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Dauis Church, Bohol
Part 15 of the Libotero Bohol Series
After experiencing Panglao’s awe-inspiring sunrise, I went back to bed and woke up again at around 10 in the morning. By then, Jollibee breakfast was already on the table so we quickly munched our way through breakfast and then prepared for another long day.
First on the list on our 2nd day itinerary was Dauis Church
The town of Dauis is also located in Panglao Island, on the side facing Tagbilaran City, so it was not that far from where we were staying. Standing approximately 3.1 kilometers southwest of the capital, the Dauis Church is very much visible and imposing across the narrow channel that separates Panglao from the main island of Bohol.
Our Lady of the Assumption
Located on the seaside, the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, is one of the most beautiful churches in Bohol, outside and inside.
The current church was constructed in 1863 and was consecrated by Bishop Juan Gorordo of Cebu on August 23, 1923.
The church is said to have been built in a mixture of styles, influenced by both Byzantine and Romanesque architecture.
The facade features a portico which shades the entire width of the entrance. Above the portico is the second level facade, built in an ornamental neoclassic style, thus its timeless appeal. This extension encloses the choir loft, a common feature in older churches in the Philippines.
The bell tower is tall and looks “powerful”. The bell tower holds the 2nd and 3rd oldest bells in Bohol, both dated 1787. The oldest, dated 1690, can be found in the church of Calape, Bohol.
Open spaces on the sides of the church allow for an appreciation of its excellent and monumental architecture.
Upon entrance to the church, we were greeted by the main altar featuring Our Lady of the Assumption, which was quite unique as it was built in the form of a temple, and not a wall-like retablo, which is common in other centuries-old churches. Above the altar are ceilings with painted biblical scenes. The old checkered tiled floors also seemed to be well-maintained.
The side altars meanwhile feature 18th century twisted columns.
Side altar on the background, tourists seeking to bring home some miraculous water on the foreground
The wooden pulpit from Spanish times, carved with designs and all, remains standing.
The view from the pulpit
Another feature that makes this church stand out is its intricately designed ceilings.
Although there are no biblical scenes for the purpose of catechism on the ceilings above the nave and the aisles, the simple coffered ceilings give that pop 3D feeling.
But then, aside from those architectural marvels, what makes this Church truly unique among a lot of other churches is a miraculous well at the foot of the altar.
The well at the lower right
An old legend relates that once during the Spanish occupation, when the town was invaded by Moro pirates, the people of Dauis locked themselves into the church. However, they soon ran out of provisions and water. A miracle then occurred: a well appeared at the foot of the altar. The same well is still the main source of water for the people living close to the church, and, although the well is only a few meters from the sea, the water is absolutely fresh. I acutally got to taste it was a bit sweet. The water is said to have healing powers and some local magazine television shows have even featured some locals who were “cured” by the water.
A lot of the tourists who visit the Church actually just go there just to bring home some “holy” water. So, if you’re planning to visit Dauis Church, don’t forget to bring a bottle and take some water home.
(…to be continued)