Parish Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva of Pardo

Official Name: Parish Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva of Pardo[1]

Classification Status: Classified Historic Structures (covering all Colonial Churches and other Houses of Worship, per NHCP Res. No. 3, s. 1991)[1]

Town or City: Cebu City

Other Declarations: Marked Structure, NHCP; Registered Property, Cebu City[1]

The Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church, a 19th-century Roman Catholic church and historical site, is situated in Poblacion Pardo, a few kilometers south of Cebu City.

Originally part of San Nicolas Parish, Pardo Church gained independence as a parish on April 10, 1866. A new church was needed as the old one had fallen into disrepair. Spanish architect Domingo de Escondrillas proposed a Byzantine-style design in 1877. Construction took place between 1880 and 1893 under the guidance of Fr. Manuel Ibeas, with repairs conducted in 1912 during Fr. Venerado Reynes' tenure.

In 2013, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake caused damage to the church. Restoration efforts, funded by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and donations, were completed in 2016, coinciding with the church's 150th anniversary since becoming a parish.

Recognized as a heritage structure, the church received a Level II historical marker from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines on July 11, 2016.

Perched on a hilltop like Carcar Church and Minglanilla Church, the church features a relief of the Eye of Providence symbol at the entrance, enclosed in a triangle representing the Trinity, surrounded by twelve stars denoting the 12 tribes of Israel. Below this is an emblem of the Augustinian religious order.

The central facade includes a bell tower rising five stories high. Pilasters and open arches adorn the entrance portico and the first three stories, leading to a balcony. The upper two floors house a steeple with blind and open arches, a belfry, and a cross-crowned spire. Two round domed towers flank the bell tower, adding a unique touch to the church's architecture.[2]