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Churches

Apalit Parochial Church
Apalit, Pampanga
Located at the town plaza, it was built in the year 1629 - 1630 and designed in Baroque architecture. The painting on the ceilings and dome are filled with beautiful paintings and are worth studying. The style of the facade is reminiscent of European neo-classic churches. It was rebuilt by Father Antonio Redondo between the years 1876 - 1880. Its towers were finished in 1896 by the Rev. Toribio Fanjul, who purposely made them low to minimize the effects of earthquakes.

Apu Chapel
Bgry. Lourdes Sur, Angeles City, Pampanga
This is the shrine of the replica of Our Lord of the Holy Sepulchre or Santo Entierro (Apung Mamacalulu). Devotees from all over Pampanga flock to this shrine every Friday to venerate the supposedly miraculous image of Jesus Christ lying in the sepulchre. It is also every Friday when people buy household items, clothing including audio-video equipment in a makeshift market called "tiangge" at bargain prices. It was in 2012 when the chapel was decreed by Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, at the recommendation of Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, as an archdiocesian shrine during the canonical rites. Aniceto also established the chapel as a "center of mercy." The original image, a gift by Fr. Macario Paras to the Holy Rosary Parish in Brgy. Sto. Rosario in 1872, is enshrined in the same parish. Aniceto also assigned Fr. Enrique Luzung as the shrine rector. (Source: Inquirer Central Luzon, March 25, 2012)

Balanga Catholic Church Belfry
Balanga City, Bataan
Church of Balanga (Balanga, Bataan)- The spiritual ministration of Balanga formerly belonged to Abucay. Balanga became an independent missionary center in 1739. Rev. Benito Rivas, O.P., strengthened this church by fortifying its wall. Rev. Juan Antonio Vicente, O.P, roofed it with galvanized iron and decorated the interior. Rev. Mariano Ma. Minano, O.P., from 1838-1845 constructed the arch of the choir loft and made the baptismal font out of granite from Mariveles. The parochial ministration under the Filipino clergy started with Rev. Mariano Sarili, June 21, 1898. The church was used as the site for Japanese artillery bombardment of Mt. Samat where Filipino and American forces gave their last stand during the last world war.

Barasoain Church (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish)
Malolos City, Bulacan
From 1871 - 1978, a stone church was constructed to replace an earlier one made of wood, but an earthquake in 1880 ruined the church. Beginning 1885, the Augustinian Jian Giron contracted the services of a builder known only as Magpayo, who rebuilt the church from its foundations using variations of a circular motif. Proclaimed by the President of the Revolutionary Government, Emilio Aguinaldo, the church became the seat of the short-lived Philippine Republic and site of the first constitutional convention which convened with much fanfare from September 15, 1898 to the last week of February 1899 under the presidency of Pedro A. Paterno. The Assembly approved and ratified the Malolos Constitution on January 23, 1899 as drafted chiefly by Felipe G. Calderon. President Aguinaldo took his oath of office at the Barasoain Church the same day historically known as the birth of the First Philippine Republic. It was restored to its original splendor for the Philippine Centennial celebration in 1998. Also featured are the NHI Barasoain Light and Sound Museum and Ecclesiastical Museum. President Joseph Estrada took his oath of office in the same church on June 30, 1998. It earned the title Cradle of Democracy in the East and the site of the First Philippine Republic. It was declared a national landmark on August 1, 1973, when President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 260. It provides that its "preservation, restoration and/or reconstruction shall be under the supervision and control of the National Historical Commission (Institute) in collaboration with the Department of Tourism.”

Betis Catholic Church
Guagua, Pampanga
The jewel in the crown is the Betis Church (Santiago de Galicia Parish), built in the early 1700s and repaired continually throughout the 1800s. The unadorned exterior does not prepare the visitor for what he's about to witness inside: the main altar (retablo) with ornate carvings and saints peering out of their niches like ancient dolls, and the paintings on the ceiling that attract comparison with the Sistine Chapel. NCCA and National Museum declared this church a National Treasure, one of only 26 churches in the country bestowed that honor. The main attraction is the original ceiling mural done by the famous painter Simon Flores (1839-1904). Not to be missed are the original Simon Flores painting of the Holy Family, the artesian well (dug in the 1800s) in the patio - the first well in the country to be so situated, and the rare betis tree nearby, donated by Prof. Randy David, a sociologist and native of the town. A two-minute walk from the church is the restored David House, ancestral home of Randy David, which they christened Bale Pinauid or Bahay Pawid. RELATED ARTICLE: The Story of the Betis Church. The baroque-inspired Betis Church was built around 1660 and it was headed by Father Jose de la Cruz. The preliminary structure was made out of light materials which was composed mainly of wood and stucco. Fire broke out within the church several times due to these light materials so it was finally built with concrete materials in 1770. In the last quarter of 19th century, Father Manuel Camañes dug an artesian well on the north-side of the church which served as a source of potable water not only for the Betis townsfolk, but to the other nearby towns as well. On the other hand, the present-day concrete fence with caryatids was built in the 2nd quarter of the 20th century. The Nave of the Betis Church. In 1908, the rectory of the church was burned with fire and all the documents about baptism and other historical catalogues of the church turned into ashes. Beautification of the interior part of the church was extensively done by the last Spanish priest named Father Santiago Blanco in 1939. The ceiling paintings were repainted by a native of San Agustin named Macario Ligon. His assistant named Victor Ramos, who was in his teen years then was also the one who restored these paintings in the 1970s. During the Spanish-Colonial period, Betis is an independent town which has its own autonomy as a municipality. But due to migration of its inhabitants to the nearby Guagua in the American Period, it was merged to this town in 1904 under the Act 943. Today, although part of the municipality of Guagua, the Betis church has its own parochial priest and has its patron saint named St. James the Great. (Source: http://betis.wetpaint.com/page/The+Story+of+the+Betis+Church+)

Camiling Church
Camiling, Tarlac
The site of the execution of General Pedro Pedroche and his men (who were charged with rebellion) by Francisco Makabulos and his revolutionary troops.

Church of Abucay
Abucay, Bataan
Church of Abucay (Abucay, Bataan) - The spiritual ministration of Abucay was entrusted to the Dominicans in 1588. A fierce battle between the Dutch invaders and the Pampango defenders was fought in this court on June 23, 1647. Nearly two hundred Pampangos were put to death, and forty others, together with Spanish Alcalde mayor and two Dominican priests were taken prisoners to Batavia. The present church was badly damaged by the earthquake of 16 September 1852. One of the earliest printing press in the Philippines was operated in this town, where as early as 1610, Rev. Francisco Blancas de San Jose, O.P, and Don Tomas Pinpin printed several books in Spanish and Tagalog.

Church of Baler (Church of San Luis de Tolosa)
Baler, Aurora
Baler Church occupied a prominent chapter in Philippine history when for almost a year (from June 27, 1898 to June 2, 1899), it became the garrison for four Spanish officers and fifty men who staked out at he church to defend the area from Filipino revolutionaries, unaware that the Philippine Revolution was over and that Spain had already ceded the Philippines to the United States. Offer of peace and demands for surrender were refused on five occasions by an emissary of General Rios on May 29. Instead of treating them as prisoners-of-war, then President Emilio Aguinaldo issued on June 30, 1899 a decree ordering the revolutionaries to grant the Spanish soldiers safe conduct pass. Broken by starvation and tropical diseases, the depleted command of 33 men arranged a truce with the Filipino insurgents and marched out of this church across the mountains to Manila on June 2, 1899. The surviving soldiers then sailed for home and were honored as heroes by Queen Regent in the name of Alfonso XIII and the Spanish nation. In June 2002, the Philippine Senate passed a bill proclaiming June 30 as Fil-Hispano Day to commemorate what is now known as the historic "Siege of Baler".

Church of Gapan
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija
This old Roman Catholic church with its Byzantine architecture was built in a span of 16 years (1856-1872) by Augustinian missionaries, who first came to Gapan in 1595. It stands beside the old municipal hall, which was also built during that period.

Church of Hagonoy
Hagonoy, Bulacan
Church of Hagonoy (Bulacan) - Originally a chapel under the parish of Calumpit, it became a church in 1731 with Fr. Juan Albarran, an Augustinian as the first curate. It was rebuilt in 1871 by Fr. Ignacio Manzanares. The church was taken over by the Filipino clergy in 1896 with Fr. Clemente Garcia as the first Filipino curate. He was succeeded by Fr. Dr. Mariono Sevilla from 1902-1922, Fr. Exequiel Morales, 1922-1936. Fr. Celestino Rodriguez, curate since 1936 improved the church assisted by the Congregation of the Religiosas de la Virgen Maria (R.V.M.)

Church of Hermosa
Hermosa, Bataan
The spiritual ministration of Hermosa known before as Llana Hermosa belonged formerly to Orani. Llana Hermosa, as composed of Mabuyan and Maboco, became an independent missionary center in 1717. While the City of Manila was being occupied by the British, the Dominican Corporation held there its provincial chapters in 1763. The church was destroyed by fire several times.

Church of Lubao
Lubao, Pampanga
Built in 1572, by Architect Fr. Antonio Herrera, the Augustinian mission constructed this church in 1614-1630 out of locally made bricks and sand mixed in egg albumin. The church was occupied in 1898 by the revolutionary forces, used as hospital in 1899 by the American forces, and was destroyed in 1942 by the Japanese shelling. It was then repaired in 1949-1952 under the direction of Fr. Melencio Garcia. It measures 82.45m. long, 21.12m. wide and 10.50m. high. The walls are 2.46m thick. It has one nave originally painted by Italian artists, Dibella and Alberoni. The five story belfry 15.31m. high remains unrestored.

Church of Magalang
Magalang, Pampanga
San Bartolome Church - Established by the Augustinians in 1605, it was the scene of the encounter between the followers of Andres Malong led by Melchor de Vera and the Spanish troops in 1660. Moved to San Bartolome in 1734, the church was swept by Parua river in the flood of 1863. It was re-established in Barrio San Pedro on December 13, 1863. The 3-aisle church is made of stone and wood. It is 55m. long, 21m. wide and 7m. high. Interplay of arches, as seen on the main entrance, doors and niches, pediments and fenestrations, including those of the bellowers and adjacent convent suggest a touch of baroque.

Church of Meycauayan
Meycauayan, Bulacan
Church of Meycuayan (Bulacan) - The first church was destroyed by a typhoon in 1588. The construction of the present church was started shortly after 1668 when the town was moved from Lagado to the present site. Reverend Francisco Gasuena, OFM, who built the belfry in 1800, preached the gospel in China for six years, and was expelled from that kingdom due to opposition to his religious teachings. He served this parish for 31 years and died here on Nov. 18, 1831. The convent and church were seriously damaged by the typhoon of 1882.

Church of Orani
Orani, Bataan
Church of Orani (Bataan) - Orani became an independent missionary center in 1714. The church and convent of Orani, repaired in 1792 and 1836, were badly damaged by the earthquake of September 16, 1852. They were built and improved under the supervision of the Rev. Bartolome Alvarez del Manzano, O.P. in 1891. They were destroyed by fire on March 16, 1938 which razed about three fourths of Orani including the town hall, the Tercena, former Bataan High School and later Orani Elementary School building. The church was reconstructed in September 1938.

Church of Orion
Orion, Bataan
Church of Orion (Bataan) - The spiritual ministration of Orion belonged formerly to Abucay. Orion became an independent missionary center in 1667. Its first minister was Rev. Domingo Perez. The church and the convent were badly damaged by the earthquake of September in 1856, and were repaired in 1854. The Rev. Ulpiano Herrero constructed the beautiful sacristy and marble altars. In this town Cayetano Arellano, eminent Filipino jurist and statesman and first Filipino chief Justice of the Supreme Court was born on March 2, 1847. Francisco Baltazar (Balagtas), author of Florante at Laura, lived in this town from July 22, 1842 to Feb. 20, 1862.

Church of Penaranda
Penaranda, Nueva Ecija
Church of Penaranda (Nueva Ecija) - The church of Penaranda was erected in 1869 by Fr. Florentino Samonte. Construction was continued by Fr. Candicho San Miguel from 1879-1881 and by Fr. Santos Vega from 1887-1889. From 1889 to 1891, the parochial house of bricks and wood was built by Fr. Valentin Gatode la Fuente. Fr. Alvaro Callega built the original church with thatch-roof and stone walls.

Church of Quingua
Plaridel, Bulacan
Church of Quingua (Plaridel, Bulacan) - This was the first church built in this old town by the Augustinian mission from 1580-1595. It was transferred to the town proper in 1605. The church was improved in 1722. The first Filipino parish priest Rev. P. Victorino Lopez joined the revolutionary movement as a leader under the command of Kapitan Jose Serapio. The convent was made the American headquarters in 1898.

Church of Samal
Samal, Bataan
Church of Samal (Bataan) - The spiritual ministration of Samal was entrusted to the Dominicans in 1596. The town was attacked by Dutch invaders in April 1647 but the local garrison of Pampanga under the command of Alejo Aguas compelled the Dutch forces to retreat. The church and the convent built by the Rev. Jeromino Belen, O.P. were ruined during the Dutch invasion. In 1896 the church was burned by the Katipuneros to drive out their enemies in the convent. The Rev. Justo Quesada rebuilt the church and convent in 1903.

Church of Sta. Monica
Angat, Bataan
One of the most beautiful churches in the Philippines and also one of the oldest, estimated to be 400 years old. It merges marvelous Baroque architecture and contemporary motifs. Enclosed in its stone-carved facade of baroque images of saints is a ceiling frescoed with a "modernized" Sistine Chapel's famous Ceiling. Alterations include vignettes covering Pope John Paul II's World Youth Day visit to the Philippines in 1995.

Holy Rosary Cathedral
Angeles City, Pampanga
Located at the intersection of Sto. Rosario and Sto. Entierro Streets, the Holy Rosary Church was constructed from 1877 to 1896 by the townspeople of Angeles by forced labor system known as "polos y servicios" imposed by the Spanish colonial government. From 1899 to 1900 the church was used by the US Army as a military hospital. In 1896 - 1898, the backyard of the church became the execution grounds to the Spanish forces in shooting down Filipino rebels and suspects. It has a beautiful transient and measures 70m. long, 20m. wide and 12m. high. The dominant element of facade is the symmetry created by recessed arched windows which are in harmony with the segmented ones.

Malolos Cathedral
Malolos City, Bulacan
Malolos Cathedral became the presidential headquarters of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898.

Marilao Catholic Church
Marilao, Bulacan
Church of Marilao (Bulacan) - Originally a chapel, Fr. Vicente de Talavera erected the first church on 21 April 1796 simultaneously with the founding of the town and parish of Marilao. St. Michael the Archangel was enthroned patron saint. A bigger church was constructed in 1848 and was finished in 1868. It was gutted by fire during the Fil-American War. The church was reconstructed to its original size in 1922. Restoration was fully done in 1967 under the supervision of Fr. Jose M. Salas.

Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Metropolitan Cathedral (City of San Fernando) - The present church may have been built by the end of the 18th century, constructed most probably by Fr. Sebastian Moreno, its parish priest in 1756, and was restored in 1808. The church measures 70m. long, 13m. wide and 11m. high. The round majestic dome rising from the rotanda of the transcept is reminiscent of the baroque style with some renaissance touch. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. President Emilio F. Aguinaldo and his cabinet viewed the Philippine Revolutionary Army from the windows of the convento on October 9, 1898. The church and the convento were burned by the Philippine Revolutionary Army on orders of Gen. Antonio Luna on May 4, 1899. It was again destroyed by fire in 1939, and later restored by Pampango Architect Fernando H. Ocampo in 1948. It was canonically erected on June 25, 1975. The looming structure of white, beige, gray and maroon may look ancient, but both exterior and interior are relatively new, really neo-Art Noveau with faux columns.

Minalin Church
Minalin, Pampanga
The Minalin Church (Sta. Monica Parish), located on the town's highest ground called burul (the town had moved to its present site due to flooding, hence 'minalis,' later corrupted to minalin) but despite its elevation, silt from the river has already invaded its beautiful church. The peeled palitada reveals the original red brick walls, giving the church its unique old-rose touches. The ancient mural paintings in the adjoining convent, one of which is a primitive-looking map with details of trees, ducks, crows, a boat, a hunter and a crocodile. A detail not to be missed are the corbels and beams in the convent and high up in the church's ceiling, with carvings that some say depict pre-Hispanic pagan deities like naga (serpent), dapu (crocodile) and galura (eagle), but Siuala ding Meangubie believes they depict only one creature, bulig (mudfish).

Obando Church
Obando, Bulacan
Church of Obando (Bulacan) - The church of Obando was built by the Franciscan Order headed by Rev. P. Manuel de Olivencia, the first curate of Obando on 29 April 1754. The second church was destroyed by heavy shelling during the 1945 liberation. It was rebuilt for 2 years through the help of parishioners under Rev. P. Marcos C. Punzol. Obando town fiesta is celebrated every 17th - 19th of May in honor of San Pascual Baylon, Santa Clara de Asis, patroness of fishermen & farmers, and La Concepcion de Nuestra or known as Virgen de Salambao. This church is the venue of the famous fertility dance - a three-day dancing where childless couples appeal for heavenly intercession to the Virgin Mary.

Our Lady of Divine Grace Parish Church
Mabalacat, Pampanga
This church was said to have been established in the year 1768, but a more realistic date would be around the early 1830s. The oldest bell in the parish is dated 1835, during the term of Fr. Jose Varela, the town’s first cura parocco. Cast by 19th c. Quiapo bell maker, Mac.(ario) E Los Angeles, the bell pre-dates those cast by the more renown Hilario Sunico. A second bell, dated 1846 is dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Grasia ( as spelled). It is certain therefore that a structure of more permanent materials must have existed earlier to house these bells. The Estado General of 1879 reports that the parish was elevated to a vicariate status under the titular patronage of Nuestra Snra. De Guia around 1836. In November 23, 1881, in compliance with the Recollect Provincial Chapter of 1876, the Mabalacat parish was named as one of the head parishes (“priorato”) of the San Nicolas de Tolentino province, together with Sta. Cruz, Balayan in Batangas and Boac, Marinduque. The Recoletos have always had an early devotion to the Nuestra Señora de las Gracias (Our Lady of Graces) and it is certain that they propagated this among Mabalaqueño converts. The original shrine in Guadalupe, Makati was first dedicated to her Divine Grace. The imposing image of the seated Mater Divina Gratiae in the main altar was installed during the term of Fr. Felipe Roque. In one of his visits to Rome, he beheld the a similar image in San Giovanni Rotonda (home of stigmatist saint, Fr. Pio) and was inspired to have a copy carved after the original image. The Virgin is flanked by the figures of San Joaquin and St. Ana, installed through the sponsorships of Dna. Paz vda. de Wijangco and Dna. Maningning de Naguiat respectively. The recent repainting of the images was done in 2002. (Source: http://viewsfromthepampang.blogspot.com)

St. Agustine Parish Church
Iba, Zambales
The faith first came to the territory of the diocese in 1607 through the efforts of the missionaris of the Order of the Recollects of St. Augustine. They settled in Subic, Masinloc, Sta. Cruz, Iba, and Cabangan where they established the first centers of the faith. The administration of the faith in the province changed hands when the territory was transferred to the care of the Columban Fathers in 1951. The prelature of Iba was erected on October 18, 1955 as suffrage of the Archdiocese of Manila. The Most Rev. Henry Byrne was appointed the first prelate ordinary and he took ecumenical possession of concentrating on their work. On November 15, 1982, Iba was elevated to diocese. Upon the death of Bishop Byrne, the Most Rev. Paciano B. Aniceto, then auxiliary bishop of Tuguegarao, was appointed second bishop of Iba. On January 31, 1989, he was appointed Archbishop of San Fernando, Pampanga. The Most Rev. Deogracias Yniguez Jr. succeeded him on December 27, 1989.

San Andres Parish Church
Masinloc, Zambales
The Augustinian Recollects began construction on this church in the 18th century. It was completed in the 19th century, and has stood mostly intact until recently, when a strong earthquake inflicted extensive damage to the structure. The choir loft features a distinctively carved polychromed portal (Credit: NCCA). The church is made of adobe and was declared as a national cultural treasure by the National Museum in 2001.

San Guillermo Parish Church
Bacolor, Pampanga
San Guillermo Parish church is one of the oldest and largest churches in Pampanga. It was constructed by the Augustinian friars in 1576 on the lot of Don Guillermo Manabat, a rich landlord believed to be the founder of Bacolor. The church was restored by Fr. Manuel Diaz in 1897. The church measured 56m. long, 15m. wide and 12m. high. It has a central nave and an ample and well-lighted transcept with windows. The main retablo, side retablos and pulpit are gilded with goldleaf. The richness of the decoration of Bacolor is indicative of the advanced stage of its baroque style. In spite of the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which half-buried the church on Oct. 1, 1995, masses are still held every Sunday morning.

Visitors go in the church through the choirloft windows, and are greeted inside by beautifully restored retablos dug up from several feet of lahar. The citizens of Bacolor take pride in their rich heritage which is why they painstakingly excavated the ornately carved wooden main and side altars which are now back to their pristine condition.

Villa de Bacolor was the capital of Pampanga from 1754 to 1904, and at one time served as the capital of the Philippines from 1762 to 1765 when the British invaded Manila. Once Pampanga’s best preserved heritage town, it was completely buried in lahar in 1995. Today, remnants of Bacolor opulence are now housed in the Museo de La Salle, a “Kapampangan” museum in Dasmariñas, Cavite, where the Santos-Joven-Panlilio house and its contents were transferred before the town was buried by lahar. The museum also contains pieces from the celebrated Arnedo-Gonzales clan from Sulipan, Apalit. (Source: Ivan Henares: Ivan About Town Blog)

San Luis Church
San Luis, Pampanga
The San Luis Church (San Luis Gonzaga Parish) is located in a place that used to be called Cabagsac, referring to the proliferation of fruit bats. In fact, today, a fishnet is permanently installed high above the altar precisely to catch thousands of bats that are roosting inside the church. The interior is dark, has an ambience of antiquity and mystery and overpowering odor of bat urine. The main attraction is the three-tower facade, perhaps one of its kind in the country. Not to be missed is the ancient cemetery located in a hidden corner at the back of the church, with some tombstones dating back to the 1800s and bearing the names of the town's prominent families, including Taruc.

San Miguel Catholic Church
San Miguel, Bulacan
More than 200 years old; built by the Augustinian friars

San Rafael Catholic Church
San Rafael, Bulacan
Site of the bloody battle between the Filipinos and the Spanish forces wherein the blood that drenched the church was ankle-deep.

San Sebastian Church
Tarlac City, Tarlac
Located in front of the Municipal Hall, the church was the site of the revolutionary congress. The demolished Tarlac Catholic convent had become the highest Filipino seat of learning when the Literario-Sientifico Universidad of Malolos, Bulacan was transferred to Tarlac on March 31, 1889. The first graduation ceremonies on Sept. 29, 1890 were held inside the Catholic Convent premises. Diplomas then were signed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.

St. Andrew Parish Church
Candaba, Pampanga
St. Andrew Parish Church (Candaba) - The simplicity of line and scarcity of ornamentation are the main traits of the facade of this church, the triangular pediment with its protruding center helps maintain the simplicity of line. A new feature of the facade is the depressed three-centered arches of the windows on the second level. The second level is separated by a cornice decorated with geometric designs.

St. Anne Parish Church
Sta. Ana, Pampanga
St. Anne Parish Church (Sta. Ana) - The church is 58m long, 14m wide and 13 m high. The recently applied coat of red and white paint has turned this centuries old church into a gaudy 20th century anomaly. The massive hexagonal four-storey bellower has blind and open recesses, keeping with the symmetry of the facade. It ends in a balustrated dome topped by a cross.

St. Catherine Alexandra Church
Porac, Pampanga
St. Catherine Parish Church (Arayat) - One of the oldest churches in Pampanga and known for its classical architectures. No records on builder and date of construction of present church. The church measures 70m. long, 16m. wide and 12m. high. The presbytery, ceiling and the main altar have been recently renovated. The original stone of the facade has been covered with cement and painted white.

St. John the Baptist Church
Calumpit, Bulacan
Built in 1572, the St. John the Baptist Church is the oldest church in Bulacan. Constructed under the supervision of Augustinian priest Diego Vivar - Ordonez, the church has been a mute witness to the Filipinos' struggle against Spanish, American and Japanese rule. Inside the church is a tunnel that, as legend would have it, was used by priests during the Spanish regime to keep gold, religious statues and ornate jewelry hidden from the sight of treasure hunters. It is the birthplace of Christianity in the province.

St. Joseph Parish Church
Floridablanca, Pampanga
St. Joseph Parish Church (Floridablanca) - Pseudo-Gothic elements blend subtly along the classic design of the structure. The flame-like arch of the main entrance and lateral doors provide contrast to the triangular pediment. The structures are simple and the large voids lend drama to an otherwise bare design.

St. Michael Archangel Parish Church
Masantol, Pampanga
St. Michael Archangel Parish Church (Masantol) - The church was built by the parish priest of Macabebe who attended to the spiritual needs of Masantol. The center bell tower is of renaissance influence. The cemented facade contrasts with natural texture and color of the original stones at the sides.

St. Nicholas of Tolentino Parish Church
Macabebe, Pampanga
St. Nicholas of Tolentino Parish Church (Macabebe) - It was founded in 1575 under the advocation of San Nicolas de Tolentino. The church measures 70m. long, 17m. wide and 11m. high. The facade of the church has scantly ornamentation and its architectural symmetry is lost amid and the various forms assumed the windows and the main entrance. Simple neo-classic lines of the facade.

St. Rose of Lima Church
Paniqui, Tarlac
Built during the Spanish colonization, and one of the oldest in the country. This structure underwent extensive reconstruction in the early 1970s.

Sta. Lucia Parish Church
Sasmoan, Pampanga
Sta. Lucia Parish Church (Sasmoan) - The church is 45m long and 11m wide and 6m high. An author described it as "very beautiful and of very good condition". When looking at the complex of church and convent, one is stuck by the impression that the round and rectangular openings are capriciously aligned. This makes the facade both interesting and unique. Attracts devotees from all over the provinces to honor Sta. Lucia and ask their petitions. She is believed to be a miraculous saint.

Sta. Maria Church
Sta. Maria, Bulacan
Church of Sta Maria (Bulacan) - The town of Sta Maria de Caboan was founded in 1602 and called San Miguel till 1613. Its first minister was the Rev. Antonio de la Llane. A church, built in 1613 by the Rev. Gerocino Vasquez, was destroyed during the Chinese uprising of 1639. Another church completed in 1669, succumbed to earthquakes in 1880. In 1891, the Rev. Leopaldo Arellano reerected the church but it was destroyed again by the earthquake of August 20, 1937.

Santa Rita de Cascia Parish Church
Sta. Rita, Pampanga
Building of the church had to be delayed until late 19th century due to economic adjuristicial conditions. The single-nave church is 55m long, 13m wide and 10m high. It has a large and well lit transept. The solid brass facade has baroque characteristics and the single columns are relatively slender. The parish is the site where the Holy Relic of Saint Rita de Cascia is enshrined. The parish first obtained the First Class Relic of the saint through the help and assistance of His Excellency, Most Rev. Riccardo Fontana of Spoleto-Norcia, Italy, the archdiocese to which Cascia belongs. Archbishop Fontana forwarded the Relic through the mediation of the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila to Archbishop Paciano Aniceto who in turn handed it over to the parish of Santa Rita de Cascia on August 17, 2008. The First Class Relic is from the flesh “ex carne”of the Saint. As noted in its accompanying Certificate of Authenticity, the relic was part of the last batch extracted from the incorrupt body of Saint Rita in 20 August 1972. The reliquary is laid open for public veneration every August 17. St. Rita of Cascia (1381) was born in the Italian town of Roccaporena. When her husband and twin sons died, she entered the Augustinian Nuns. The next 40 years of her life saw St. Rita devoting herself to a life of prayer, and works and deeds of charity as dictated by the rules of St Augustine. At age 60, while meditating before the cross, a wound seeming afflicted by a thorn appeared on her forehead. St. Rita began boring the sign of stigmatization which is considered being one with Jesus. Because of the stigmata, she suffered in pain for the next 15 years which she courageously accepted. St. Rita died on May 22,1457. Her intact and incorrupt body is kept and honored in the shrine at her hometown on Cascia, Italy. Log on to http://www.santaritaparishasf.org/










 

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