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Dropping By The Dauis Church Complex

On an ocular inspection trip to Dauis town, Panglao Island, Bohol, I did not miss the chance to go around and check some places of interest. One of them was the Dauis Church Complex where one can find the Our Lady of Assumption church, the old convent, Cafe Lawis, and the Handumanan Gift Shop.

In early July this year, I again had the chance to visit the church complex accompanying my cousin and her family on a Visayas tour that also included stops in Cebu and Siquijor. On this second visit, I finally got to enter the church interior.

Damaged exterior of the Dauis Church in Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines
Damaged exterior of the Dauis Church in Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines

Our Lady of Assumption Church in Dauis, Bohol, Philippines

The Our Lady of Assumption Church in Dauis town was one of the many Bohol heritage churches that were damaged by the 2013 Bohol earthquake. Restoration efforts have already began funded by a private benefactor. This could be the first of the Bohol heritage churches to be restored judging from how work has begun here while the other churches have barely began restoration work.

Restoration work being done at the Dauis Church in Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines
Restoration work being done at the Dauis Church in Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines




The parish of Dauis was established in 1697. The existing church structure was built starting between 1863 and 1879 under orders from Padre Julio Saldana, OAR. It was completed between 1919-1923 by Padre Natalio Del Mar. The Neo-Gothic and Neo-Classic architecture church work is credited to Ray Francia and Canuto Avila.



The church is built around a well on a spring which can be found near the approach to the altar. Water from this well is believed to be miraculous. Water from this well is bottled and is given to the faithful in exchange for voluntary donations.


Belfry or Watchtower?

Possible replica of the Dauis baluarte in Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines
Possible replica of the Dauis baluarte in Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines

It's hard to tell if the structure at the back of the church is the belfry or watchtower. A belfry was built in 1774 under the supervision of Padre Santiago del Corazon De Jesus, OAR. It predates the existing church. While it's location right behind the church suggests it could be a belfry, there are two (2) structures or places that can confuse the discussion. Two (2) spires can be seen in front of the church which can also be the belfry. Also, at the end of a small peninsula protruding into the waters at the back of the church is a spot with remnants of a circular base which could very well be the watchtower.

Belfry of the Dauis Church in Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines
Belfry of the Dauis Church in Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines







The church grounds were fortified in 1885 to repel Moro Raids. One may notice some of the remnants of the wall fortification in the plaza and along the church grounds. I am quite happy to note that restoration of the structure is almost complete.





Cafe Lawis and Handumanan Gift Shop at the Old Convent

Cafe Lawis' specialty dish is the souffle cake. I tried this during my first visit and it was delicious. Cafe Lawis shares a space with Handumanan Gift Shop inside the old convent built by Padre Joseph Nepumocena, SJ between 1753-1768. Pasalubong can also be bought at Cafe Lawis while Handumanan Gift Shop sells souvenir items and religious mementos.


Soffle cake at Cafe Lawis in Dauis, Bohol, Philippines
Soffle cake at Cafe Lawis in Dauis, Bohol, Philippines

Souvenir items for sale at Handumanan Gift Shop in Dauis, Bohol, Philippines
Souvenir items for sale at Handumanan Gift Shop in Dauis, Bohol, Philippines











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