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San Miguel Arcangel Church of Argao

Of all the church facades, it is Argao church that is the most decorated, most rococo. It is also the second oldest church of the island and one of the oldest in the country. The semi-circular arched entrance is flanked by columns on rectangular pedestals decorated with spread eagles and Corinthian capitals. The panels are crowded with relief designs. The small rectangular relief on top of the main door represents the Augustinian symbol and a window with balustradesis crowned by a small statue of San Miguel the Archangel.
The original Argao Parish as founded and constructed in May 17, 1734 by Fr. Ignacio de Olave, Argao?s first parish priest. The church has magnificent painted roof inside, has still its original pulpit and is full of antiques. Even the doors still have their original woodcarvings.
The composition of this church, convent and bell tower has a striking similarity with that of Dalaguete. Argao church exemplifies the tendency to introduce rococo elements in blending with Baroque, a step forward in the individualistic development of this style. A good number of religious artifacts have remained in the church. There are more than 20 angels on its brass-studded portals, it being dedicated to St. Michael.
The ceiling of the church is an interesting one. There is a notable difference in the painting on the ceiling. It was said that Raymundo Francia painted the upper half of the ceiling while Canuto Avila painted from the middle portion to the lower half. These painters are two of the best church muralists during that time (early this century). The first portion by the altar by Reynaldo Francia depicts the victory of St. Michael over Lucifer and his followers. The other portion, done by Canuto Avila, portrays biblical manifestations of angels This can be seen above the altar and is done in tinting color. The altar (retablo) of the church is still the original.

Source: San Miguel Arcangel Church of Argao

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