One of the many things to do on Bantayan Island is to visit the St Peter and Paul Church located in the heart of Bantayan City. But why is St Peter and Paul Church so famous?
Bantayan Island is the seat of the first and therefore oldest Parish in Visayas and Mindanao founded in 1580.
The original church was built under Spanish rule and was used as a first stop for priests entering the country. Here they would learn the language and culture before being sent out to various parts of the Philippines.
The original church was destroyed in 1600 by Muslim rebels and several times again by natural disasters and raids by Muslim rebels.
Construction on the current church was started in 1839 and completed in 1863. The church is built using corral stones from the island. After completion the church was dedicated to St Peter and Paul.
Bantayan Island Hotels and Airbnb’s
Because local fisherman were used to build the church there was a shortage of fish prompting the Pope to exempt the island from the “no meat” rule on Good Friday, an exemption which still stands today.
During Holy Week the tourists on the island swell and it is not uncommon for as many as 20,000 people to crowd in and around the Church for the various festivities.
The belfry has been restored and there are plans to open it for tourist access, the stairs are pretty steep though.
The church also houses a small museum, visiting by appointment. Or if there is someone in the office when you are there they can let you in. Unfortunately no one was there when I visited.
I have always enjoyed visiting old churches around the world because of the various architecture and centuries old statues. It doesn’t really matter whether you are religious or not just being in some of these places can be quite peaceful and relaxing.
Bob, I love the doors w/in doors. Beautiful shots.
Thanks, I liked that one the best myself
Mary @ Green Global Travel says
This church is absolutely beautiful! It must be extraordinary to be present during festivities. You have done an absolutely brilliant job of documenting the gorgeous stained glass work and unique architecture. I can hardly pull myself away!
Thanks Mary, I appreciate the kudos.
muslims then and now. geez
Derek Freal says
That church looks amazing, much more artistic and well-maintained than the few churches I visited during my time in the Phils. Of course that one has much more history to it as well — the ones I visited with my ex were just local churches in various towns and barangays for their weekly service.
Mighty impressive photographs too! I especially like the one taken from the back of the church looking up past all the pews. How come you didn’t add your © notice to these?
Just trying something new, didn’t want to clutter up the photos.
Wow! You made it there! I thought you just stayed around Cebu city. Anyway, I am impressed with those shots. Didn’t have decent pictures when exploring the island. My friend lost his camera when we got back to the city. Just left with pictures at the beach though…
Anyway, I really like it, a lot better than Boracay, less people/tourists. But since it is not a tourist place, the government has not yet improved the transpo getting there. I just wish I had plenty of time when I was there so I could have gone and dived too to the nearby island, Malapascua. I really want to see those thresher sharks! 🙂
Had a great time. I spent about 10 days on the island just hanging out on the beach and relaxing.
Nice church. I visited Bantayan for a few days, but I think I spent all my time walking on the beach or swimming.
I did a lot of that also, but I also managed to break away and see a little of the island although it was hard to leave the beach.
Sand In My Suitcase says
Looks like a great old church for sure! Old churches are often some of the greatest architectural monuments you see when traveling…