The National Museum of the Philippines has formally declared the church complex of San Vicente Ferrer Parish in Calape, Bohol, a “national cultural treasure.”
Bishop Alberto Uy of Tagbilaran described the church as a prime example of a gothic architectural style.
“The church complex not only stands as a distinct cultural landmark of our beloved province but a testament to our enduring faith continuously fostering a unique identity and solidarity for our people,” said the prelate.
Both the town and the parish, which were dedicated to San Vicente Ferrer, were established in 1802 although the settlement was already served by priests from the neighboring town of Loon.
The Augustinian Recollects took charge of the parish until 1898.
The old wooden church was replaced by one with the neogothic style, which was built starting 1933 and completed two decades later in 1954.
According to the website Bohol Philippines, the church in Calape “is a good example how colonial styles persisted even if the Spaniards who promoted them had already left.”
A typical Bohol feature, but definitely not gothic, is the portico built in front of the façade, an extension of the choir loft.
The church is attributed to two builders, Eliseo Josol y Villamayor and Rosalio Real y Oppus, who were said to have been shown a picture of the Santo Domingo church in Intramuros, which they used as a model.
A historic bell dated 1690 and dedicated to St. John the Baptist by Bachiller Juan Alfonso Ruiz, is found in the bell tower. The bell came from the defunct Parian parish in Cebu, ordered dissolved, resulting in the demolition of the church in 1878-79.