Photo of the Day for December 22, 2023 – San Nicholas de Tolentino Church in Dauin

St. Nicholas de Tolentino Church, also known as St. Nicholas of Tolentino Parish Church or Dauin Church, stands as a 19th-century heritage site situated in the town of Dauin, Negros Oriental, Philippines.

History: Established as a parish in 1820 under the care of secular clergy, the church later came under the administration of the Augustinian Recollects in 1857, with Fr. Manuel Navarro, O.A.R., appointed as its parish priest. The construction of the church commenced under his guidance and was continued and completed by Fr. Manuel Cabriada, who served from 1867 to 1874. Subsequent renovations were undertaken by Fr. Tomas Gonzales, who also oversaw the construction of the convent.

During the Philippine Revolution, the Recollects departed, and control of the church shifted to the secular clergy. The Recollects returned in 1912 and remained until 1969 when the parish was handed over to the diocese. A fire in 1943 led to repairs in 1951.

Restoration: In 2018, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines allocated a multimillion-peso budget for the restoration of Dauin Church. The restoration, along with San Isidro Labrado Church in Lazi, Siquijor, and Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental, was completed, and the church was returned to the Diocese of Dumaguete.

Heritage: Recognized as a Heritage Church by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Dauin Church received a Level II marker on August 29, 2019.

Architecture: Dauin Church’s façade is asymmetrical, featuring a bell tower at its epistle corner. Notable architectural elements include dentilations along horizontal moldings, decorative Ionic columns, a slender pediment representing the Holy Trinity, and an arch window flanked by attached columns. The lower register of the facade is less adorned, showcasing an arch portal flanked by paired and single columns.

The bell tower mirrors the facade’s characteristics, with dentils, paired columns, and empty rectangles. The steeple consists of four tiers, diminishing in size with increasing elevation, culminating in octagonal two-level belfries, round and arch apertures, and a conical roof.

Celebration: The feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentino is celebrated on September 10 as part of the Kinaiyahan Festival.

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