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Visita Iglesia 2024: San Fernando Rey Parish Church in Liloan

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 23,2024 - 08:00 AM

Visita Iglesia 2024: San Fernando Rey Parish Church in Liloan

A portion of the facade of San Fernando Rey Parish Church in Liloan. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Liloan town in northern Cebu is known to be the home of the delightful ‘rosquillos.’

But apart from their signature delicacy, a seemingly unique placement of a religious structure was built in this town.

If you plan to have a Visita Iglesia this Holy Week, you may want to include San Fernando Rey Parish Church in Poblacion, Liloan, in your itinerary.

What is in this church that is worth visiting, especially if you have not been here? Continue reading as CDN Digital gives you some exciting information about this church.

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Visita Iglesia 2024: San Fernando Rey Parish Church in Liloan

A wider look of San Fernando Rey Parish Church’s facade. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

On June 27, 1845, the Liloan town, which used to be ‘a barrio of Mandaue’, earned its ‘parochial status’ to ‘facilitate’ the growing population.

Based on the records, ‘there was a need to divide the older parishes’ because ‘parish priests could no longer attend to the spiritual needs of numerous parishioners.’

Two years later, in 1847, a parish church in Liloan was established called San Fernando Rey Parish Church. It was named after San Fernando El Rey (Saint Ferdinand III), King of Castille and Defender of the Church.

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Visita Iglesia 2024: San Fernando Rey Parish Church in Liloan

This is another angle of the San Fernando Rey Parish Church. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

This saint was known to be the king who ‘recaptured Spain from the Moors,’ the town’s feast day falls on May 30, when Saint Ferdinand III died.

Moreover, the construction of the stone church, which can be seen at present, started in January 1859 and finished in 1880.

The church’s orientation was what made it remarkable. As you have observed, most of the churches from the north to south face the sea to the east, but the San Fernando Rey Parish Church faces the mountains to the west.

According to former Liloan Mayor Vincent Franco Frasco in his message during Liloan’s 167th fiesta celebration, “some have theorized that this is because mass is often performed in the morning. Thus, the church is shielded from the morning sun, making it less hot and uncomfortable.”

Visita Iglesia 2024: San Fernando Rey Parish Church in Liloan. Here's another photo of the church's facade.

Here’s another photo of the church’s facade. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

Visita Iglesia 2024: San Fernando Rey Parish Church structure

Frasco added that others “speculated that the church’s direction has a symbolic significance related to church rites.”

A catechist in this church also shared the same observation and knowledge of the church’s orientation. She was ‘Teresita,’ a catechist in San Fernando Rey Parish Church since 1969.

“Sa akong nahibaw-an, kani ra nga simbahan ang wala nagatubang sa dagat,” Teresita told CDN Digital.

(As far as I know, this is the only church that does not face the sea.)

In terms of its structure, the church is mainly constructed from stone. However, several changes have been made due to renovations.

The church’s flooring used to be made of hardwood, but it was replaced with tiles. Meanwhile, the altar’s flooring and the church’s sidewalls were then replaced with marble slabs.

This is a look going to the church's altar. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

This is a look going to the church’s altar. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

Stained glass windows, facade

In 2019, the church’s windows were “converted” into stained glass windows that depicted the images of holy figures like Our Lady of Fatima, St. Roch, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Augustine of Hippo, and St. Anthony of Padua, among others.

You could see two belfries with red pyramid-shaped roofs from the outside. Its pediment housed the image of San Fernando El Ray, and below it are the glistening letters that bear the church’s name, “San Fernando Ray Parish Church.”

Moreover, in the facade, you will see the words “Año de 1847 (year of 1847)” located at the right portion of an arch-like doorway facing the altar.

As you step inside, you will see two pillars that give the foundation of the choir loft. In the middle portion inside, you will also see a wooden pulpit, which used to be the area for preachers.

This is the pulpit located in the middle part of the church. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

This is the pulpit located in the middle part of the church. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

Visita Iglesia 2024: San Fernando Rey Parish altar

Currently, the preachers use the podium located in the gold-themed altar area, while the choir stays at the lower right side facing the altar beside the seats.

Another interesting feature of the altar is the engraved image of The Last Supper. You will also see the San Fernando El Rey and Santo Niño images housed in cases.

A closer look in the altar of the church which has an engraved image of That Last Supper. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

A closer look in the altar of the church which has an engraved image of That Last Supper. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

(However, CDN Digital could not capture the images because when CDND visited, they were already covered with purple cloth for the Holy Week.)

If you look up, you will see a white dome ceiling, which used to be painted with a “heaven scenery,” according to Teresita.

“Sa una kini siyang kawa-kawa (dome ceiling), heaven na siya nga scenery. Naay mga angels…pero karon puti na,” Teresita said, but she could not recall when it was painted white.

(Before the dome thing (dome ceiling), that is a scenery of heaven. There were angels painted there…but now it is all white.)

This is a photo for the dome ceiling taken on March 17, 2024. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

This is a photo for the dome ceiling taken on March 17, 2024. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

Renovations for the church were still ongoing when CDN visited the place.

“Sige ron og renovate kay ang uban ani [nga parts] nangatumpag naman gud sa kadugayon ba,” Teresita said.

(They continue to renovate because other parts (of the church) already fell down because of how old it is.)

According to the records, the San Fernando Rey Parish Church gave birth to three other parishes in the town after being a lone parish in 1845 to cater to the town’s growing population.

The other three parishes in Liloan were the San Roque Parish in Barangay Yati (established in 1986), the Saint John Bosco Parish in Barangay Cotcot (established in 2012), and the San Vicente Parish in Barangay San Vicente (established in 2013).

This is were the choir area is located inside the church. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

This is were the choir area is located inside the church. CDN Digital photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

How to get there?

If you come from Cebu City, you can ride a jeepney from numbers 25 to 28 because their routes are to the northern part of Cebu.

Moreover, you may also ride a minibus or a larger bus from SM City Cebu that has a route going to the northern towns like Danao City, Carmen, Sogod, Bogo City, and Medellin.

You can find the larger buses at the north bus terminal in SM City Cebu and the minibusses along A. Soriano Avenue near SM. You may also opt to take a taxi if you prefer riding it.

Once you are settled with whatever mode of transportation, you tell the driver or its assistant to drop you off at the San Fernando Rey Parish Church. It is located across the town’s Municipal Hall.

HERE ARE MORE PHOTOS INSIDE THE PARISH CHURCH:

This is a view of the church and its altar. NIna Mae Oliverio

Parishioners pray inside this parish in the Poblacion of Liloan.

This is another view of the church's altar.

This is one of the religious images in the stained glass windows of the church.

Sources:

Records from the San Fernando Rey Parish Church Office
San Fernando Rey Parish Church Facebook

 

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TAGS: Liloan, San Fernando Rey Parish Church, Visita Iglesia

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