San Matias Parish Church |
Iglesia Parroquial de San Matías
Facade and cylindrical belltower of Tumauini Church
|Founder(s)||Francisco Nuñez, O.P|
|Heritage designation||National Cultural Treasure|
|Architect(s)||Fr. Domingo Forto|
|Architectural type||Church building|
The San Matias Parish Church (Spanish: Iglesia Parroquial de San Matías), commonly known as Tumauini Church, is a Roman Catholic church in the municipality of Tumauini, Isabela, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ilagan. It became a separate parish independent from Cabagan under the advocacy of Saint Matthias in 1751.
The church, known for its brick, Baroque-style architecture, was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. Together with the churches of Boljoon, Guiuan, Loboc and Lazi, the Tumauini Church has been considered for the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since 2006 under the collective group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Extension).
The first church made of nipa and other light materials was built by the Dominican priest Francisco Nuñez in 1707, and dedicated to Saint Matthias. Tumauini became an independent parish from Cabagan in 1751. The current church was built under the auspices of another Dominican, Domingo Forto, in 1783 and later continued by the priest Antonio Herrera in 1788. In constructing the church, Forto hired artisans from as far south as Pampanga. It was completed in 1805.
The church building is made entirely of ornately designed red bricks in its façade and its interior walls. A closer look at the brick façade shows numbers and dates for the correct sequence of the bricks in Forto's design. The façade is flanked by two pseudo-Corinthian columns and niches, one located above the entrance and the two remaining larger niches on each side of the columns. The church's circular pediment is unique relative to all other churches built during the Spanish Era.
Attached to the church's façade is a unique cylindrical belfry built in 1805. It is the only known Spanish colonial era cylindrical tower in the country. The tiered belfry notably resembles a wedding cake.
The bell housed within has bullet holes but was never recast.
Historical and cultural declarations
Tumauini Church was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines declared Tumauini Church a National Historical Landmark on February 24, 1989.
It is also being considered for addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Philippines under the Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Extension) with the churches of Patrocinio de María in Boljoon, Cebu; La Inmaculada Concepción in Guiuan, Samar; San Pedro Ápostol in Loboc, Bohol; and San Isidro Labrador in Lazi, Siquijor.
- National Historical Institute 1993, p. 176
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- "Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Extension)". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Lim-Castillo 2007, p. 117
- Villalon, Augusto. "Significant Examples of Church Architecture in the Philippines". National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Archived from the original on October 14, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- Ortiguero, Romsanne (March 17, 2013). "Why visit Isabela this summer? 10 great reasons to check out the Queen Province of the Philippines". Interaksyon. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- Alba, Reinerio (September 29, 2003). "The Restoration of 26 Philippine Churches". National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- Enriquez, Marge (April 10, 2011). "Edifices of a people's faith". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
- Jose, Regalado Trota. "What to do with an Old Church (or Mosque or House)?". National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Lim-Castillo, Pia (2007). "Eggs in Philippine Church Architecture and its Cuisine". In Hosking, Richard. Eggs in Cookery: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium of Food and Cookery 2006. Oxford Symposium. p. 117. ISBN 9781903018545.
- Historical Markers: Regions I–IV and CAR. Manila: National Historical Institute (Philippines). 1993. p. 176. ISBN 9715380611.
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