Baclayon Tourist Attractions
The Municipality of Baclayon has several attractions, mostly heritage edifices such as the Baclayon Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Baclayon Museum, and the Heritage or Ancestral Houses. It has a special attraction though, the Pamilacan Island, where one can enjoy watching dolphins and whales at play.
Baclayon Church is the oldest church in Bohol and the second oldest in the whole Philippine archipelago, second to the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila. You can not miss its dark and imposing structure standing just alongside the road in the Municipality of Baclayon with the 21 meter high belfry in front.
The church is made of coral stones hauled from the sea which is only a few meters away from it. It was said that 200 slaves were forced by the Spaniards to build this huge edifice and millions of egg whites were used with lime to cement all the stones together.
Baclayon Museum is housed under the old convent which stands beside the right-hand side of the church and charges a minimal entrance fee of P25 per person to cover maintenance costs. Religious artifacts are displayed such as ecclesiastical vestments embroidered with gold, ivory images of Jesus, the Holy Family, and the saints plus animal skin covered hymnals with pages made of sheep skin and ink taken from plant sap.
Pamilacan Island is under the municipality of Baclayon. It is now a tourist destination for dolphin and whale watching – the said mammals and other underwater creatures frequent the place. Former dolphin hunters are now tourist guides who can guide you to the best sites for dolphin and whale sightings.
Several Pamilacan dive sites are rich with large barrel sponges, snake lake cucumber and gorgonian fans with many various colored feather stars. One may also encounter napoleons, rays and even stingrays.
Heritage Houses Ancestral houses are numerous in the municipality of Baclayon. Some are dilapidated and have been abandoned yet others were lovingly preserved by the descendants of the prominent homeowners. These vintage houses are huge and largely made up of coral stone and hardwood and are replete with the homeowner’s memorabilia, furniture, kitchen utensils and other collections that illustrate the glorious past of our predecessors and need to be preserved.
Worthy to mention heritage homes are the Malon House, the Villamor House, the Luza House and the Sofia House. Other houses are Bahay Kahayag, Caballo House, Cahambing House, Ginete House, Javier House, Lerias House, Manggubat House, Mangrove House, Oppus House, Pates House and a lot more.
Baclayon Homestay Program Many tourists are attracted to stay and live in Baclayon even for a short period of time. More than 67 ancestral houses offer their homes to the public as “homestays” where guests can avail of accommodations and food. Living directly with a Boholano family rather than in a hotel will give guests a firsthand experience on how we Boholanos live and in that way, get to know something about our culture. Likewise, with foreign visitors, Boholanos can learn about foreign culture and form international friendships.
More about Baclayon
- Bohol Town of Baclayon - The town of Baclayon covers an area of 3442.1807 hectares or 34 square kilometers which is politically divided into 17 barangays.
- History of Baclayon - Baclayon played a prominent role in the history of Bohol since it was the first municipality ever to be established in the island by the Spaniards.
- Baclayon Tourist Attraction - The Municipality of Baclayon has several attractions, mostly heritage edifices such as the Baclayon Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Baclayon Museum, and the Heritage or Ancestral Houses.
- Baclayon Church - The Church of Immaculada Concepcion in Baclayon is considered to be one of the oldest in the Philippines. Construction began in 1717 where some 200 native laborers (obras pias) cut and dragged coral blocks from the sea, using only bamboos in moving and lifting the stones in position.
- Visita Iglesia to the Baclayon Church - Ever since I was small and at every visit to Bohol, I pass by the Baclayon Church on the way to my Dad’s place in Guindulman or to my Mom’s at Mahayag ...
- Baclayon Museum - A visit to the church is not complete without a stopover at the museum; carries a handful of religious artifacts that interestingly showcase the legacy that the Spaniards left on our beloved island. Looking at these artifacts, especially the vestments which are embroidered with gold, we relive the moment when these was worn, oh so elegantly!
- Baclayon Pastries - Baclayon is known locally as the pastry capital of Bohol. This pastry making activity dates back to the Spanish times. It is said that because of the volume of egg whites that were used for the construction of the church, the Spaniards taught the locals how to make cookies and other pastries while utilizing the egg yolks.
- Malon House, Baclayon Bohol Old Houses - The Malon House dates back to the late 19th century - the largest heritage house in Baclayon home to six (6) generations of the prominent Malon family.
- Picnic at Baklayon Sea - Stop and enjoy a picnic at the bayside of Baclayon. With the church in the background contemplate the blue green sea while finishing off your adobo chicken!