Mahatao Church (San Carlos Borromeo Church )

San Carlos Borromeo Church also known as Mahatao Church, is a Roman Catholic church located in Mahatao, Batan Island, Batanes.

The earliest church in Mahatao was constructed in 1787. It was initially made of light materials but underwent modifications that by the time Mahatao evolved from being a visita to a vicariate under Fr. Tomas Sanchez albeit unofficially in 1789, the first stone church in Mahatao was built.

The first church was partially damaged during a very strong typhoon in 1872 which give way to the reconstruction of a stronger and more artistic structure in 1873.

On September 19, 1898, the Katipunan revolutionaries ransacked the church. There were records that during this time, the original gold Episcopal crosier of the image of San Carlos as well as the gold jewelry pieces of the Lady of the Rosary and the Sto. Niño were stolen

The church is made of stone and lime, common building materials in Batanes.  It has uneven wall thickness due to addition of step buttresses and even buttress walls. Its interiors, decorated in Baroque style, showcase floral designs sunburst ornaments painted in polychrome and gilt which lends a golden glow among the statuary.

The San Carlos Borromeo Church was listed by the National Museum and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as one of the 26 churches in the Philippines that are recognized as cultural icons.

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