the town is named after dalakit, which is cebuano for balete, the tree that used to grow abundantly in this part of cebu.
our main purpose for visiting dalaguete is to see the san guillermo el hermitano parish church. construction of the church started in 1711, the year dalaguete was recognized as an independent parish. fr. juan chacel was in charge of construction. he finished the structure in 1825, and died later in the same year. years later,in 1850, fr. juan alonso had the belfry constructed.
the construction of this church is worthy of note, because it involved very little financial assistance. instead, the church was built by the townsfolk, who contributed free labor just to finish their parish church.
the san guillermo el hermitano church is described as pseudo-baroque. like all the churches we visited on this route, the floor had black and white tiles. inside, the ceiling is painted with various images, but is in need of some restoration, as some of the paint is already peeling or fading.
the chandeliers that hung from the ceiling still came from spanish galleons long ago. outside the church, you will see its three-tiered belfy, which is octagonal in shape. the shape seems to be a significant one in this part of town, because the watchtower near the shore was also rendered in the same shape. today, that watchtower has become a gazebo or store of some sort where people come to drink and have fun.
a few feet from the watchtower stands a wooden cross called sta. cruz, which was left by the spanish long ago to signify that the town has been christianized. i was really amazed to find the church still in perfect condition.
our stop in dalaguete was a brief one, but i enjoyed it. the more of this part of cebu i saw, the more interesting it got. i find it fascinating how things from hundreds of years ago still exist today, and are still in pretty good condition.
more photos of dalaguete may be found here.
for more information about dalaguete, visit its website.