Situated about 20 kilometers north of Tagbilaran City in Bohol, the town of Maribojoc offers a glimpse of the past to the adventurer’s eyes with its own coral-made structures. Two of the most notable structures in town are the Punta Cruz Watch Tower and the Santa Cruz Parish.
Began as a Jesuit mission in 1767, the management of the Maribojoc Church was transferred to the Augustinian priests on 1768. According to Wikipedia (Maribojoc, Bohol), in 1796, the Punta Cruz watchtower was built as a lookout against marauding pirates. The Maribojoc church was laid in 1798 on what was once a swampy land and was finished in 1816, after 18 years of work.
Fr. Manuel Plaza, O. A. R. started the construction of the present church made of corals and stones on 1852. At the back of the church is a flight of stone stairs built in 1864. The town of Maribojoc was officially organized on October 15, 1860. Finished on 1872 under the leadership of Fr Fernando Rubio Lucas Martinez, O. A. R., the unique design of the Santa Cruz Parish makes it a remarkable structure. On 1877-1897, the priests developed the convent and bell tower with clock.
In 1930, Raymundo Francia, a renowned artist from Cebu, painted the interiors of the church including the delicately designed ceiling. The committee on works repaired the altarpiece on 1934. Saved from fire during the World War II in 1942-1945, the Santa Cruz Parish is assigned as the Diocesan Shrine of San Vicente Ferrer in 2005.
The Maribojoc Church is an example of Colonial Architecture made during the Spanish era. According to Heritage Conservation, the interior comes as a surprise because of the three Neogothic altars in the church. The traceries and finials of gilded hardwood are delicately carved. The main altar has an image of the Blessed Trinity and bas relieves of the life of Mary Magdalene. The church ceiling is made of metal and painted with catechetical and liturgical motifs.
In 2009, the church was declared a National Historical Treasure.