I confess this trip was hatched as a serious “food trip” with friends. My love affair with shellfish has withstood the test of time and coming home, I’ve been dreaming of my favorite hard-shelled loves. But 4 days of marathon dining can get us into serious trouble so we arranged to visit some heritage churches and ancestral homes as well.



Of the churches we visited, I was impressed with this Church. Tigbauan’s architecture has Latin American influence ….. “Churriquesque” it’s called. It doesn’t register at all with me. Admittedly the first time I heard of it. Otherwise, I would have thought it refers to some barbecued specialty dish. (I’m hopeless) . I wonder how it looked back when it was constructed in 1575 before a 1948 earthquake destroyed much of it but for the bell tower, a few pillars and church facade. The mosaics which were actually what caught my attention in the first place, were installed when the church was restored following the 1948 destruction.



Officially named Saint John of Sahagun Church, many simply refer to it as Tigbauan Church after the town where it is located. San Juan de Sahagun was an Augustinian friar who earned many enemies during his time in Salamanca, Spain where he was known for his sermons and scathing words which offended many from the upper echelons of society. It was believed then that the fierce saint died from poisoning by a woman who sought revenge. The woman was a nobleman’s concubine who was “enlightened” by Saint John of Sahagun . Wicked woman!



Old, original, or not, I am impressed with the mosaic interiors. The altar looks lovely in an austere way. The niches with the Last Supper, saints as well as the Stations of the Cross, look just as charming in an old world way. I just hope the local parishioners and authorities work on the full restoration of the belfry and facade, remnants of this centuries-old church.