It was our last day in Bacolod and I was scrambling to cram everything I haven’t seen in the city in just a few hours.
I was up and about by four in the morning, out the hotel by five and looking for grub some minutes after.
I had a glimpse of the church I’m about to visit the previous day while on a taxi. I asked the driver for its name, Lupit Church, his reply. He said that inside its gate was a seminary, so I promptly inquired if visitors are allowed in. He shrugged with a not so assuring yes and that was the end of it.
I searched the net about the church and found scant info about it; good thing the receptionist at the hotel we’re staying in confirmed what the driver told us that guests are indeed allowed inside.
So there I was, just a little after five, alone at the seminary’s gate. The place was still closed and it looked closed, the church wasn’t even lit up. I was actually expecting it to be like the San Sebastian Cathedral, which was shining with floodlights in all its old-world glory even at five in the morning.
The guard on duty said that the church wouldn’t open ‘til six, so I had no choice but to turn back and find some breakfast first to pass the time.
After a bowl of steaming goto (rice porridge) and coffee, I was back at the church and was rarin’ to plant my tripod down and start shooting. There was no great light though, the sky looked totally blah.
Translated, Lupit Church literally means Cruel Church. I haven’t seen many articles about this particular house of worship and unfortunately was also not able to interview anyone about its history. I’m still clueless up to now as to why it was named such.
The church’s architecture was very interesting, looking like a modernized Gothic cathedral but devoid of intricate archaic details and statues, it doesn’t even look like a Catholic church on the outside.
Its main edifice was flanked by two smaller chapels (an adoration and a burial chapel, if my memory serves me right) with similar motifs, lending a balance to the single soaring belfry tower of the core structure.
Upon entering, I was surprised at how expansive and airy its interior was, as the building’s facade looking very narrow on the outside, an illusion no doubt due to its vertical design. The barrel ceiling was painted to look like cast panels and the 3D effect was really good that I really did not notice it on first glance.
As I walked along its intricately tiled floors, I noticed too that the windows were placed quite high, more than a man’s height, which was quite uncommon.
I was brought out of my reverie as a ringing bell signaled the end of my shoot, mass was starting.
I said a silent prayer, and as I exited to the seminary’s grassy yard a beautiful hymn filtered through the church’s narrow windows, a traditional worship song resonating through a not so traditional-looking church.