Carcar Church

Carcar Church
Church of Santa Catalina de Alejandria in Carcar, Cebu, 2003 (Photo by Betty Lalana and Lino Arboleda, Ortigas Foundation Library Collection)

Roman Catholic Parish Church of Santa Catalina / Location: Carcar, Cebu / Built 1860-75

Carcar (formerly Sialo or Siarro) was a visita (mission chapel) of Santo Niño. Its first church, erected in 1599, was burnt by Muslim pirates. This did not hinder the rapid growth of the parish nor of the convento’s treasury which, in the 17th century, was reportedly one of the largest in the Visayas. In 1860 the Augustinian Fr Antonio Manglano began constructing the present stone church which Fr Manuel Fernandez Rubio completed in 1875.

The church is classical with Muslim influence. Tall and rectangular, it measures 68 m long, 22 m wide, and 12 m high. An integral part of the facade, framing the main door and the pediment, are the two three-story bell towers capped by cupolas, which resemble minarets. Beneath a grand arch linking the twin towers is the arched main door. Apart from the order’s coat of arms, a blind rose window, and floral designs above the door, the facade is bare of embellishment. The pediment is more ornate, with a round clock at its center. Recent additions in the patio fronting the facade are statues of the apostles. The interior has one central and two lateral naves. A square apse houses the sanctuary and sacristy. The original wooden pulpit and the choir loft have been retained. The columns dividing the naves are thick and square; on each are attached small pedestals, the lower for a station of the cross, and the upper for a statue of an angel. The ceilings are carved and painted with geometricized flora. The roof over the central nave rises above the roofs of the lateral naves. This was designed to accommodate 10 clerestory windows for natural lighting. The sidewalls of the church have nine evenly spaced arched windows. All walls have been finished with plain cement plaster.

SOURCE: Manila News-Intellegencer

Originally posted 2011-11-22 00:27:39.