May 1768, the Augustian Recollects assumed the administration of the parish and the church
that November.[5][7]

1.1 Historical and cultural designations

After the Jesuits established the Christian community in

Baclayon, they moved to Loboc and established a second Christian settlement in Bohol. The parish was established in 1602, and the present coral stone church was
completed in 1734. Because of its strategic location, it
became the center of the Jesuit mission in the Bohol area.
In 1768, upon the expulsion of the Jesuits, the town was
transferred to the Augustinian Recollects.

In 1998, Loboc Church was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute, now
the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.[8]
It was also listed as a National Cultural Treasure by the
National Museum of the Philippines.[9]
The church complex was a candidate for UNESCO World
Heritage Sites of the Philippines, under two distinct categories. The Jesuit Churches of the Philippines nomination includes the churches of Maragondon in Cavite,
Baclayon in Bohol and Guiuan in Eastern Samar.[10] The
Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Extension) nomination, nominates Loboc Church along with the churches
of Patrocinio de Maria in Boljoon, Cebu, La Inmaculada Concepcion in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, San Matias
in Tumauini, Isabela, and San Isidro Labrador in Lazi,
Siquijor.[11] However, due to its total destruction, it was
removed from the roster of nominated sites.[12]

The church is classied as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the
Philippines and a National Cultural Treasure by the
National Museum of the Philippines. It was considered
for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Philippines
as a member of two categories, the Baroque Churches of
the Philippines (Extension) and the Jesuit Churches of the
It was severely damaged when a 7.2 magnitude
earthquake struck Bohol and other parts of Central
Visayas on October 15, 2013.

2 Architecture

Church history

After the establishment of the Jesuit mission in Bohol, Father Juan de Torres, SJ, moved to the community along
the Loboc River in late 1596 to establish a second mission
station.[1] The rst church, made of wood, was built by the
people of the area on a site called Calvario, Sawang, near
the location of the present-day church. It was dedicated
under the patronage of Saint Michael the Archangel.[1]
Loboc ocially became a Catholic parish in 1602.[1] Due
to pirate attacks on Baclayon and the strategic position
of Loboc, the Jesuits chose Loboc to become the center of their mission.[1] The Jesuit superior of Bohol later
resided in Loboc until the Jesuits expulsion in 1768.[2] A Thick walls of the church
boarding school for boys, the Seminario de los Indios, was
established at Loboc in 1605.[2][3][4]
The church is built along the banks of the Loboc River.
Fire destroyed the original wooden church in 1638; it was The coral stone church follows a cruciform plan, with a
later reconstructed by the Jesuit priest Jose Sanchez.[5] A sunken pyramidal roof on its crossing. As a church built
larger church was built in 1670, on the site of the present by the Jesuits, exterior walls of the church have the Jesuit
day convent.[6] The present coral stone church was n- insignia and icons of an angels wing and head.[5] Major
ished in 1734.[5] After the Jesuits were expelled from renovations were undertaken by Augustinian priest Father


Aquilino Bon, including the addition of a portico to the

faade (18631866) and re-roong with tiles (1873).[5]
Father Jos Snchez, OAR, added stone buttresses to the
walls (18911893) and side porticoes (18951896).[5]
Because of frequent ooding, its wooden ooring was
changed to cement tiles in 1895[13] and was elevated in



The interior of the church is adorned with ceiling paintings by Canuto Avila and his sons, Ricardo and Ray Francia, created from May 1926 to July 1927, and retouched
by Cris Naparota in 1995.[14] A mural of Our Lady of
Guadalupe, secondary patron of Loboc, painted by Max
Aya-ay in 1930[7] at the center of the nave depicts the
Virgin saving Loboc from oods.[14] The church also has
a separate cantilevered organ loft, hosting a large pipe
organ believed to be connected with Father Diego Cera,
maker of the Las Pias Bamboo organ.[14]


The inner baroque faade, which is part of the 1734

church built by the Jesuits, is decorated with pilasters,
capitals, blind niches and volutes.[14][15] It is patterned after the San Ignacio Church in Intramuros, with two levels, a triangular pediment, and two narrow octagonal bell
towers on each side.[16] The neoclassical portico houses
niches for Saint Peter and Saint Paul.[15] Along the pediment is a wooden bas-relief on galvanized iron of the
papal tiara over crossed keys (the symbol of Saint Peter)
on the center and medallions carrying the icons of the
Augustinians and Saint Peter on both ends.[5]


The church has ve retablos (reredos). The central retablo

(or retablo mayor) at the altar houses images of Saint Peter, the patron, paired with Saint Paul on the uppermost
niche. On the lowest level are images of Our Lady of
Guadalupe, a secondary patron, in the center. Also on
the lowest level were statues of Saint Lucy, patron against
typhoons and Saint Francis Xavier, patron against oods
and alligators. Both Saint Lucy and Saint Francis were
elected patrons in 1697.[13] Behind the walls of the retablo
mayor are the remains of the former Jesuit altarpiece, a
bas-relief of Saint Ignatius Loyola and St Francis Xavier
dressed as a pilgrim.[13]
Epistle retablo On the right side of the altar are two
retablos. The larger altar on the right side currently houses
the image of St. Francis Xavier as preacher on the topmost level. On the middle level of the same retablo are
images of Saint Vincent Ferrer in the center, and Saint
Augustine and Saint Monica on the left and right niches,

Interior of Loboc church showing the pulpit, epistle retablo and

ceiling paintings

respectively. The lowest level contains images of the

Nuestra Seora de la Consolacion in the center, Saint
Anne to the right and Saint Thrse of Lisieux (originally
St Joachim) on the left.[17] The smaller altar has two levels of baroque and neoclassical style, respectively, with
images of the crucied Christ on the lower level and the
Holy Infant on the upper.[17] The tomb of Father Aquilino
Bon and other Recollect priests who served Loboc are
also on this side of the church.[17] The remains of Jesuit
priest Alonso de Humanes were formerly interred in this
area before the transfer of his remains to San Ignacio in
Intramuros.[17][18] An apocryphal account tells of a re in
a former Loboc church stopping at the foot of Humanes
tomb;[18] this story spread across the people of the Loboc
and nearby towns, which drew pilgrims to light candles in
memory of Humanes.[18][19]
Gospel retablo On the left side of the altar are also
two retablos. The larger altar, which is a twin of the altar opposite it, houses an image of a unidentied saint
on the topmost level, presumably Michael the Archangel,
and the crucied Christ (originally Madonna and Child)
in the center, Saint Anthony of Padua on the middleleft, and Saint Nicholas of Tolentino on the middle-right
niches.[18] The original images on the lowest level have
been replaced. The smaller retablo, also of the same style,
houses the images of Saint Joseph with the child Jesus,
and St Isidore the Laborer on the lower and upper level,
respectively.[18] In the sacristy is another retablo, with a
crucix in its central niche.[18] On the doorframes of the

sacristy are two bas-reliefs depicting Saint Ignatius and 2.2.2 Belltower
the rst Jesuits before Mary and the child Jesus and of St.
A detached four-storey bell tower was built near the
Ignatius holding a book (in stucco).[6][18]
riverbanks by the rst Augustinian Recollect priest of
Loboc.[5][21] It has seven bells, with the 1863 bell being
the oldest and the 1937 bell, named for Father Cayetano
2.2 Outbuildings
Bastes, being the largest.[21] It also has a large wooden
ratchet, installed in 1899, used during Holy Week, and
a clock made by the Altonaga Company, installed in
Outbuildings of Loboc Church
2.2.3 Mortuary chapel
A hexagonal mortuary is located on the left side of the
faade. It was built by Father Bon between 1867 and
1868.[5] Inside is a baroque retablo, similar to the altars inside the church. It is now used as an adoration

3 2013 Bohol earthquake

Main article: 2013 Bohol earthquake

Bell tower of Loboc Church

The island of Bohol experienced a strong earthquake

on October 15, 2013.[22] The center of the M7.2 earthquake was near Sagbayan, Bohol. Centuries-old churches
in Bohol, including Loboc and several other churches
designated as National Cultural Treasures, were heavily damaged.[23] The church of Loboc suered major
damage to its structure, particularly its faade and tower,
which both partially collapsed.[9]
Loboc Church after the 2013 Bohol Earthquake

Adoration chapel (formerly mortuary chapel)

Middle section
Bell tower


Sacristy and Convent

The Diocese of Tagbilaran plans to restore the church

of Loboc and all other churches destroyed by the
The convent, which was built around 1854, was used as earthquake.[24] While waiting for the complete restorathe central residence of Jesuit missionaries in Bohol.[7] tion and rehabilitation of the old church, the people of
It was built parallel to the transept and was an unusual Loboc inaugurated an alternate church on October 12,
three-storey structure, with a two-storey outdoor gallery 2014.[25]
(called a volada) and thick walls.[6] It is the only convent
in the Philippines with three storeys.[20] An extension perpendicular to the convent was built in the middle of the
4 See also
19th century.[6] The convent was also adorned with paintings on its walls and ceilings, and with colored glass on
Loboc Childrens Choir
its windows and cornices on the kitchen. The roof was
replaced with galvanized iron in 1888. The third oor
of the convent is now used as an ecclesiastical museum
(known as Loboc Museum), containing several religious 5 Notes
artifacts, such as a 1786 silver missal and 18th century
wooden Santo Nio.[6]
[1] Jose 2001, p. 68

[2] Javellana 1988, p. 90

[3] Jose 2001, pp. 6869
[4] O'Malley 1999, p. 429
[5] Jose 2001, p. 69
[6] Jose 2001, p. 74
[7] Javellana 1988, p. 92
[8] Resolution No. 7, s. 1998 Declaring the church of San
Pedro Apostol in Loboc, Bohol as a National Historical Landmark. National Historical Commission of the
Philippines. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
[9] Alba, Reinerio (29 September 2003). The Restoration of
26 Philippine Churches. National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
[10] Jesuit Churches of the Philippines. UNESCO World
Heritage Centre. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
[11] Baroque churches of the Philippines (Extension)". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved October 9,
[12] 3 damaged Visayas churches removed from World Heritage tentative list. GMA News. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
[13] Jose 2001, p. 71
[14] Jose 2001, p. 70
[15] Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage. (2014). Survey Report on the Protection
of Cultural Heritage in Republic of the Philippines. Tokyo,
[16] Javellana 1988, p. 93
[17] Jose 2001, p. 72
[18] Jose 2001, p. 73
[19] Javellana 1988, p. 91
[20] Reinerio, Alba (September 29, 2003). The Restoration
of 26 Philippine Churches. National Commission for
Culture and the Arts. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
[21] Jose 2001, p. 75
[22] M7.1 - 2km NE of Catigbian, Philippines. USGS
Earthquake Hazards Program. Retrieved October 15,
[23] Luces, Kim (October 15, 2013). From treasure to rubble: Heritage churches before and after the Bohol quake.
GMA News. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
[24] Espina, Flordeliza (January 25, 2014). Bohol churches to
be restored. Manila Standard Today. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
[25] Refran, Saleema (October 12, 2014). Alternate church
na gagamitin habang inaayos ang Loboc Church, binuksan (in Filipino). GMA News. Retrieved October 14,


6 Bibliography
Javellana, Rene SJ (1988). Angels and Gargoyles
of Loboc Church (pdf). Philippine Studies (Ateneo
de Manila University) 36 (1): 8897.
Jose, Regalado Trota (2001). Visita Iglesia Bohol
(A Guide to Historic Churches). Manila: National
Commission for Culture and the Arts. pp. 6875.
ISBN 9718140166.
O'Malley, John (1999). The Jesuits: Cultures,
Sciences, and the Arts, 1540-1773, Volume 1.
University of Toronto Press. p. 429. ISBN

7 External links
Media related to San Pedro Church, Loboc at Wikimedia Commons

Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses



Loboc Church Source: Contributors: Seav, CambridgeBayWeather,

Nikkimaria, DumbBOT, Dawnseeker2000, Dr. Blofeld, Unbuttered Parsnip, Another Believer, Legobot, Yobot, AnomieBOT, Redrose64,
GoingBatty, BG19bot, Byralaal, Finnusertop, St170e, Carlojoseph14, Biblioworm, ZaphodsCatwalk, DNA Ligase IV and Anonymous: 3



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