San Francisco de Asís of Naga (Cebu)

March 3, 2011

Strange to many the design and symbols of this church continues to mystify first time visitors (a group of local tourist can be seen here also taking pictures of the unique facade of the church).

One of the image that stuck in my mind during my trip in the southern portion of Cebu was this small but unique church that stand out among its natural surrounding. The church of San Francisco de Asís  of Naga is a wonderful discovery in what seems to be an endless treat to the eyes and soul for someone whose  mission was to see these buildings he consider endangered and threatened.
From the looks of whats inside, series of renovations and changes has covered much of the original design and material used but according to B.L. Layug, author of Philippine Churches, “the interior remain unchanged since it was built over a century ago”. The good author must have been referring to the altar and the surrounding structures inside. The facade however has maintained its original form. For this, we have the heavens to thank for.
The importance of the facade is its art and architecture. For an observer like me the meaning behind the church’s symbols provides something to think about. So rare that I think this could be the only one in existence. Definitely Mexican inspired but it had no distinct architectural style. While most of the churches from south to north can be easily classified this one is an exception.
My amateur observation is that the Padre Maranon, credited for establishing some of the most important churches in the island, together with Padre Aguirre and all the other missionaries envisioned something different for the community. Where they combining Mexican art with Filipino to make an impression?
Whatever it was we can only be thankful for it and wish that this unique church stays with us forever.

For a better look at the what the facade looks like up close [my handy digicam could not take a better shot] please visit a fellow blogger’s article about the church [here].

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