It is not difficult to notice the San Isidro Labrador Parish, as its coral stones show off its radiance throughout the main road within the municipality, specifically located at Natalio B. Bacalso S National Highway. If you’re traveling from the city, the church is 29 kilometers away and is takes about an hour to reach the place.
The church, which was established in 1858 by the Augustinians, continues to provide services such as mass, weddings and baptismal ceremonies today as it is one of the establishments that have been spared by the war’s damage.
The architectural design was inspired by the Neo-Gothic movement that roots back from the 1700s in England and has spread across the globe along with the expansion of Roman Catholicism. The features can be identified in the following: the arches, its wooden foundation and the mosaic window stains to highlight various colors of the portraits.
Designed by the Spanish architect and engineer Fernando Escondrillas, he began the initial planning in 1870. The insufficient funds caused the delay of the construction of the church. However, sixteen years later, the infrastructure was finally completed. As a two-story building, the second floor which used to be a convent for the priests has been turned into a school in 1945 to cater to kids. The interior was then renovated in 1972.
The intricate details such as the Rosette and the Seal of the Augustinian have never failed to amaze both locals and tourists alike as they visit the parish. Old benches which have been used for the longest time still remain, along with the green and yellow tiles that have been placed interchangeably along the floor.
Furthermore, the large window frames make it easier for proper ventilation to come through without heavy dependence on electric fans and other tools for air conditioning.
To match the design, the furniture also shares the carefully carved and sculptured features, complemented by the altar.
In addition to the original design, two bell towers made out of cement have been added in the 20th century in both sides of the church, giving it its current look.
What makes the church even more iconic is that it is the only religious structure to have survived time despite the light materials that comprise its foundation. Local residents celebrate the feast of the Patron Saint every May 15.
For more information and inquiries, you may call at (032) 488-9314.
Disclaimer: The photo is taken from Langyaw Media.