NCT: San Isidro Labrador Church in Lazi, Siquijor
One of the must-see destinations in the mystical province of Siquijor is the San Isidro Labrador Church in the town of Lazi. The parish church is located just off the Siquijor Circumferential Road.
The Lazi parish was established by the Augustinian Recollects in 1857. Father Toribio Sanchez, O.A.R., administered the construction of the church and the convent. It was made of coral stones and hard wood. Filipino artisans completed the church in 1884 and the belfry the year after.
Pursuant to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 260 issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on August 1, 1973, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 375 approved on January 14, 1974 and by Presidential Decree No. 1505 dated June 11, 1978, the Church of San Isidro Labrador was declared as a national historical landmark.
Across the street is the Lazi Convent. With a dimension of 42 meters by 38 meters, it was once the biggest convent in the Philippines. Like the church, it was built using coral stones quarried from the province’s marine areas and hard wood logged from its once dense forests.
On May 16, 2006, the Lazi Church, together with the churches in Boljo-on in Cebu, Loboc in Bohol, Guiuan in Eastern Samar and Tumauini in Isabela, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tentative List collectively as Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Extension). The National Museum unveiled the national cultural treasure marker of the Lazi Church on May 15, 2012.
In 2003, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) spearheaded a conservation project for 26 Spanish Colonial Era churches. The Church of San Isidro Labrador was one of these churches.