May 14, 2012

Experience Boljoon's Heritage Walk

Recently, Journeying James and I have completed the Heritage Walk in Boljoon, Cebu, Philippines.

The Heritage Walk is a guided tour around the famous, prominent, and historical landmarks in the town of Boljoon. This short walk includes their church, two ancestral houses, a bridge, a watchtower, a school, a public baño, and an enchanted rock.

Here it is, Boljoon's Heritage Walk.
(As described in the pamphlet prepared by the Boljoon Tourism and Heritage Council.)

1. Patrocinio de Maria Church Complex
The most visited place in town which transports visitors to the old colonial period. The church shows old and intricate carvings, it is in a pseudo-baroque rococo style, and is made of coral stones and hard wood. The church is the oldest remaining original church in Cebu. In 1991, the National Historical Institute (NHI) declared it a National Historical Landmark. The following year (2000), the National Museum declared it as a National Cultural Treasure.

2. Dr. Dionisio Niere House
Built in 1928, has a formal symmetrical facade with a truncated main roof. During the Second World War, the house was used as headquarters by the Japanese Imperial Army. Dr. Dionisio Niere was the first Boljo-anon doctor of medicine and was a master of the 1935 constitutional convention.

3. Cirilo Sestoso House
The oldest house in town built by Cirilo "Kapitan Iyoy" Sestoso in 1881. The original owner "Kapitan Iyoy" was a Gobernadorcillo of Boljoon during the Spanish period.

4. Boljoon Bridge
Originally a wooden bridge, it was constructed in 1913. A story was told that in making the bridge, townspeople has to cut a huge boule of rock so as to divert the river which ran through the heart of what is today the Poblacion.

5. Baluarte sa Fuente
This two-storey coral stone watchtower has an octagonal plan. It has a series of battle-ments on the upper part of the watchtower with a projecting semi-circular molding underneath. It was built some time in the year 1880s by the warrior priest Julian Bermejo.

6. Gabaldon Building (Boljoon Central School)
Built in 1913, a six-room model of the Gabaldon School is made of hard wood, concrete G.I. roofing. It has formal symmetrical facade and its windows have concrete balusters and columns. The Japanese Imperial Army used the school as a garrison during World War II.

7. Baño sa Poblacion
Believed to be the site of the town's first encounter with the Spanish colonizers.

8. Ili Rock
The second most popular landmark in Boljoon next to the Parish Complex. It is a natural rock formation which serves as an impressive backdrop to the simple dwellings of the Boljo-anons. During pre-historic times, it is believed to be a natural fortress and one author described it as Cebu's version of the Rock of Gibraltar.

Try it! It's really an incredible experience!


  1. This place tops Cebu on my list! Ang daming historical places! :-)

    1. Paula, you should complete this when you are here in Cebu!! You will enjoy, really!

  2. Been to Cebu numerous times but we always miss the historical boljoon. I wish every month there's always cheap flights to cebu :D

    1. Hello! Boljoon is really a great place to discover when it comes to history in Southern Cebu. Visit this town some time! :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for appreciating, Wietzell! :)