Oslob Reborn

In 2007, I was introduced to the southern town of Oslob for the very first time. I saw its inner roads, met its people, and discovered its delightfully unique provincial charm. I instantly fell in love with it.

In 2008, a very unfortunate incident took place in this sleepy little town. The church of the Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepcion and its rectory – two of the oldest buildings in the area – went down in flames. Except for the stone foundations and walls, nothing was left of the two age-old structures. The news broke my heart.

Two years later, I found myself walking down the town’s familiar back roads once more. I’ve been gone for so long but still, the town welcomed me with a warm embrace. Oslob, you will always have a place in my heart. And although I am just a stranger, I know that I too have a place in yours.

The photos you are about to see not only show how well Oslob picked up the pieces and moved on. They also teach us the valuable lesson that nothing is imposisble with hardwork, perserveance, faith, and a little imagination. 🙂

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The four-level belfry of the Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepcion church in Oslob, Cebu.

Calle Aragones – the oldest street in Oslob. The street was built in the middle of the 19th Century.

A marker etched in one of the pillars of the church wall which stands next to the street. The street was built in 1879.

 The church wall, built in 1875, kept the church safe from Moro pirates.

Church walls in 2007. Notice the graffiti.

The church walls in 2010. They have been restored and the unwanted graffiti had been removed.

The church of Oslob as of November 2010. Wait till you see how it looks inside.

Front door of the church. 

Church interior immediately after the fire on March 26, 2008. 

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Church interior today. It looks lovely.

Ceiling of the new church.

Church facade and the bell-tower.

The church convent. This photo was taken in 2007.

The convent today. I’m not sure if they plan to restore it.

Another view of the ruins of the church convent.

View of the kuartel and the parking lot in front of the church in 2007.

The parking lot in 2010. It’s so much greener now. Nice!

The kuartel. This was built to house American soldiers who arrived in 1899. This was how it looked like in 2007.

 This is how the kuartel looks like today.

Awesome is not enough to describe it.

View of the kuartel from the sea. Photo taken in 2007.

The kuartel as of November 2010.

The interiors of the kuartel.

In 2007, the kuartel was not a tourist spot. It was simply an unused old structure. Some portions were dirty while others were covered in grass or garbage.

The kuartel in 2010. They’ve done a magnificent job, I must say.

One of the many arches of the kuartel.

The back part of the kuartel after restoration efforts.

In 2007, this passageway was dirty and seemed like it was about to go.

The same passageway today, November 2010.

The inner corridor directly behind the row of arches. Photo taken in 2007.

The same corridor at present.

Similar stones were used to cover the holes in the walls.

Original coral stone which was visible in 2007.

The walls of the kuartel in 2010.

 The prayer room fronting the church. This used to house parishioners with leprosy.

To the Coffee Shop? I didn’t know there was a coffee shop near the church.

Ruins of one of the seven watchtowers in Oslob. Photo taken in 2007.

Closer view of the watchtower.

The baluarte in 2010.

Looks much prettier now.

The ‘plaza’ in front of the church compound in 2007. It looked really bare and dry.

The same area in 2010. It’s now very green and gorgeous.

Public restrooms now available.

The coffee shop. Lovely!

Park benches. Nice.

 View of the town church from the park.

The seawall in 2007.

Today, the seawall is lined with three-headed lampposts.

Site development plan of the Oslob Cuartel. It was inaugurated in August.

 Be sure to visit Oslob and check out the new Oslob church and plaza!