One of the erstwhile churches in Bohol is the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Dauis and it is commonly known as Dauis Church. Located in the island of Panglao, part of the jurisdiction of Bohol’s government, Dauis Church stands as one of the tourist attraction in the Philippines. There are several old churches which can be found in Bohol, like the Baclayon Church, Loon Church, Loboc Church near Loboc River and Floating Resto, Maribojoc Church and Panglao Church. It is located near the bridge that link Panglao Island and Bohol Island.
Dauis Church is founded by Fr. Diego de Ayala and Fr. Joseph Gregorio of the Jesuit order. The church was built in a variety of styles, influenced by Neo-Gothic and Neo-Classic architecture. On the ceiling inside Dauis Church are wonderful paintings made by Ray Francia and Canuto Avila in 1916. It was only in 1970 where Lito Arraya renovated the building.
Dauis Church’s patron saint is the Virgin of the Assumption which was actualized in 1697 and was now made to Our Lady of the Assumption (proclaimed last August 15, 2004). It is said to possess miraculous powers just like the Birhen sa Simala in Cebu. There was an old story that tells about the time when the town was invaded by pirates. It was during those times that the people locked themselves inside Dauis Church. However, they shortly ran out of water and food. Then a miracle happened. A well came out at the foot of the altar which gave the people water to drink during the invasion. This same well is still visible inside Dauis Church and continues to provide water to the people living nearby. Even though the well is about 200 meters away from the sea, the water is absolutely fresh. It is said to have healing powers and many have already attested to it. If you’re visiting Dauis Church, be sure to bring a bottle and take some water home.
The church was managed by the Recoletos priest in 1768. Fr. Julio Saldaña started building the existing church in 1863 and ended in 1879. Fr. Natalio del Mar continued the improvements in 1919 to 1923. Last 2009, Dauis Church became one of the “Pambansang Palatandaang Pangkasaysayan” or Country’s Historic Symbol.
Getting to Dauis Church is easy. It is just 3 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City and about 1 kilometer away from the house of Bayoyoy the Dwarf. You can take the jeepney or tricycle going to the church. Alternatively you can take a hike of about 20-30 minutes from Tagbilaran City.