Known today as Larena, this town in the Province of Siquijor was once named Cano-an and it became a separate parish back in the early 19th century.
Since it was the religious order that started administering to communities in the early part of the Spanish colonization around the mid 16th century, many towns started out as parishes.
This was also the case of Larena, which was erected into a full parish dedicated to San Vicente Ferrer on June 14, 1836 after being a visita of Siquijor for some time. A visita is a place visited by a priest from the parish it is attached to for the obligatory religious observances.
The town of Cano-an got its current name after the late governor of the Province of Negros Oriental, Demetrio Larena.
Once, Larena had a church that dated back to the Spanish period. Church historian Felipe Redondo, in a book published in 1886, described it as one of the churches in the Visayas made of tabique and with a nipa roof.
The tabique Pampango was the ancient Philippine version of wattle and daub construction. It was made by raising vertical pieces of wood interspersed with horizontal ones, while split bamboo is woven in the empty spaces between. Over these is laid a mortar from lime and sand. Tabique is a Spanish term that comes from the Arabic tashbik or wall and was first popularized in Pampanga.
Today’s Larena Church is of modern construction, with only the stone belfry a few meters serving as link to its distant past. Inside the church are beautiful murals on the Last Supper and stations of the cross.
The Church of San Vicente Ferrer is your last top in the Round Siquijor Pilgrimage.