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 the locality that is Talisay City in southern Metro Cebu before the new Talisay City Hall was relocated to Lawaan III.
|Santa Teresa de Avila Parish Church in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines|
Reminiscent of Spanish-era town centers, the poblacion of then the municipality of Talisay was where the main Roman Catholic Church was located along with the town hall and other important offices of the locality. Shortly after it gained cityhood status, the seat of government of Talisay City was transferred to the new city hall in Lawa-an III along the Cebu South Coastal Road in the South Road Properties. Despite that, the old poblacion retains its significance as many churchgoers still go to hear mass on Sundays and religious holy days at the Santa Teresa de Avila Parish Church.
History of Sta. 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 and rebels executed while their possessions were auctioned off.
Work on the first church started in 1836 and 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 but was completely destroyed during World War II.
Architecture of Sta. Teresa de Avila Church
The architecture of the Santa Teresa de Avila Parish Church in Talisay City is interestingly just 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 the of 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.
Simbahan. Accessed 30 December 2015.