There are several must-visit churches of South Cebu. Due to the Philippines’ Spanish colonization heritage, churches with Baroque and Gothic designs dot the country.
Cebu has its fair share of these churches. They are definitely worth visiting if you are a Catholic or want to know more about the history of Cebu. For those of you who love architecture and photography like me, you will also enjoy visiting these old churches.
Churches of South Cebu Visited during Southwalk
Southwalk is a yearly event organized by Drift Stories. What happens is that photography enthusiasts come together and, at the crack of dawn, start our journey to the southern part of Cebu.
This activity is not only a great way to practice our photography skills, but it is also a unique approach to sightseeing.
For the past 2 Southwalks I’ve attended, I visited several churches of South Cebu and other ruins and historical buildings. The experience was always enjoyable so I have decided to showcase here the 6 churches of South Cebu that I found pretty photogenic.
Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church – Carcar
Located in the city of Carcar, the Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church is the second oldest church in Cebu. At the main entrance, you will see life-sized statues of the apostles.
The Carcar church was constructed in the 1800s and has designs with Graeco-Roman influences.
If you look at the bell towers, you’ll notice a sort of onion shape to it instead of the usual cone or dome you see in old churches.
It is said to be designed this way as protection against the Moro raiders who pillaged the area before. The onion-shaped towers were supposed to fool the raiders into thinking the church was a mosque.
Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza – Sibonga
When it comes to the churches of South Cebu, another site worth your time is the Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza church in the town of Sibonga.
What’s really nice about this church is the pre-war ceiling frescoes still existing inside.
Don’t forget to look up and admire these frescoes once there. The ceiling is painted with biblical scenes – the Seven Sacraments and the Seven-Day Creation of the World to be exact.
Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel – Argao
Another mesmerizing church that you can find in the South of Cebu is the Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel located in Argao. It is a Baroque-Rococo church and showcases top-notch Corinthian masonry that is totally worth admiring.
I just love how this stone church looks from the outside and inside. And they didn’t use just any stone for the construction – they used coral stone!
Like the first church on this list, the St. Michael the Archangel Church was fortified for protection against Moro raiders.
I really enjoyed looking at all the carvings on the facade and inside the church. The town park outside of it is also a very nice place to hang out and relax in.
San Guillermo de Aquitania Church – Dalaguete
Just like the Argao church, this one is another Baroque-Rococo structure so you can see a lot of similarities.
You can just feel the history seeping through the architecture and there’s beauty here all around!
Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church – Boljoon
This Baroque church in Boljoon has the biggest watchtower in Cebu, which was constructed as another protective structure against Moro raiders that plagued this part of Cebu during the 17th-18th centuries.
The Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church has been declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines.
This fortress church was also built using coral stones and has distinctive terracotta roof tiles.
This is a really large church complex and I enjoyed photographing the whole area. I must have spent the longest time there during this photowalk. Every corner was just so pretty and satisfied my love for architecture so much!
The Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception – Oslob
This church in Oslob deserves its place among this list of beautiful churches of South Cebu. From its massive main structure to its imposing bell tower, you cannot help but admire it.
There are also other ruins in the area that speak about the town’s history and are awesome places for a photoshoot.
Southwalk and Photowalks
Ever since I started joining photowalks and photoshoots, I have explored more places in Cebu and got to know my home island more. I am super grateful for all the opportunity to travel and hone my photography skills.
Next year, there will be another Southwalk. This is a highly recommended activity so do consider joining us!
(Photos in this post were edited via Lightroom)