Posted by admin on January 2, 2007
Santo Tomás de Villanueva Parish
The fortress-like façade of Pardo church built was built between 1880-93. The town was created by a government decree of 10 March 1863. It became an independent parish, through a diocesan decree of 10 April 1866, after being a visita of San Nicolas. Fr. Domingo Sanchez built a temporary structure while the church was still under San Nicolas. In 1866, Fr. Meliton Talegon was named parish priest and on 16 September 1877 reports to the provincial that a church of tabique pampango and nipa, built ten year previous is in ruinous condition. A document from that same year presents the project proposal of Domingo de Escondrillas, the district engineer of Cebu. Escondrillas is credited with designing other churches, notably Loon in Bohol. He proposed a church in the Latin-Byzantine Order as there was no such church in that style in the district. Bureaucratic red tape prevented securing permits to build, meanwhile, the ruinous church was destroyed by an earthquake on 25 November 1877. Fr. Manuel Ibeas began construction following Escondrillas’ plans.
Heritage Features: A massive bell tower forms the central part of the façade. Rising to five stories and terminating in a pinnacle, the tower’s quadrilateral plan is modified by a grouping of pilasters from the first to the third story and the truncated corners of the last two floors. Decorating the second story is a rose window with triangle and Divine eye embellishing it. Arches blind and open decorate the upper registers and on the fourth level occuli flanked by Tuscan columns decorate the arch. The rest of the façade is recessed and flanked by round towers, capped by low domes. Above the façade runs a balcony pierced by arches. (Panublion)