Parish Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen
Maundy Thursday a Catholic tradition venerated during the Holy Week is derived from the Latin word “mandatum”, or “command”. It goes back to Jesus’ command to his disciples — to love one another, which he bestowed upon them during the Last Supper. This biblical teaching is commemorated through the communion reenacted during religious gatherings in remembrance of Christ.
Among the recognized heritage churches adorned with murals depicting this sacred tradition is the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen in the town of Balilihan. Painted by the legendary Cebuano artist Ray Francia in the 1930s, the detail is embellished on the ceiling of the central altar retablo bordered by several religious symbolisms. The church’s entire ceiling serves as proof of Francia’s ingenuity evident in its portico, nave, and dome, all the way to the altar. His signature can be seen over the church’s choir loft. The structure remained resilient despite the tremors during the 7.2 magnitude Bohol Earthquake in 2013.
Exhibiting unique and outstanding historical, cultural, artistic, and/or scientific values that are of national significance, this heritage church in the municipality of Balilihan town stands as an Important Cultural Property as declared by the National Museum of the Philippines.
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