Heritage Conservation Society

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Loon Church

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

Nuestra Señora de la Luz Parish
The present town of Loon is located on a plateau about a fifty meters or more above the shore level. The older town of Loon, located at the shore was established by the Jesuits in 1753. The Recollects who took charge of the town in 1768 transferred it to its present site.

In 1853, they began building what is easily the most beautiful of the 19th century churches in Bohol. Designed by the Domingo Escondrillas, a government engineer, the church is a triple-naved structure made of finely cut coral. The central nave is separated from the laterals by stout piers of cut coral.

Heritage features: The central portion of the church facade surges forward giving it a dynamism more akin to Baroque than the Neoclassical style prevalent during this period. Delicately though inaccurately carved acanthus decorate the capitals of the twined columns of the facade. Between the twined columns are plaques incised with Biblical texts and dedicatory phrases. The facade’s balanced composition is completed by twin towers that flank it.

The church’s Neoclassical main altar fills the whole breadth of the sanctuary. Relief roundels portraying the life of the Virgin Mary flank the main niche where an image of the patroness is displayed. Devotion to the Virgin under the title Our Lady of Light or Kasilak in Visayan traces to 18th century Palermo where a vision of the Virgin rescuing souls from the maws of hell was reported. The church of Cainta in Rizal province, Luzon is also dedicated to Our Lady of Light. In the Bicol Region, this image of Mary is known as Consolación.

The convento built at the same time as the church is now a school.

To connect the older townsite with the newer, the Recollects built a wide flight of stairs, protected near the topmost landing by a watchtower, now in disrepair.

Photos from Ivan Anthony S. Henares
Text from Panublion Heritage Site


One Response to “Loon Church”

  1. Noel Perdigon said

    Correction: In the Bicol Region, specifically in Albay where she is venerated as the Patroness of Albay (enshrined in Joroan, Tiwi, Albay), she is known as Nuestra Señora de Salvacion (Our Lady of Salvation), not Consolacion as written above.

    This image of our Blessed Mother had a number of titles, among them:

    1) Nuestra Señora de Salvacion
    Our Lady of Salvation
    Patroness of Albay

    2) La Madre Santissima de la Luz
    The Most Holy Mother of the Light
    Kabanalbanalang Ina ng Caliwanagan
    Principal Patroness of Leon
    Guanajuato, Mexico

    3) Our Lady of Light
    Cainta, Rizal and Loon, Bohol

    All pertain to one and the same image depiction of our Blessed Mother.

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