I decided to make the most out of my time in Capiz by emphasizing the province’s part in Philippine history. And nothing shows this history better than the church in the town of Pan-ay. Known to the rest of the world as Panay, the town of Pan-ay was first discovered by the conquistadores in the early 1500’s. And in 1522, the natives of Pan-ay was evangelized by Fray Martin de Rada. From then on, the Roman Catholic religion has flourished and has turned into the center of the town’s lifestyle.

The church is made of coral stone and our guide told us that it is of Gothic-Rennaisance architecture with its high dome, intricately carved facade and slightly pointed tower. From what I could see, it also has traces of Romanesque and Baroque architecture. You don’t have to take my word for this coz I am in no way an expert in architecture. What I am sure of, though, is that being inside the church felt so much like being in Europe, Spain to be exact. You guys can refer to this link for more info about the province: http://panay.gov.ph/

Here are the photos I took of the town’s historic church:

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The Panay church at noon.

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The belfry under the noon-day sun.

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A statue of St. Augustine (I think that’s St. Augustine) at the front wall of the church.

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I’m not quite sure whether this inscription is in Latin or some other ancient language.It’s written right below the statue above.

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This made me think of the famed Aurora Borealis. The sun’s rays go through the stained-glass window on the far left corner of the room turning it into something that seems almost magical.

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Just one of the many stained-glass windows that are installed at regular intervals throughout the church.

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The dome right on top of the altar.

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These marbled tiles are said to have come from Romblon, an island across the northern coast of Capiz. Romblon is considered as the country’s Marble capital. These tiles are said to have been in place ever since the church was built. Ganto katibay ang Romblon marble.

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Sadly, the inside of the church seems to have fallen into disrepair. My hands were itching to wipe all the dirt off of the walls and apply a new coat of paint to it. The paint would be blue, of course, since that’s my favorite color. 😛

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A fern-covered wall by the side of the church.

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Of course we had the obligatory shot taken of us inside the biggest bell I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s the biggest church bell in Asia.

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This inscription on the bell is in Spanish and is said to be a prayer.

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The English translation of the inscription

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A historical description of the bell.

The translation and description are both located at the ground by the corner of the church. The inscriptions are mounted on the arcs that cover the bell’s replica. The replica was created for the elderly and people with disability who wish to see the bells but do not have the energy for the climb.

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The church’s cross-like appearance can be seen clearly from the top of the belfry.

Since the church of Panay is a popular tourist destination, the town’s tourism department has assigned an employee to act as a tour guide. Our guide was amazing for he knew all the facts about the church, and enumerated its history to us in a succession of dates and years and people’s names that we had no way of memorizing.

As soon as our tour of the church was done, it was time for some shopping. So we went into the only shop that sold trinkets and memorabilia, situated right across the street. Some of the more interesting finds include stuff made out of native materials such as key chains made of coconut husk, tiny huts made of varnished bamboo wood, as well as candle holders, night lamps, and wind chimes made of the famous Capiz shells.
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And this concludes our visit to Pan-ay. Jumping for joy because life is short and we’re living it to the fullest. DSC_0407

Amen.

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