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The Parish Church of St. Dominic de Guzman is the most prominent landmark in the quaint and picturesque town of Sto. Domingo. Built in 1820, the church is built with massive solid stone walls unsupported by pillars. Two dome-shaped belfries give a graceful symmetry to the church. Since cement was not yet used during the construction of the Sto. Domingo church, massive stone walls were built using a mixture of lime, egg albumin, and “tangguli” (or molasses) that serve as binder and hardener.
Sto. Domingo Church | by Rouel
The church was built through forced labor. Workers shed sweat, tears, blood and even their lives for the construction of the church.The town of Sto. Domingo was originally named Libog from the corrupted Bicol word “libot” which means roundabout. The poblcation was off the main route between the trade center towns of Tabaco and Legazpi City, but had to be included in the route for trading and government purposes, thus a roundabout road had to be constructed.
Established as a separate municipality of Ibalon in 1749, Republic Act. 2520, enacted by Congresswoman Tecla S. Ziga, provided for the change of name Libog to Sto. Domingo in 1959. Formal proclamation of its new name was made on August 4, 1959 which coincide with the feast day of town’s patron saint. The builders of this town were expert planners as the poblacion was so designed that all downhill streets were parallel and the cross streets were also parallel. Provisions were made for two spacious public plazas, market site, a wide church site and a government–building compound all clustered along the main thoroughfare.
St. Dominic de Guzman Church Interiors | Photo by Shubert Ciencia
The town is the birthplace of “Sarung Banggi”, a classical bicol love song composed by an illustrious son of Sto. Domingo, Potenciano Gregorio in 1910. It is also the center of the resitance movement against the Japanese, headed by Col. Faustino M. Flor, a native of this town and founder of the guerilla movement. Sto. Domingo is also well-known for its jet black sand beaches and numerous resorts. In fact, it is recognized as the resort town of Albay.
Sto. Domingo Church | Photo by Patrick Pantangco
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