Located about 30 kilometers from the lone city of Tagbilaran in the island of Bohol, the town of Loon has one of the oldest churches found in whole Philippines. Made of huge coral stones, the Our Lady of Light Church stands as glimpse of the past and a place for public worship for generations to come.
Popularly known as the Loon Church (Simbahan ng Loon), the Our Lady of Light Church established in 1753 by the Jesuits and transferred to the Augustinian friars in 1768 is a Baroque-Rococo structure. During the 1850’s, the first church burned except its front. Along the front of the former building, the Loon Church re-built according to the design of Domingo Escondrillas in 1855 to 1864, is the present structure.
Used by the American forces as a Garrison in their campaign against the Filipino Guerrillas in 1901, the first patron of the Loon Church is the Nuestra Señora de la Luz (Our Lady of Light) and the second patron is St. Joseph the Worker.
Became a National Historical Landmark in 2010, the Loon Church is now one of the oldest churches that Bohol government is trying to advertise to its tourists because it is near the location of the Loon Macaques. It is usually included in the itineraries of Pilgrimage Tours but not for Countryside Tours because it is not in close proximity with the other Bohol tourist attractions.
Located in the terrace inside the church, above the front door, an old pipe organ made of wood (body) and metal sheets (pipes) allow the guests to see one of the finest instruments of the past. The huge pillars of the church inside and outside are about nine square feet, amazes its visitors. The altar of the church has a modern design. At the sides are altars of saints.
Outside the church is a small park where kids and adults can play. Some people rest and read books under the nearby century old tree. A tennis court is available for those who love the sport and a Eucharistic Adoration Chapel is for those who want to be intimate with God.
If you are interested with old churches and its history, you can visit the Our Lady of Light Church in Loon, Bohol and get more information from the priests there, they are very willing to help. You can also visit Cebu, Siquijor and other islands in the country for more old churches.