Friday, April 4, 2014

Sabtang Church and Its Historical Complex

History and historical buildings are part of the allure Sabtang has. Sabtang Church, which was built during the 1800's, stands proud as a proof of the island's historicity. The church alone gives one a feeling of nostalgia and being one with the place's history, but not many know that aside from the main church, there is more historical things and sites to see just at the vicinity.  

Sabtang Church. Sabtang Island, Batanes

Sabtang Church Historical Marker

The church can actually be described as just a part of a sort of "historical complex". In the right side of the church can be found ruins of an older church and convent, a century-old well, an old lighthouse, and a museum.

Sabtang Church Interior. Sabtang Island, Batanes.

The church and it's complex can be found near the port and alongside the main road that a visitor can already have a view of the beautiful church even before the boat reaches Sabtang port. Though easily accessible, it is almost always left out during the so-called historical and nature tour offered by travel agencies operating in Batanes because of "time constraint". Visitors have to allot some extra minutes in order to explore the small complex or specifically request the tour agent that they be given time to explore it. One sure way to visit the complex is to 'do-it-yourself' (DIY) so that visitors can design their own itinerary.

Sabtang Church Exterior. Sabtang Island, Batanes.

A directional marker pointing to the direction of the small historical complex can be found at the rightmost side of the church's convent. Said marker gives the visitor an idea on what to expect upon visiting the place.


Sabtang Ecclesiastical Museum

The Sabtang Ecclesiastical Museum and Prayer Room houses different church artifacts and documents such as old vestments, books, and images. The museum is actually just a small square room. Better lighting and arrangement of displays and furniture would make the museum worthier of a visit. As it is, the museum gives the visitor a glimpse on the religious history of the island where 100% of the population are Roman Catholics.

Sabtang Ecclesiastical Museum. Sabtang Island, Batanes.

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Sabtang Old Lighthouse

The Old Lighthouse of Sabtang can be found at the highest part of the small complex where visitors can also have a view of the new lighthouse located at the shore. Looking at both lighthouses in one frame is like having a feeling of being in one place where the old meets the new.

Old Sabtang Lighthouse. Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Sabtang Church and Convent Ruins

The ruins of Sabtang Church (not pictured here) and convent can be also be found at the small complex. They are mostly covered with grasses, banana plants and outgrows of trees though foundations of the former structures can still be seen.  

Sabtang Convent Ruins. Sabtang Island, Batanes.

Sabtang's Century-old Well

The most interesting site in the small complex is the century-old well located at its center. This well has served many people of the island for more than a century (i.e., during the Spanish occupation and many years after that) though it is now non-functional. (The parish priest told us that a historical marker is soon to be installed in this well).

Sabtang's Century-old Well. Sabtang Island, Batanes.

At the end of the short tour, one can go back to the main church's front yard where s/he can lie or sit down in the smooth green grass and enjoy the view of the setting sun. 

Sabtang Church. Sabtang Island, Batanes.

More posts about Batanes:

Basco : Capital of a Beautiful Province (soon!)
Ivana : The Other Town (soon!)
Mahatao : Marlboro's Home (soon!)
Uyugan : The Really Quaint Town of Batanes (soon!)
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About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)

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