Saturday, February 21, 2009

Captivating Capiz- Churches

spacer Pan-ay Church
This awe-inspiring church is a monument to past Spanish grandeur in Pan-ay town. Almost a small fortress, it is about 250 ft. long and 80 ft. wide with 9-ft. thick walls of coral blocks. The floor is colored marble that shines in subdued tone in misty light. The central altar is an elaborately sculptured retablo of silver and hardwood in florid Baroque style. The lateral altars have intricately carved tiers of niches for images of saints. Sta. Monica is the patron saint. The church’s five story belfry shelters a huge antique bell surrounded by 8 smaller bells. Shrouded with many enchanting tales, the huge bell holds more fascinating truth. It was cast from 76 sacks of coins believed to have been contributed by the citizens of the town. Its mammoth size holds a staggering record. It is seven feet in diameter and weighs 10.4 tons. In fact, it is estimated to be the largest in Southeast Asia.
spacer Dumalag Church
It is 200 feet long and 50 feet wide. The walls are 3 feet thick and made of yellow sandstone. It has two doors at its side and one main doorway in front. There are six arched windows at each side with columns between them reaching to the roof. There are also small buttresses at the sides. The facade is decorated with small columns. At the front left side of the church is the 5-story belfry housing 5 bells of different sizes, all made in 1881. The church’s interior is shaped like a cross. The church was finished in 1872 when Fr. Andel Abasolo was parish priest of the town.
spacer Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Cathedral
One of the oldest in Panay Island, the church is a silent witness to events that have unfolded in the city over the past centuries. Its imposing view is being complimented by its location which is beside the city plaza fronting the Panay River and the old Capiz (now Roxas City bridge). Fiesta lights add glitter to the church.

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