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Boljoon
Province of Cebu
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9.629888°N 123.479751°E

According to Marin Morales, the town was created in 1598 while the parish was established a year later. A certain Fr. Blanco disputed this claim and asserted that the Parish was founded in 1600. Another source stated that Boljoon’s church was created in 1606 with Barili and Pari-an in 1614 and Mandaue in 1630. A document that still exists in the Archives of the Augustinian Province of the Philippines recorded the formal establishment of Boljoon’s Parish in 1692 with Fray Nicholas de la Cuadra, OSA, as its first parish priest. The present church was constructed in 1783 by Fray Ambrosio Otero, OSA, in 1783 and completed by Fray Julian Bermejo, OSA, who also continued the church convent that was finished in 1841.

Boljoon Church is veritable showcase of old and intricate carvings and bass relief. It is also pseudo-baroque rococo with beautifully decorated interior. It has a main nave and transcript and has twenty-eight pillars, two meters thick and made of mortar and lime, which support the walls as thick as the pillars. A communion rail with ornate silverworks was stolen from the church.

According to Tamayo, of all Cebu’s churches, the Boljoon Church best gives one sense of the philippine colonial past. its tower is unusual because it is Islamic in character being square rather than curved. The Church’s design has seemingly followed the same pattern is the churches of Argao and Dalaguete with the exception of some rococo decorations on the panels and along shallow pillar. It has the appearance of an impressionist painting “a la Greco” with its elongated shape.

The Boljoon Church is the oldest remaining original stone church in Cebu. In 1999, the National Historical Institute declared it a National Historical Landmark. The following year, the National Museum declared it as a National Cultural Treasure. – boljoon.com

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