Second stop of the Manggad Kang Antique or The Treasures of Antique Heritage Tour is the centuries old church of St John in the town of Anini-y. Also known as Anitique's San Juan Nepomuceno Parish Church, this Augustinian church began in 1879 under the leadership of Fray Veronico Vaquerin during the Spanish Era. Somewhere on this postcard-perfect church is the Augustinian seal that proves its authenticity. St John is the only preserved colonial church left in Antique.
When the Philippine Revolution happened, which also broke out in Antique, the interiors of this beautiful white coral stone church were left unfinished. Passed under the occupancy of Aglipayans until it was returned to the Catholic fold in 1908.
When the Lady Caycay earthquake occured in 1948, it is the only one that survived in Antique despite numerous others destroyed in Panay. It is believed by many as a miracle which is a symbol of their faith --- strong and founded just like their church.
Entering the main door of the church, you'll notice the unfinished choir loft above and to the right, the baptistery with its original front carved from a single block of stone. The old details of a colonial main altar are gone but the church continues to emanate a certain charm because of the place's serenity and simplicity.
The refreshing view outside of the church, vast greenery entrance and trees hovering, gives me a calming feeling of how this pristine air I am breathing is the same with what the Anitiquenos has enjoyed during the colonial times.
Their saint, San Juan Nepomuceno or St John, is the first martyr of the seal of confession. He is the patron saint against slander and a protector against floods which celebrates its feast day on every 6th of May.
Interestingly, in a town where local legend tells about a pair of lovers who died in the waters for not keeping their promise, they have a patron saint who is the protector against the floods.
Moreover, San Juan Nepomuceno Parish Church is something Antiquenos are proud of for it is also considered as one of the Philippine National Treasures.
The trip is made possible by Katahum Tours in Antique. To know more about it visit their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.