One last post about our trip to Bantayan Island (see previous two posts)—the Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church, better known simply as Bantayan Church.
The church had already closed for the night when we went to visit, but the caretaker graciously opened it for us when he found out that we had a priest in our group. The parish traces its history back to 11 June 1580 when the Spanish
Agustinians established it. The first church was destroyed when the town
was attacked by Muslim pirates in 1600. It was rebuilt in the same year
but was transferred to the management of secular priests. The current church was constructed in 1839–1863. Unfortunately, the plaque on the wall didn't say what happened to the previous building.
The church's design is typical of other Spanish-era churches in the country. A portion of the roof was damaged by Typhoon Haiyan, but it had been repaired completely by the time we visited.
What makes Bantayan Church unique is the fact that it is made almost entirely of coral. Moss grows easily on them, but I think they just add beauty and interest to the walls.
And those walls are thick! I measured myself against the depth of a doorway, and I think the walls are easily six feet deep.