A short drive northwards from Argao, where we stopped for a merienda of tortas and masa podrida, we stopped briefly at the unassuming looking edifice of the Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Zaragoza church or basilica in Sibonga, Cebu. Once inside, the painted wooden roof left our mouths agape, it was stunning! Less than 140 years old, this smallish church is quite well- preserved indoors, though I noticed quite a bit of atrocious external “refurbishment” that takes away from whatever the original exterior must have looked like.
This site seems to have much better photos of the church and a bit of its history.
The murals and patterns painted on the wooden ceilings are gorgeous, in tones of beige, brown and highlights of sky blue.
It must have taken painters several years to complete the ceilings of this church…
And the painted tiles below are equally stunning and varied, a bit over the top, actually…
…and out in front is an avenue of fabulous acacia trees, perhaps 100+ years old, providing shade and an utterly stunning passage for vehicles and passengers just in front of the church. Wonderful. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the area!