Albay: Oas Church

Located in the municipality of Oas in the province of Albay, Oas Church is one of the oldest religious structures in the province.

Oas Church is also known as St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church. It was founded in 1605 by Franciscan missionaries. The church was initially made from wood and cogon grass up until it was renovated in 1825. This time the church was built using bricks and volcanic rocks.
church interior
the view of the interior from the altar
Church altar

the baptismal bowl
the old stained windows are really stained
The baptismal area
The ruins at the back of the church
The church was damaged by fire in 1866 and was rebuilt later in the same year. It was partially destroyed in 1884 by a strong earthquake. It didn't end there, in 1947 a strong typhoon damaged the church heavily that it had to be rebuilt. In 1997 the church underwent a major renovation. Today, the church serves as a symbol of unity and hope for the people of Oas. 
Oas Church Bell tower
Visiting the municipality of Oas was actually not part of our itinerary. We were actually heading to Kawa-Kawa Hill in the City of Ligao after swimming in the beaches of Pasacao. Several circumstances (probably by fate) brought me to the church. First, the bridge leading to the diversion road was under renovation. Hence we had no choice but to enter the city proper of Oas. Second, my sister and mom felt the urge to lessen their kidney load. Lastly, the comfort rooms of the gas stations didn't offer clean restrooms. Luckily the restroom in the church was tolerable. Lucky for me too, I got time to shoot photos of the church and its obviously old bell tower.
Can you see the bats?
Check out how deep that bell sunk in bat poop
Upon closer inspection...
Speaking of the old bell tower, I followed a path leading to its entrance. Since the small gate is open, I entered it and was welcomed by a very foul smell. At first I thought there's a dead animal inside. Finding none, I observed that the floor was a bit mushy. It was there that I discovered the culprit(s) -bats. I was amazed to find hundreds of them hanging from the dome of the bell tower. I immediately left the scene bringing with me the stench of but poop and pee (but I'm happy with that mini adventure).

Getting there:

From Manila, ride a bus heading to Legazpi City. Tell the conductor to drop you off before the intersection of Oas. From there, ride a tricycle or a jeepney to the church.

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