Jagna Historical and Religious Sites

Jagna went down the annals of Philippine history as the place where Miguel Lopez de Legaspi had his flagship “San Pedro” repaired along its shores on March 15, 1565. Subsequent records showed the establishment of Jagna as a town, its growth and development and what it is now at present.

Thru the years, Jagna progressed to what it is now: a bustling port town which is the gateway to the islands of Camiguen and northern Mindanao. The inhabitants are spiritually strong and with faith, they have established several shrines aside from the massive Catholic Church dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel.

Looking forward to the future yet valuing the past, they put up markers on sites that are historically bound. Such sites are deemed important to teach the young generations the value of freedom even at the cost of death and to remind each and every Filipino to struggle anew against oppression in whatever form.

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The Church of St. Michael the Archangel

The first and foremost religious site is the town’s church, built with the sweat and blood of their forebears. Thru forced labor, the first church and convent was built yet damaged by fire in 1808. A bigger church ensued with nipa roofing and occupying an area of 125 yards long, 25 yards wide and a facade 16 yards tall until the mouldings. A bigger convent was also built.

The present church of Jagna has undergone great renovations, inside and out. After being damaged by a typhoon in the 1980’s, the facade was plastered heavily with cement. Walls were repainted. From the previous roof made of nipa, the roof now is of galvanized iron.

Declared as one of the oldest and biggest in Bohol, this centuries old church is the center of all religious activities in Jagna. Its Patron Saint is St. Michael the Archangel and his feast day is celebrated every September 29th. Festivities though begin a week back wherein dances and sport competitions are hold aside from the religious processions and Mass offerings.

Birhen Sa Barangay Shrine

The Jagnaanons’ great love for the Blessed Virgin led them to build the Birhen Sa Barangay Shrine. The shrine is located at Pangdan, only a few meters away from the municipal building. The area where the shrine is located is a protected municipal park. The shrine has been declared by the local diocese as a national shrine and many devotees come from far and wide to venerate the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The painting of the Blessed Virgin is depicted dressed in native Filipino attire. She has on a striped cloth bound around her waist and over a long white skirt with a white blouse having contoured sleeves typical of a kimono. Her head is covered by a long white veil, falling way beyond her shoulders. She is carrying the baby Jesus clad in swaddling clothes and who is carrying a rosary. The Blessed Virgin is painted in such a way as overlooking the mountain ranges and the coastline with a few nipa houses which are typical Filipino native dwellings. The picture is amazing and has a truly Filipino look and in due time was accorded honor, not only by the Jagnaanons, but throughout Bohol and even in the whole Philippine archipelago.

Ilihan Shrine

The Ilihan Shrine is located at Ilihan Hill, about half a kilometer from the town of Jagna. It is reached thru a winding road and at the topmost of the hill is enshrined the image of the Barangay Sang Birhen where a chapel has been built in her honor. The place overlooks the Sea of Mindanao and the beautiful coastline and surrounding hills of neighboring towns.

Ilihan Hill has become a religious site for pilgrimages by the faithful starting on February 3, 1979, during the image’s first visit to the place. The image stayed there from that date onwards up to January 12, 1981. In January 14, 1981, the painting was brought back to Bacolod City and was blessed by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II during his visit on February 20, 1981 at the Bishop’s Palace, Bacolod City.

Lonoy Martyr Site

The Lonoy Martyr Site was erected to give honor to 406 guerrilla soldiers led by Capt. Gregorio “Goyo” Caseñas who died during the Philippine-American War at Lonoy, in Jagna town. The group were more or less massacred by the American forces on March 8, 1901when they were caught unawares as they lay in ambush of their enemy whom they believed was to arrive on that day. Little did they know that the Americans were approaching them from the rear with a pro-American native, Francisco Salas, guiding. The Americans sprung a surprise attack on the Filipino soldiers who found themselves trapped in their own trenches where they were mercilessly gunned down and bayoneted.

The Lonoy, Jagna Massacre portrays the harshness of war when more or less decent men became brutes, mercilessly killing fellow human beings in the name of honor and country. It shows the infidelity of one to cause the unnecessary shedding of much blood; the hapless fate of those trapped in an unforeseen situation which inflicted a great loss to the Filipino infantry guerrillas.

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