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Church of St Augustine at Dumangas

Submitted by on August 16, 2011 – 10:09 pm4 Comments

At the center of Dumangas, an unmistakable orange brick structure stands. Though signs of centuries’ wear and tear can be seen at its facade, inside it is teeming with life as hundreds of faithful worship at this church. At the heart of the Church of Saint Augustine at Dumangas lies the unequaled history and showcase of local Ilonggos talent for architecture and design.

One of the obvious qualities of this church is its belfry which is no higher than the church itself. This gives the face of the church a box type style. It’s red orange bricks also provide a distinct color for the church with white stones lining the windows and its sides. The Dumangas church has a dominant Gothic style with pointed arches guarding the entrance supported by simple Greek columns. Also, the artistic Gothic style windows decorated with  elaborate rosettes impress an artistic flaming aura.

On inside, there’s simplicity unmatched by other churches in Iloilo. The main altar is dominated by huge realistic figure of crucified Christ under a wooden canopy. Minor altars at the side include a life-size figure of Saint Augustine and a wooden relief of Saint Monica’s deathbed. Additionally, a chamber at the left side of the altar serves as an adoration chapel.

Furthermore, hand-painted images of the great evangelists and of God the Father adorn the ceiling of the church’s dome.

A National Historical Institute Marker at the side of the main entrance serves as evidence of the church’s rich and long history dating back from its initial construction in 1887.

The inscribed description is as follows:

“Constructed together with a convent by Fr. Martin de Rada OSA  in 1572 under the patronage of St. Augustine. Burned in 1628 and rebuilt but later destroyed by earthquake on 1787. Reconstructed with Gothic and Byzantine influence by Fr. Fernando Llorente on 1887 and completed at the administration of Fr. Rafael Murillo on 1896. Restoration of the old church was initiated by the National Historical Institute to revive the former most artistic church in the entire Panay Island.
By the power of Presidential Decree No. 260 dated 1 August 1973, PD No. 375 dated 14 January 1974, and PD No. 1505, this church is hereby proclaimed as a national historical treasure.

Getting there: Dumangas is almost an hour away from Iloilo City. Jeepneys are available at the Tagbak Terminal – Jaro while vans are stationed at Baldoza Terminal at La Paz District. It is also accessible through the Dumangas Port almost an hour or two away from Negros Occidental.

 

 

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