Known to Boholanos as Cortes Church, the Sto. Niño Parish Church in Cortes, Bohol is one of the many churches in the Philippines that are dedicated to the Sto. Niño or Holy Child; noteworthy Sto. Niño churches in the country includes Santo Niño de Cebu, Santo Niño de Paz in Makati and Santo Niño Shrine in Butuan.
Located on top of a hill near Infant King Academy, Cortes Church, like most Bohol churches, is shaped like a cruciform and has a portico in front of an older façade. The church was constructed around 1880 but the bell tower’s upper register was not completed until the 20th century.
Most churches in Bohol are made up of cut coral stone blocks and Cortes Church is not an exception. Floral carving frames the doorway and the ceilings has frescoes which were done by Raymundo Francia, a notable painter from Cebu. The main retablo has twisted Solomonic columns and abundantly engraved flanges in the Baroque-Rococo style.
It is a must-see church particularly for the dutiful pilgrims.
Used to be known by its ancient name Malabago, the town of Cortes was served by priests from Maribojoc, a nearby town, until it became an independent parish in 1793-94 and it was renamed Paminguitan. The town was finally established in 1862 and got its present name – after Hernan Cortes, a Spanish conquistador.
The Sto. Niño Parish Church in Cortes is located 9 kilometers north of Tagbilaran City, the only city in Bohol. Along the way, tourists can pass Abatan RiverLife, about 1 kilometer before the church.