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Friday, December 26, 2014

Revisiting Century-old Hinigaran Bells

by Gil Camporazo

Local Philippine history history unfolds as I  revisited the century-old bells in St. Mary Magdalene Church in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental on Christmas Day, December 25 when I was invited to attend the christening of 13-month old Czian Brylle A. Tuala, the youngest son of my teacher in the said Church.

Hinigaran Bell 1867

I could imagine how the Hinigaranon (local resident of Hinigaran) especially those who have survived today or their posterity the importance and the value those five bells which are no longer in used. They're now hanged in concrete frame placed outside the convent at the left side of the church. It's purposely placed there on a "tower" for tourist attraction and public viewing as to recollect the remote past history of the said bells and how they served the church for more than a century in the Spanish era.

At the left side of that big concrete frame is a "lapida" which reads "This newly constracted (sic) tower of the century old bells was blessed by Rev. Msgr. Victorino A. Rivas, JCD. VG. on March 30, 2012, Rev. Fr. Gregorio Quiñanola Patiño, Parish Priest."



Some of the bells were made sometime in 1867 and 1896 as shown in embossed printed inscriptions found on the bell. It was also written there the Cura Parocco at that time and it was M.R.P. Fr. Francisco Ayarra.

Interior of St. Mary Magdalene Church, Hinigaran, Neg. Occ., PH
Interior of St. Mary Magdalene Church, Hinigaran, Neg. Occ., PH

The Church is designed with Romanesque architecture. The structure of the church was made of broken egg shells, bricks, and lime according to the residents there. Some claim that the Church was built sometime in 1881.

The Church of St. Mary Magdalene as one of the oldest churches built by the native when the Spanish colonized the Island of Negros. It was built during the time of an Augustinian Recollect priest Father Juan Pavon who arrived in Hinigaran on November 4, 1848.


24 comments:

  1. Heard about these bells in tv. First time go through comprehensive post. St Marry Magdelene is no doubt one of oldest chruch. I feel peace in Church.

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    1. Thanks for that impression. In fact, I was impressed that I was about to see personally the oldest Church and the oldest bells ever in my life. It's good they're not stolen by robbers or whoever is interested to them.

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  2. These bells look really interesting and their arrangement/ presence make the church quite different.

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    1. These bells are no longer in use for they produce discordant sound. There are some cleavage in the bells. There are new bells in the belfry.

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  3. I would love to visit these Old Hinigaran Bells as a part of your cultural heritage. The place amazes me with its unique architecture and incredible spiritual spirit. A great atmosphere of faith and love for God.

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  4. I'm a Catholic but I'm not those religious type. But I really love visit churches for some reason. I'd love to visit this church but it's far from my place. The altar piece reminded me of the one in the National Museum.

    I think most of our churches have a similar design. I personally love how churches look before. Most of today's church is filled with paintings on the ceilings. It makes it look like an art museum. No offense meant.

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  5. Interesting post!! It is great to see that one of the oldest church is still standing !!

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  6. I wonder how much they value when sold!! Not that im interested in selling them

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  7. I was supposed to go on a trip to Negros a couple of years back, but my friends and I got stranded because of flash floods and we weren't able to push through with the trip. I would love to see the St. Mary Magdalene Church and the century-old Hinigaran Bells. I am glad that they were kept intact all these years.

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  8. Great history of the church. I love looking at the architecture. Would be a nice place to visit one day.

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  9. These are beautiful! I love going to church and discovering more about the history behind the monuments!

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  10. The interior is so stunningly beautiful. Thanks for sharing such lovely pic.

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  11. That was so special, I had seen bells only in temple but there are bells in church also. That is really great.

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  12. Wow, it's amazing that even though there's broken egg shells (very weak, crumbly material) in the structure, the church can still remain intact for so long! I wonder why egg shells was used in the first place. Do you know why?

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  13. The hinigaran bells are really heritage attraction. The place should be promoted further by our Department of Tourism.

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  14. I have heard of other bells but first time for these bells. Thank you for this information. Too bad they are not used for their original purpose anymore. But heritage is heritage, and should be preserved.

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  15. Very intersting article ! An extra piece of knowledge for me to have :). The bells are preserved quite well as well

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  16. It gives me a great thrill to visit historic places and monuments. I have never heard of the Hinigaran bells before but I am glad that you introduced us to it :)

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  17. I really enjoy visiting historical places. I wish you could have taken the pictures in high resolutions so that we could appreciate them more.

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    1. They're already in high resolution. The details of the pictures I have taken are so clear and vivid.

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  18. The last time I've witnessed old churches was when my family and I visited Bohol. I was disheartened when those structures collapsed due to an earthquake last year. With the long history of the Spaniards' colonization in the Philippines, it is not surprising for such magnificent structure to be built within the Negros area. Thank you for sharing its history too.

    May our good Lord continue to bless you and your family this 2015!

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    1. Thank you for the blessing. I do wish you a prosperous new year to you and to your family too.

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  19. wow such a beautiful place. Wish to visit here one day!

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  20. What a rich and tradition filled place. I'd love to visit someday and touch the bells and walk the grounds. I enjoyed reading about this beautiful church.

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