Visita Iglesia: Anini-y Church Antique

During our Photo Ride with the DPI Group, I got a chance to visit the only preserved colonial church in Antique, the Anini-y Church. Antique had a lot of colonial churches built during the Spanish settlement but most of them were completely damaged and ruined by time. Anini-y Church was the only church that was preserved.

Anini-y Church

The first structure of the church was (33mx13m), constructed by the Augustinians around 1630 to 1638. The present coral structure on the other hand (48m x 12.5m) was built in 1845 close to the original church. The corals used were sourced from the nearby shoreline.

The convento was almost totally demolished during the world war, but the Mill Hill priest Fr. William Erickweld preserved the ruins while building a modern convento beside it. In 1973, the church roof and back wall were damaged by a typhoon, but Fr. Erickweld took pains to restore the church.

Anini-y Church Marker

In 1902, the church was abandoned and it was occupied by the Aglipayans for about 4 years. In 1906, the Mill Hill Fathers, a religious congregation from England arrived and took over the responsibility of the Church and the religious needs of the townsfolks.

Fr. William Erickweld, one of the Mill Hill Fathers spearheaded the efforts in preserving the ruins of the convent due to the war while building a new one beside it. He also led the restoration of the church when it was severely damaged by a typhoon and the aftermath brought about by of the Second World War in 1973.

Anini-y Church Belfry

The church belongs to 19th century revivalist styles, incorporating traditional elements from the Baroque like the triangular pediment, supported by a single story, divided into there sections by engaged pilaster. Between the central pilasters is the arched entrance to this single-naved church, pleasingly decorated by rosettes. Flanking the entrance are expanses of wall decorated by niches above, which are rose windows. The pediment is likewise ornamented with a niche and flanking blind occuli. The facade comes to an end in stout pilasters ornamented above with finials. The three-story bell tower is attached to the church; its lowest floor is quadrilateral while the upper floors are hexagonal. Arched windows pierce the tower and a domical roof crowns the whole structure.

The town of Anini-y may have derived its name from the local anini, meaning place of small rivers and was first settled by wandering fishermen from Hamtic, the original capital and namesake of the province, and by migrants from the island of Cagayancillo in the early 1600s.

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