Today’s Espousal of Our Lady Parish Church is a modern structure, inaugurated just at the turn of the 21st century.
But the very first church was built in the early 1900s and served the people of Mandurriao in Iloilo City until the 1940s when it was burned down by guerillas during World War II.
Parish records said Fr. Felimon Galutina ordered the creation of a temporary place of worship made out of coconut trunks bearing a nipa roof when the war ended. Mandurriao had to make do with this makeshift church for 35 years.
When Msgr. Perfecto Capalla took over as parish priest, he oversaw the construction of a more permanent structure in the 1970s. He was also behind the building of an adjacent two-storey convent and Cursillo House.
Major church renovation
A major renovation happened during the tenure of Fr. Andres Sagra from 1985-1998. The first thing he did was put up a concrete fence around the church for security purposes using funds from the 1985 May Flower Festival.
He then spearheaded fund-raising activities beginning in 1987 or 1988 for church renovation.
Bishop Fernando Capalla, Archbishop of Davao, presided over the formal launching of the church reconstruction during the patronal feast on November 26, 1989.
A building plan prepared by the late Engr. Timoteo Jusayan was fine tuned by Engr. Ermelo Porras and Architect Rolando Siendo. The final design was later approved by then Jaro Archbishop Alberto Piamonte.
Blessing and inauguration
Fr. Severino M. Montiague administered the second phase of the project when he took over the parish on September 8, 1990. This lasted from 1991-1997.
The reconstructed Espousal of Our Lady Parish Church was blessed and inaugurated in December 1997. The cost of its rebuilding amounted to around 15 million pesos.