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Samboan Church
Province:  Cebu
09° 31.759N   123° 18.430E
Listed in Gallery:   Old Church

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San Miguel Arcangel Parish.

Established as a parish in 1784, the church was probably built by the secular clergy, as the Augustinians have no record of building a church at Samboan. Samboan was a visita of Tanjay in Negros. The dates for the church building are uncertain. Sited on a plateau overlooking the Ta?on Strait, the church complex has a three story watchtower facing the sea. This simple open structure has openings on all four sides, and an archway on the lower story leads to a flight of stair leading to the foot of the hill. This stairway is popularly called "Jacob's ladder." Although the Neoclassic church has a well preserved fa?ade and interior, it appears commonplace in contrast to the watchtower at the head of "Jacob's ladder" and overlooking the Ta?on Strait. The tower is somewhat run down but it is still possible to climb to the second story where the vista is stunning. From the Negros side, Samboan's whitewashed watchtower can be clearly seen, thus, betraying its function as a guardian of the Ta?on Strait and the coastal towns east and west of it.

Samboan is an abbreviation of the word Sinamboang, the origin of the name of the town. Sinamboang is a means of fishing commonly used by fishermen of the village. Like other Cebu towns' legends as to how they were named, Samboan's also came about from a language barrier between colonizers and natives. It seemed that some Spaniards came upon a group of fishermen who were engaged in sinamboang. Curious about the place, they asked for its name. But the natives though they were asking about what they were doing, and they promptly answered: sinamboang.

Samboan is a small town on a hill. But it used to be very much bigger, with Oslob and Alegria then under its territorial jurisdiction. In fact, people of Alegria were made to render forced labor for the construction of the Samboan church. It was only sometime during the middle of the 1880's that the two towns were separated from Samboan.

Waypoint narrative by: paulperez 2006     follow paulperez on Facebook