Navalas Church is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Guimaras. This structure was built by the local residents between 1880 and 1885. Despite the church building’s age, it’s a wonder to see that it’s free from any major damages. How it managed to survive many earthquakes, wars and raids from Moros in its earlier days is quite perplexing.
The Navalas Church’s facade that’s made out of large limestones and has a simple design gives it a medieval look. In a Spanish-era province where most of the buildings are made out of huts—this church surely looked grand when it was first built. This strong structure was clearly designed to last for many generations. Church services are still actively attended here.
The belfry has two large tablets with the Ten Commandments that are written in the local Hiligaynon language. Their texts are already starting to fade and seems to be closing in its repaint cycle. This belfry used to have a much bigger bell which is more than four feet tall. An attack from the Muslim raiders changed everything when they took away the original bell and thrown it into the sea.
Old structures like these never cease to amaze us because they provide a great reminder of our past and how we’ve come a long way to where we are now.
Carved on its wall is its brief history below:
Navalas, Buena Vista, Guimaras
The Saint Isidore Parish Church is the oldest edifice in the province of Guimaras. Dedicated to Saint Isidore, the farm worker, it was constructed between 1880 and 1885 by the local residents through financial help provided by Don Miguel Jayme. Like others built in the Visayas in the Spanish era, the church was constructed using limestone blocks hewn from local sources and glued to each other by a mixture of sticky tree sap and lime.
The church was reinforced with concrete in 1970 during the time of Fr. Fortunato Planea in 1979. It underwent renovation through the initiative of Rev. Fr. Tomas Delicana with financial support from the lay people. The church’s facade, however, was spared from any changes to preserve its original form.
Unveiled on 8 March 1998 by a delegation of ambassadors from the EU member states.