Discovering Pitalo

The Pitalo Church in Pitalo, San Fernando, is one of the smallest churches in Cebu. I am not exactly sure about its actual size, but it is so small that it is often mistaken as a local chapel. I’ve traveled to the Southern tip of Cebu so many times but I’ve never actually tried making a quick stop to find out more about it (even though it’s located just along the South National Road.) Which is exactly why my last trip (which involved an accident, unfortunately) was extremely memorable for me. For the very first time, I decided to step on the brakes and investigate. Here’s what I found out.

The church is literally right next to the national highway.

Church arch with an image of patron saint San Vicente Ferrer.

Church grounds. Note the poso (fresh-water well) right in front of it. 🙂

Church facade. I’m guessing this was built in 1925. So that would make this church 90 years old. Wow!

A glimpse of the church’s ceiling art. I wasn’t able to come in because there was an ongoing mass.

Full house. Yep, it’s a pretty small church. I’m guessing it could accommodate only around a hundred people.

A grotto and a pond just outside the church.

So the following photos were taken just yesterday. I came back to accompany a friend who is a long-time devotee of San Vicente Ferrer. This trip was around 3 weeks since my accident. Luckily, the church this time was quiet and I was free to take photos.

Church interior. Look at those paintings on the door. Very nice.

Cutest pews ever!

I don’t normally appreciate tiles but just take a look at that! Beautiful, right?

Main altar. If you look closely, the main image of San Vicente Ferrer is not facing the churchgoers.

Beside the main altar, you will find a staircase that leads straight to this candle-offering room.

It is a known practice among Catholics to light a candle when praying.

And right next to it is another room where the image of San Vicente Ferrer is housed.

Image of San Vincente Ferrer. Look closely, the main church interior can be seen right behind him.

Devotees touching the image of the San Vicente.

Have you been to Pitalo? Tell us about your experience.

One thought on “Discovering Pitalo

  1. Just an FYI,this is actually a chapel of Sr San Vicente Ferrer and not a church. I know coz I grew up in this town. Though this chapel celebrates a single mass every Sunday by the visiting priest from San Fernando parish church. We don’t have our own priest so the chapel is being managed by officers who were elected by the local residents. As you have noticed this chapel is big compared to others that oftentimes people like you had mistakenly thought this is a church.
    Another important facts of San Vicente Ferrer are his miracles.He has so many devotees not just from Cebu but even far from other parts of Philippines such as Visayas and Mindanao areas who come to celebrate the big fiesta every April to show gratitude of the miracles and help they received such as those but not limited to healing of the illnesses and successes(business,professions etc..) that which most people consider those as work of miracles.We celebrate three fiestas in a year.That is 2 small fiesta( February and July) and the big one is April which is recognized as the main. How did it happen? Well let me explain it this way for better understanding coz I might confuse you.

    First Fiesta in second week of February(end of 40 days novena of Sr San Vicente Ferrer).It is considered a small fiesta celebration considering the locals primarily celebrate this by way of patron saint parade(procession) and mass.

    Second Fiesta(April) the biggest fiesta celebration, every locals prepare foods and welcome anyone who walks into their home to eat and drink.There are many activities and entertainments. There is no exact date for this fiesta celebration because it is solely based on the date of easter Sunday.The 7 day prayer Novena starts on easter Sunday.

    Third fiesta is on second week of July which is also considered a small one just like in February fiesta. The reason for this 3rd fiesta is based on the commemoration of the miracle of lights. According to our local ancestors that during way back when, there was a brown out(loss of power supply) to the entire town however the lights in this chapel turned on by itself beyond explanation. No generator and no back up battery or whatsoever.
    So there you have it. Please don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any questions.

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