Santa Teresa de Avila Parish Church in Talisay City

In what was once the center of Talisay City, the Santa Teresa de Avila Parish Church serves as a stark reminder that the poblacion was once the center of governance in Talisay City before the new city hall was relocated to Lawaan III.

Reminiscent of Spanish-era town centers, the poblacion of the then municipality of Talisay was where the main Roman Catholic Church was located. The town hall and other important offices of the locality were also found in the area. Shortly after it became a city, the seat of government of Talisay City was transferred. The new city hall is now located in Lawa-an III along the Cebu South Coastal Road. Despite that, the old poblacion retains its significance. Many churchgoers still go to hear mass on Sundays and religious holy days at the Santa Teresa de Avila Church.

Santa Teresa de Avila Church
Santa Teresa de Avila Church


Talisay City became a town by virtue of a royal decree in 1834. Prior to that, it was a visita of San Nicolas. The first recorded rebellion in Cebu happened as early as 1589 when Spaniards tried to acquire land and the locals rebelled. The rebellion was swiftly quelled. The rebels were executed while their possessions were auctioned off.

Work on the first church started in 1836. It was completed in 1848. But in 1877, a typhoon destroyed it. The present stone church was started in 1880 and took less than a year to complete in 1881. The convent was built in 1877. It was completely destroyed during World War II.


The architecture of the Santa Teresa de Avila Parish Church in Talisay City is interesting. It is among a few churches in the entire Philippines of the Graeco-Roman style. The main entrance and pediment are recessed behind the twin belfries, a feature similar to the church in Bacnotan, La Union. There are also similarities with the church in Carcar City, Cebu and San Luis, Pampanga. What is unique about the Talisay church is that its twin belfries are connected by a covered porch with a balustrade. Like most Spanish colonial era churches, the Talisay church is built of coral stones.

Preserving Sta. Teresa de Avila Church

Personally, I think that the Santa Teresa de Avila Parish Church is poorly preserved. For one, only the facade remains original. The cruciform shape of the church can no longer be seen as extensions were made on both sides of the nave. The old church bells are no longer used and they are no longer seen in the belfry.

Do you have anything to add about this church? Let us know in the comments section below.


Simbahan. Accessed 30 December 2015.