Detail of Bantay Church pursuant to the project modifications indicated by the O.P. Advisory Board
Patronatos 1863-1883, SDS 2130, Folio S-336
The April 30, 1883 Bantay Church architectural plan (82 cm. x 30 cm.) that was drawn on a large cloth (82 cm. x 30 cm.) in 1/200 scale, consists of four perspectives. They are the front view, elevation profile, longitudinal and cross sections of the church. The plan adopted the project modifications indicated by the advisory board of the O.P. (Order of Preachers). The signature of the Inspector General can be noted but the name is not legible.
Due to the large size of the plan only the illustration of the Alzado de Frente or front view is shown here. There are visible ink marks due to migration. This migration may be caused by folding or due to water spoilage. The plan has been cleaned, reinforced with archival cloth and kept spread out in a map cabinet.
Commonly known as the Bantay Church, the construction of Saint Augustine Church, began during the time of Fr. Alonso Cortes, O.S.A., 1691-1692. Fr. Eduardo Navarro, O.S.A. then refurbished church from 1870-1885. He may have used the 1883 architectural plan as reference. The structures are made of bricks and harigue (wooden posts). The church is around 45 meters long and 11.69 meters wide.
A major intervention was the plastering of the facade in the 1950s. Other noted revisions done from time to time were the applications of different hues to contrast with the red brown brick walls. The church pillars, door and window frames were painted white in the 1980s.
The originally open windows located at the left and the right sides of the middle bay were eventually covered with illustrated panels. The left panel depicts the Virgin Mary looking over the people and town of Bantay. The right panel depicts Our Lady of Charity with the inscription “Nuestra Senora de Caridad, Reina Ti Kailokuan, 12 Enero, 1956.” This pertains to the statue’s coronation by the Apostolic Nuncio Egidio Vagnozi.
The recessed center niche initially reserved for the Virgin Mary now contains the statue of Saint Augustine. The top circle design has a relief sculpture of the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. The two octagonal steeples were installed in 2017. The tower and church were damaged in the earthquake of July 27, 2022.