I came to know about this centuries-old church when we visited my husband’s hometown during the Holy Week. While on our way to Dakak in Dapitan, we passed by the town of Jimenez and my brother in-law Matt, mentioned about its very old church – he knows that the mere mention of something of the antiquity can ring my bell…and so when we left Dakak and before going back to Ozamiz City ( my husband’s hometown), we made a short stop in St.John the Baptist Church in Jimenez, Misamis Occidental.
Unlike most parish churches, you can’t see the church along the national highway, you can to take some turns to reach the town center of Jimenez. Old and silent – these words welcome us as we drive towards the church. There are some old houses and you don’t have to be clever that the town is really old. Finally, the church is there….St. John the Baptist.
One look and I know that is has been around for a very long time – the structure and the coral stones used in the construction. Entering the dim interior, you will be surprised to see the old wooden pillars that supports the church. and when you look up at the ceiling with its painting –it’s really old. My companions that time who are not into my addiction of heritage were even impressed on how old the church is.
When we came, some men were doing some repairs of its altar. And when we came, we met an old woman who was friendly enough to give me some first-hand information about the church. One of the interesting tales she mentioned was that how the parish priests ordered that each churchgoer must bring one block of coral stone for the church. The result? The locals diverted into another religion.
St. John the Baptist Church of Jimenez in Misamis Occidental needs more support from the local government since you rarely see this colonial church is Mindanao. I love how the church was preserved by the whole community, the way it is.