Dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, this church of Sibulan was the third built on site since the founding of the parish in the mid 19th century.
Although it became a parish in 1838, Sibulan already had a resident priest beginning in 1833. Fr. Mateo Saplad was credited with the construction of the first church and convent made of wood. Both structures were razed by fire in 1854.
Construction of a replacement was undertaken by Fr. Tomas Mezquita when he took over the parish from 1857 to 1860, and he even added a convent made of bricks, according to the book “Handurawan: Visita Iglesia Negros Y Recoletos.”
Church of bricks
When Fr. Jose Maria Cabañas succeeded him in 1860, he began the construction of a church made of bricks.
It was completed during the term of Fr. Pedro Echeverria, parish priest from 1865-1868, who also built schools and the casa tribunal.
Fr. Eugenio Sola’s contribution when he served from 187-1888 was the church’s retablos, while Fr. Manuel Clemente added the portico during his term in 1894-1898. The structure was found to be totally devastated after the Second World War.
Present day edifice
Fr. Jose Lizarraga rebuilt the St. Anthony of Padua Church in 1949 and it remains standing today. The book Handurawan states that the edifice was 43 meters long and 14 meters wide.
At the height of the Revolution in 1898, the Recollects were forced to leave Sibulan. They returned in May 1906 and continued to oversee the parish until 1984.
The church and convent had also undergone renovations under the secular clergy that now administers the parish.