History and Culture

The Church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar: One of Cebu's Most Mesmerizing Churches


Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Aug 18, 2015
The Church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar: One of Cebu's Most Mesmerizing Churches

The Church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar  was built around the years 1846 to 1868. The church was completed in 1881 during Fr. Enrique Magaz’s time.

READ: Where to Get Married: 5 Picture-perfect Philippine Churches

The Nuestra Señora del Pilar Parish Church; photo by Rolan Garcia

In 1907, the church was restored and consecrated by Archbishop Jeremias Harty with the support of the first American Bishop—Thomas Hendrick, and 17 other priests.

What’s so astounding about the church? It features pre-war ceiling frescoes.

The frescoes at the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Parish illustrate different biblical scenes like the Seven-day Creation of the World and the Seven Sacraments. The nave vault was expertly painted to create an optical illusion giving a coffered ceiling effect. It was painted in 1924 by Cebuano artist Raymundo Francia who also did some churches in Bohol during the Spanish times.

So when you pass by the southern part of Cebu, check out the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Parish Church. It is totally worth a visit.

How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Cebu (Php3500++, round trip, 45 minutes). 

From the Mactan International Airport, hire a cab and ask to be dropped at the South Bus Terminal where you can ride a bus going to Sibonga. The bus ride from Cebu City to Sibonga takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

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