SIGHTS OF NEGROS - PHTO OF THE DAY - Black candles made from recycled wax in Sibulan

Photo of the Day for January 23, 2024 – Black candles made from recycled wax in Sibulan

Nestled in the heart of Sibulan, Negros Oriental, the unassuming San Antonio de Padua Church beckons visitors to this tranquil municipality. Positioned around two kilometers north of Dumaguete Airport, Sibulan embodies Spanish influences, evident in its layout where the Municipal Hall, parks, churches, schools, and trading centers coexist harmoniously.     Constructed in 1953, the bell-gabled San Antonio de Padua Church showcases a simplistic yet charming Romanesque architecture. Unlike traditional churches with towering spires, this structure features a unique design with bells adorning the upper end of its stone wall. The facade exhibits small hollow semi-circular arches, adorned with a glass-encased statue of San Antonio de Padua. The church stands out with its floral ventilation design, multiple windows, and a distinctive main door. This architectural departure from the Baroque-Rococo style seen in many Philippine churches adds to the uniqueness of San Antonio de Padua Church. Anthony of Padua, the church’s namesake, was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. Born into wealth in Lisbon, he eventually became renowned for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of scripture. Canonized as the second-fastest saint and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946, Anthony of Padua left a lasting legacy. Facing the San Antonio de Padua Church is the town’s park, a central hub that houses essential facilities such as the police station, Sibulan Central School, a covered auditorium, and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). To the west lies Sibulan’s bustling public market, offering an array of fresh produce and goods. Also referred to as Sibulan Church, San Antonio de Padua Church assumes a cross-like formation when viewed from above. Regular masses are held in the morning and afternoon, with multiple schedules available on Sundays. Beyond its religious significance, the church stands as a testament to Sibulan’s unique architectural and historical identity.

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

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.


With the candle makers of Sibulan

I had paid a visit to the beautiful church of Sibulan. I did not have a great religious upbringing and certainly not Catholic. I am fascinated by these grandiose buildings, often built with donations from those who have the least and saved bitterly from their mouths. When I stepped back out at the far end, where the altar was, I came upon people maintaining an open fire under a large black metal can. After I asked what was going on here, I was told that they were melting down the wax collected from burned candles and making new candles from it. I was then allowed to watch this process. The black candles are sold by the candle women sitting around the church cheaper than the brand new white candles. [siteorigin_widget class=”WP_Widget_Media_Gallery”][/siteorigin_widget] Since not only black candles but also white ones are sold, the accumulating wax becomes more and more over time. This can be seen well in a side room where collected wax is stored for later. It looks there like in a coal pit.     This is also all visible in the video: SIBULAN – The Town