Balilihan-Sikatuna Provincial Road
Balilihan, Province of Bohol
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The town and parish of Balilihan were separated from Baclayon and established in 1829, to make room for Dagohoy’s followers after the revolt, which lasted eight decades, put to end by a massive assault by Spanish troops from Cebu.
An earlier church and convent were built on the opposite bank where the present church is located. Some stones were found in that area, which could have belonged to these religious structures that were damaged by a typhoon in 1863. Right after, a church and convent of tabique and nipa had been built, but this time it was on the present site of Balilihan Church. The destruction in 1863 may have prompted the transfer. The structures were renovated in 1889. Tragically, during the Philippine-American War, the Americans razed the town in November 1900 to the dismay of the populace, who welcomed the American troops complete with a brass band. A church, made with reinforced concrete, was subsequently built in the early decades of the 20th century.
The present Parish Church of Balilihan dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was probably completed sometime in the early 20th century. It has a central nave, flanked by two aisles. In front of the church is the portico with the central bell placed in front. The cruciform church has a squat octagonal cupola. The ceiling is embellished with frescoes painted by Ray Francia. The altars have combined Corinthian columns, neogothic spires and crockets, Baroque volutes and Art Deco open work. A veritable summary of 200 years of style.