St. Mary Magdalene Church, Hinigaran, Negros Occidental

Part 4 of the Libotero Negros Occidental Heritage Series

From Kabankalan City, the town of Hinigaran is about an hour away. Hinigaran is perfectly located just between Bacolod and Kabankalan and one of the landmarks of this bustling town is their century-old church. Since the church is along the national highway, it is difficult to miss! So, as soon as we passed in front of the church, I hopped off the bus.

Mary Magdalene Church Hinigaran Negros Occidental
The church is located directly by the highway with almost no sidewalk! Quite dangerous for pedestrians if you actually think about it

The church was built in the 19th century through forced labor under the Spanish colonization. The local faithful were said to have been required to work for 15 days and were only paid 15 centavos, thus, the place where the church stands is known today as Kinsehan or Quinchihan.

Mary Magdalene Church Hinigaran Negros Occidental

The church features Romanesque architecture which can be noted on the semi-circular arches on its facade and belfry.

Mary Magdalene Church Hinigaran Negros Occidental

The church was made using chicken eggs, limestone, corals, and bricks. The walls are 2-meters thick so hopefully the church would be able to withstand any natural calamity in the future.

Mary Magdalene Church Hinigaran Negros Occidental

At the left side of the church is a three-level belfry that is functional up to this day.The church bell is said to be made of silver and gold, that weighs an enormous 480 kilograms

Mary Magdalene Church Hinigaran Negros Occidental

Meanwhile, just beside the church, fronting the convent, are five old bells, that are as old as the church! Amazing. The church was completed in 1881.

Mary Magdalene Church Hinigaran Negros Occidental
It’s quite sad to see though that the bells look quite neglected as the immediate surroundings are full of scrap

Mary Magdalene Church Hinigaran Negros Occidental
See above photos: the bells are surrounded by scrap metal, wood, chairs, a removed gate, trash, an unused restroom, etc.

As I entered the church, I was very much surprised to see that the interiors have been heavily renovated, and in bad taste at that!

Mary Magdalene Church Hinigaran Negros Occidental
Disappointing! Sigh! I do not see any connection between the newly renovated interiors and the exterior design. Only the facade, walls and the belfry of the church remain original and untouched and I hope it remains that way, preserved for the appreciation of the next generations to come.

Mary Magdalene Church Hinigaran Negros Occidental

A funeral service was ongoing during my visit so I did not stay long inside the church. As I exited, I noticed that there seems to be something going on at the town plaza, so I crossed the street and explored.

(…to be continued)


4 Comment

  1. Nice photographs. Especially the first one, very classic. I don’t have any post featuring churches. Next time, I’ll try it =) Nice post.

    1. Sinjin says: Reply

      Thanks! I really have a penchant for old church architecture so if you noticed, I have a lot of posts about ’em =)

  2. Ramon says: Reply

    Hi! I’m a Bacolod-native who now lives in Chicago, IL, USA. Hinigaran is my father’s hometown, so I know it very well. The new church interior, especially the restored High Altar, is actually a vast improvement over the one that existed before it. Believe me! In the late-1960s, during the Modernist craziness that accompanied Vatican Council II, the old, silver-plated, Spanish colonial High Altar was demolished and replaced by an unadorned and modern-looking one. Thank God that 40 years later, the current parish priest and the laity had the courage and vision to look back and restore–to some extent–the beauty that was. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s definitely better.

  3. […] partner of Rep. Ignacio Arroyo Jr. sat eight meters away from each other near the altar of the St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church here at his wake at noon yesterday without acknowledging each […]

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