DID YOU KNOW that the current Mahatao Church, one of the cultural icons of Batanes, was built in 1873? The original church was built by Dominicans in 1789. The church was declared a National Cultural Treasure in 2001.
Facing the West Philippine Sea in Batan Island in Batanes lies the Spanish colonial Mahatao Church, also known as the Church of San Carlos Borromeo. It was declared by the National Museum as a national cultural treasure on July 31, 2001 and is under the conservation program of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts(NCCA).
The church was built by the Dominicans in 1789 and in 1873, originally a wooden structure, it was improved with limestone walls and cogon roofing. Like the traditional houses in the typhoon frequented islands in Batanes, the church is made of stone and lime (common building materials in Batanes) to withstand the typhoons.
On top is a belfry with old bells dating back to 1874. Its baroque interiors is adorned with flowers and image of the patron Saint CharlesBorromeo, also Saint Joseph, Saints Dominic de Guzman and Saint Rose of Lima.
The church was also the place were Ivatan Katipunan revolutionaries raised the flag of the Katipunan on the bell tower on September 19, 1898. The Katipunan (KKK) was a Filipino revolutionary movement founded by Andress Bonifacio and revolutionary Filipinos in Manila in 1892 to fight for indenpendence from Spain.