Lazi Church and Convent
Posted by admin on July 27, 2006
Church complex of San Isidro Labrador, Lazi (Siquijor)
The church complex was built by the Augustinian Recollects in the latter half of the 19th century. The church has two pulpits, the original retablos, and wood floors with herringbone pattern. The church walls are approximately a meter thick, The walls are reinforced with log post which are embedded in the wall. The façade is veneered with coral stone, while the rest is made of fill. The pediments of the church are made of wood panels.
Across the church is a large convent, which was used for rest and recreation of the Friars. It is a U-shape structure, with stonewalls at the first level, and wood studs and panels at the second floor. The convent has width of about 50 meters and a depth of about 50 meters. Most of the partitions of the convent have been removed, but the design elements are seen in most parts of the structure. (Text from UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List)
Formerly called Tigbawan, Lazi was made a parish, independent of Siquijor on 8 August 1857 with the advocacy of San Isidro Labrador. It had old church of stone and mortar, however, a new church was in the process of being completed and the convento was in poor condition because its wooden members had deteriorated, reports Redondo (1886, 192). By 1884, Lazi had a new church and in 1891 a new convento. Both are attributed to Fray Toribio Sanchez who began working on the convento in 1887 using coral blocks and hardwood. Other constructions initiated by the Recollects were the casa real, escuela, bridges and irrigation system.
Heritage site: Built at the initiative of the Recollect friars, the church belonged to the chaste neoclassical style. The convento has the distinction of being one of the largest built in colonial times. To raise funds for the convento, a public subscription was launched among the parishes and missions of the Recollects. A poster seeking for donations for the Lazi convento is kept in the archives of Xavier University’s Museo de Oro in Cagayan de Oro. The unusual size of this convento, a oversized bahay na bato, with an arcaded first floor, was probably intended as a regional rest house or sanitarium for missionaries in the Visayas and Mindanao.