Broad Acacia trees shade the street in front of Lazi’s old church giving an impression that we’re somewhere in the middle of a plaza instead of a road. On our right stands the massive barn-like appearance of the San Isidro Labrador Church and on our left is its complimentary convent.
Lazi Church indeed looks more like a barn in appearance than a church except for its belfry, made a year after the original structure, that sticks out on its left flank. Remove the said tower and you won’t even find a cross or icon that would tell you that what you are looking at is a temple of worship.
That, however, does not mean that Lazi’s prided Baroque structure is no gem. In fact it is more treasured than most fancy churches built around the country, being a candidate of the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site seal.
According to the historical marker found on its coral-stone walls, Lazi Church was built in 1857 by Augustinian Recollects. Its meter-thick walls are made of coral stones inlaid with wooden reinforcements and fill. The final touches done by local courtesans after 27 long years can be seen throughout the façade of the cream-colored church; intricate carvings through the textured coral stones.
I was at first bewildered as to why the church entrance was blocked by a net and I soon found the reason as I entered its spacious hall. The church’s blue-painted tin ceiling, the first I’ve seen of its kind, is pockmarked by birds nesting on its hollows. The net ensures that the situation does not worsen.
In fact the situation is a bit dire; the interiors of Lazi Church needs some attention in restoration. Parts of its walls are already moss-ridden and its beautiful blue ceiling is in critical shape.
I’m not sure about the condition of its shiny wooden floors though. Built of hard woods, I think it can withstand a few more centuries. And yes, this is the only church I’ve been in with wooden floors. Elevated from the ground and made in herringbone pattern, it covers the whole church floor from entrance to its marbled altar floor.
Another interesting thing about the Lazi Church is its two pulpits which makes its interiors symmetrically balanced; one more unique feature that I’ve only seen at this place.
The choir loft was open during our visit and we wasted no time going up. We were warned to be careful though as the floors are waxed regularly and can be quite slippery. Further up, we entered another chamber that led to the belfry.
A huge metal bell inscribed with the date 10 November 1928 greeted us. There was supposedly another bell inside the tower but it went missing according to our guide. Along its hollow, a bird’s-eye view of the church’s northern flank can be seen.
Careful not to slip, we again went down the wooden floors of Lazi Church and emerged in the sunlit Siquijor afternoon. From the church entrance, past fences and huge acacia trees, we can see our next destination right across the street; Lazi’s equally famous convent.
Lazi Church | San Isidro Labrador Parish
Siquijor Circumferential Road, Lazi, Siquijor
GPS Coordinates: 9.127854,123.633866
Click to view location on Google Maps
Recommended Siquijor Island Tour Guide
Kuya Joam: 0927-6932095
Fee: Php1,000.00 inclusive transportation, port
pick-up, lodging transfer and lots of stories :)
SIQUIJOR THREE-DAY SERIES
TRIP ITINERARY | MANILA - DUMAGUETE CITY - SIQUIJOR | ST. FRANCIS DE ASSISI CHURCH | CAPILAY’S SPRING PARK AT SAN JUAN
OVER AND BELOW LAZI’S CENTURY-OLD BALETE TREE | LAZI CHURCH - SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR PARISH | LAZI CONVENT
THE CAMBUGAHAY FALLS AT LAZI | SANTA MARIA CHURCH & ITS BLACK MARIA | SUNSET ON THE ROAD
SAN JUAN’S COCO GROVE RESORT | COCO GROVE ACCOMMODATIONS AT SAN JUAN | COCO GROVE’S SUNSET RESTAURANT
SUNSET AND SUNRISE AT SAN JUAN’S TUBOD BEACH