Lazi Convent proudly stands across the pink-ish late 19th century church built by Augustinian Recollects in Lazi, Siquijor. The stonewalls echo a deep history of this convent used as “rest and recreation” of the Augustinian friars then. A collection of sorts is housed in the 2nd floor which now serves as a museum that impresses as well as breaks one’s heart.






Lazi Convent. R & R. In late 19th century for men of the clergy.


Centuries-old acacia trees line the road separating Lazi Convent from the Saint Isidore Church. Siquijor.



Impressive that the same acacia trees still line the road separating the Saint Isidore Church and the Convent which has since been converted into a school and Museum. That the basic elements of the old structure — pillars, capiz windows and staircase — remain. Heartbreaking that there is no semblance of security and preservation concerns relating to the Museum. In the first place, the use of the ground floor as school premises doesn’t augur well in preserving this historical site.





The corridors on the 2nd floor of Lazi Convent which now houses the Siquijor Heritage Museum.


Capiz-framed window slides on the 2nd floor of Lazi Convent cum Siquijor Heritage Museum.




When we came across a tabernacle on display, it broke our hearts to read that the piece is a reproduction, a fake, a switched copy of the genuine piece which was earlier sent for restoration. Only time will tell how the other treasures within the unguarded museum would fare. God forbid.





The FAKE Tabernacle. Siquijor Heritage Museum. Lazi Convent.


Historical treasures inside Siquijor Heritage Museum. No glass encasing to protect them. Unguarded. Poorly maintained.




The 2nd floor with capiz-framed window slides reminded me of my grandmother’s house, except that these ones offered a view of the Lazi Church across the road. No wonder men from the clergy chose this convent for R & R. The church is beautiful and this convent equally so, as well as huge in size. A friend reminded me that Siquijor was then center of studies on herbal medicine during the Spanish time and that many scientists from Europe visited the island for research then. I may also add that religious men, many of whom are botanists and pseudo-scientists, may have visited for these same reasons. Rest and Recreation AND RESEARCH!





Lazi Convent. Rest, recreation and research!


Saint Isidore Church just across the road from Lazi Convent.


The 2 structures in the sleepy town of Lazi are the iconic landmarks of this 3rd smallest island province in the Philippines. It has more to offer but many visitors shy away from spending more time, if not nights, in this province which gained notoriety as the country’s black magic capital. The beach scene here is quiet, even secluded. And the waterfalls and cave sites offer more for the more adventurous. With more tourist arrivals, perhaps local government here will consider a more serious upkeep of the island’s historical treasures.





The stonewalls on the ground floor. All original. Lazi Convent. Siquijor.


Lazi Convent. Midday. Siquijor.