The Carcar Church Carcar Church (also known as St. Catherine's Church), Cebu
[Photo, courtesy of the UHM Center for Southeast Asian Studies]
This edifice is typical of old Roman Catholic churches in the countryside, such as Carcar, in the province of Cebu, one of the many islands comprising the Visayas, Philippines. But there is something special about it. This church, known as St. Catherine Church, was named after the town's patron saint, St. Catherine of Alexandria, in whose honor the people of Carcar celebrate the yearly fiesta every 25th of November. St. Catherine's Church is the second oldest church in Cebu. Fr. Antonio Maglano, the parish priest of Carcar at the time, started building the church in 1859. However, it took six years before it was finished. Another priest, Fr. Manuel Fernandez took the credit for the present design of the church, admired for its byzantine architecture, Greco-Roman altar, and twin- bell towers having a minaret shape similar to Muslim mosques.
Like most old Spanish churches in the Philippines, the St. Catherine's Church is fronted by the town plaza, a well-maintained place for community gathering, celebration and other social functions.
Carcar is also an old town in the province of Cebu, built in 1599, at the time when the Roman Catholic religion was spearheaded by the Agustinian friars. Its population (1995 census) stood at 78,726, while the town is currently rated as 5th class municipality. The town's population has remained small and level of development is slow due to constant outmigration to Cebu City, the nearby islands, including Mindanao.
More about this church is found in St. Catherine's Church.
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