Category Archives: Churches

Visit to the San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco

A visit to Paco district in Manila is incomplete without a short visit to the famed San Fernando de Dilao Church or popularly known as Paco Church. The church also served as a pro-Cathedral of Manila from February 7, 2012 to April 9, 2014, when  Manila Cathedral had undergone retrofitting and some restoration works. This was the second church that was designated as pro-Cathedral after San Miguel of Archangel Church in San Miguel , Manila .

Paco Church during the Filipino-American war destroyed around 1899 ( photo courtesy : Mr. Dennis Maturan )

I have visited this church several times whenever i visit some of our distant relatives , cousin or friend within the vicinity.

Paco Church around late 1930’s during American commonwealth ( photo courtesy : Mr. Dennis Raymond Maturan) notice that there were no clock

Paco is one of the old districts of Manila. I would recall that we would also pass the old neo-classical Paco railway station, Paza Dilao , Philippine -Columbian Association and the Paco market.

San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church post war period around 1960’s with its clock ( Photo courtesy : Mr. Dennis Raymond Maturan )

” Dilao ” or ” Dilaw” is a Tagalog word for yellow , in reference for turmeric or Curcuma longa which used to be found or planted within the area. Paco is also the site of the Japanese settlement in the country when about 3,000 to 3,500 Japanese resided in the district. The settlement also one of the oldest known recorded Japanese town in the world.

entrance to the church

The highest known Daimyo ( Feudal Lord)  was Dom Justo Takayama (born Hikogorō Shigetomo) (1552 – 3 or 5 February 1615) was buried within the district.

Most of the original Japanese immigrants have gradually assimilated into the local population, a lot of them have intermarried local people. Some have changed their surname while some have settled in nearby provinces by the mid-17th and early 18th century.

The church inside is notable for its Romanesque-Byzantine interior with recently  renovated Italian Baroque styled Altar, most notably the Latin inscriptions.

Historial marker installed in 1936

Historical marker installed in 1999 which marked the 400th anniversary of the parish 

dome of the church with latin inscriptions

side altar –right

sacred heart of mary and jesus statue -left side

Saint  Ferdinand III

King Ferdinand III – born around 1198/ 1199/1201 – 30 May 1252.  Ferdinand was canonized in 1671 by Pope Clement X  and, in Spanish, he is known as Fernando el Santo, San Fernando or San Fernando Rey.

Santo Entierro 

Santo Entierro is a life sized sculpture of dead Christ . Parishioner would call the dead Christ as Nuestro Señor Padre de Santo Sepulcro also known as Señor de Paco. The dead Christ was encased in an elaborate carved wooden casket with glass and glass lantern.

The devotion started in the late 19th century. The dead Christ is normally paraded during Good Friday celebration with the district.

When we visited the church , the main altar is fully decorated with white orchids and flowers. There seems to be a wedding ceremony.

 

Address : 1521 Paz St. , Paco, Manila City

 

How to Commute: 

There are many ways on how to visit San Fernando de Dilao church , Fastest way is to ride LRT line 1 and hop off from Pedro Gil station ( formerly known as Herran Street ) there are jeepneys with Paco , Santa Ana signage and just drop-off at the Paco market or Paco Catholic School.

Paco PNR station – a short walk or one ride ( jeep) from the station will lead to the church

 

 

 

 

 

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A Visit to Santuario de San Ezekiel Moreno

Santuario de San Ezekiel Moreno  is a shrine dedicated to Saint Ezekiel Moreno  C-5 Extension Road, Pulanglupa, in honor of the Spanish Agustinian priest who served as parish priest of Las Piñas from 1876 to 1879.

Saint Ezekiel Moreno facade

This was part of the extensive ” Semana Santa” -Visita Iglesia tour of churches in Pasay , Las Piñas and Parañaque cities.  From Las Piñas Bamboo Organ Church, One can walk or ride 1 jeep going to the site.

pilgrims from nearby provinces would also visit the church

One would climb the stairs going to the main door which had an elaborate wood carvings .

Architecture 

The modern stylized Spanish Baroque-inspired Santuario de San Ezekiel Moreno is designed by architect Claude Edwin Andrews. There are columbarium units located at the ground floor of the church are managed by Golden Haven Memorial Park. A Villar group of company.

The columbarium units are still on the process of finishing and the landscaping of the surrounding area is still ongoing. While the memorial park is located nearby.

church interior

The church was finished sometime early 2014 and had been one of the most popular churches visited within Las Piñas. There is a small museum dedicated the life and works of the saint. Unfortunately, the museum was closed during our visit .

church organ

The church was finished after more than 3 years, when the initial plans started around late 2010. The sitting capacity of the church is between 720 to 750 people.

Saint Ezekiel Moreno interiors with religious icon covered in purple cloth which symbolizes mourning

Architect Joey Amistoso did the church’s interiors, including an intricate retablo (altar tableau) featuring niches with images of Saint Joseph and Saint Ezekiel.

church dome

It is said that the cost of the church construction was estimated to be between Php 200 million to Php 225 million. There are no concrete columns which would obstruct the view of the public from the main altar of the church.

Since the church architecture is well designed, natural light and air circulation inside  easily flow . There is no need to open the artificial lightning especially during long days.

 

 

Visita Iglesia 2017 of Churches within Parañaque City

It was Maundy Thursday  when we decided to visit some churches within Parañaque City , Las Piñas and Pasay area within a few short days.

Left around 5:00 am in our home and traffic was quite smooth from Fairview and Novaliches area until a major road repair along EDSA- Magallanes area to Malibay , Pasay halted the buses , jeepneys to almost a crawl . I was stuck to almost standstill for more than 1 hour and arrived almost 7:45 am at the Baclaran church. The 2 hour and 45 minute traffic is still short compared to 3 hours to almost 3 1/2 hours in ordinary days.

Baclaran church

There were a lot of devotees and people taking photos around the church compound. We were also lucky to go inside the main altar took a few snap shots. Before we went to another smaller parish just a few minutes away. Baclaran church had their own website and is open 24 hours . Baclaran Church is known as National Shrine of the Mother of Perpetual Help.

main altar

iron works of the our lady of perpetual help

side chapel

latin inscription 

History :

The present church building is the third built on the site in Baclaran. The first was a small wooden structure dating back to 1932 when the Redemptorists moved into Baclaran. It was in this small church that the first novena was conducted by Fr. Leo English on June 23, 1948. By the end of 1949 the novena had grown to eight sessions with about 60,000 people attending. To meet this demand the church was extended to double capacity by Frs. Taylor and English. This was the second building.

the third building, the present National Shrine, was begun in December 1952. The cornerstone was laid by Cardinal Gilroy of Sydney on January 11th 1953 and it was conseャcrated on Dec. pt 1958 by Archbishop Rufino Santos, assisted by Bp. Antiporda and Bp. Shanley O.CD.. The solemn opening and inauguration took place a few days later on Dec. 5, 1958 by the same Archbishop Rufino Santos, accompanied by Cardinal Agagianian and other bishop.

Santa Rita de Cascia Parish

This is just located a few meters away from Baclaran church , a short walk from the church , this also serves a a border between Maricaban , Pasay and Parañaque.

Saint Rita of Cascia Parochial School

There is a parochial school beside the parish church. Saint Rita of Cascia  died on May 22 at Cascia, and many miracles were reported instantly. Canonized in 1900, she is honored in Spain as La Santa de los Impossibles and elsewhere as a patron saint of hopeless causes.

Saint Rita of Cascia

One can offer sampaguita garlands or light a candle

Santa Rita of Cascia side entrance

There are smaller side chapels within the parish compound. The chapels can be rented for funerals.

main entrance

The main entrance boast of stained glass windows

The architecture is rather new and the bells beside the church is late 19th century. A larger hall is located within the compound.

Address : Quirino Avenue, Baclaran, Parañaque City, Metro Manila

Tel. Number s – +632832 1525; +6328323505,  Telefax: 853-063

United Methodist Church 

The United Methodist Church is located at 0199 Qurino Avenue, Barangay Tambo, Parañaque City. It is considered as one of the oldest Methodist churches within the city. This had a historical marker installed by then National Historical Institute now (NHCP )  in 1991.

National Historical Commission of the Philippines marker 1991

History :

The church was established in 1901 in Mabong, Pasay by the American Methodists Missionaries . It was subsequently transferred in Pildira, Pasay in 1915 and in its present location in 1917. The church premises suffered a major blow during World War II when it was hit by a bomb which claimed the lives of seventy-seven Filipinos. In 1950, the church was renovated through the help and generosity of the Philippine War Damages Commission and the Trinity of the United States.

Saint Joseph Parish of Tambo,  Parañaque City

Saint Joseph Parish of Tambo, Parañaque City is located at 223 Quirino Avenue – One can walk for about 20 minutes from Saint Rita of Cascia Parish or take 1 jeepney ride going to Tambo. The church facade had been recently renovated .

statues within the parish courtyard

History :

 According to the community and family friends that we met during the short Visita Iglesia . It was Belgian Catholic missionaries of the Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae (CICM) from nearby Saint Andrew Parish of La Huerta helped planted the seeds of Catholicism in Tambo and by 1969, the barangay have its own Catholic parish named after St. Joseph, the Worker and Husband of Mary with Father Leonardo Marquez as its first parish priest.

Few years ago, the church had some renovation and the main facade was made bigger.

Telephone: +63(2)8528441, (632) 853-4446; 851-2380

San Dionisio Chapel facade made from adobe, bricks and cement. While there are some old acacia trees and palm growing within the outer courtyard of the chapel. The beams are supported by large wood with chandelier.

The main altar retablo  is made from hardwood and St. Dionysius or San Dionisio – local call the saint “Tata Dune” Home of the headless patron saint which is enshrined  at the center of the altar.  Tata Dune was a Bishop from France who was beheaded by his persecutors.

Barangay San Dionisio 

Barangay San Dionisio building was patterned after the facade of the chapel. The Barangay building is just located near the chapel.

local marker

Local marker was installed on May 19, 1990. Beside the chapel is a stage area where a yearly senakulo is staged.

people are refrain from making noise within the chapel premises

located in El Filibustermo Street  corner Quirino Avenue, San Dionisio ,  Parañaque City

Santa Monica Chapel -Don Galo ,Parañaque City

religious statues are covered with purple cloth to symbolized mourning period

Address: 619 Victor Medina Street , Don Galo ,Parañaque City

Barangay La Huerta arch and bridge 

We met some old -time residents of the place, They are quite gracious to tell us the way to Saint Andrew Cathedral . We passed the La Huerta arch and bridge, some old ancestral houses , a couple of eateries along the way.

mansion beside the river

This is a beautiful mansion beside the river with manicured garden and orchids which cling to the coconuts within the property.

Manuel Hernandez -Bernabe  historical marker

Biography 

Manuel H. Bernabe (1890-1960) “King of Balagtasan” in Spanish was a poet, linguist and politician, Manuel Bernabe was born on February 17, 1890 to Timoteo Bernabe and Emilia Hernandez of Parañaque, Rizal.

At the age of 10, he already started writing verses. He studied at the Ateneo de Manila where he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree with high academic standing in 1907, and then took up law at the University of Santo Tomas, but not able to took up the bar exams. In 1910, Manuel’s first poem was published in the Renacimento Filipino. In 1912, he translated Virgil’s Aenid from Latin to Spanish. In 1913, he received an award for his poems: “Himno al Sagado Corazon de Jesus (Hymn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus), “El Zapote,” and “Espana a Filipinas”.
In 1912, he joined the staff of La Democracia and in 1918, of La Vanguardia of the Roces Publications. He was a columnist but from time to time he also published poems and short stories in the magazine Exelsior.
Manuel also excelled in the balagtasan, where his stalwart adversary was Jesus Balmori. In 1927, he published Balagtasan a compilation of his three poetic joust against Balmori; “El Recuerdo y el Olvido” (Memory and Forgetting), “El Hombre y la Mujer”(Man and Woman), and “La Ilusion y el Desengano” (Illusion and Deception). His other works were: “Cantos del Tropico” ( Songs from the tropic) in 1929, which contains poems. He translated into the Spanish the English version of Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which was praised as the best Spanish translation of that masterpiece by Blasco Ibanez, a Spanish novelist, and also Perfil de la Cresta.
an old mansion near the Saint Andrew Cathedral 
In 1925, he won the Premio Zobel for his translation of Rubaiyat. In 1926, for his and Jesus Balmori’s Balagtasan, “El Hombre y La Mujer.” For high academic and excellent performance, Manuel was chosen a member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language in the Philippines in 1931 and was named poet laureate in Spanish (National Poet) on February 25, 1950. For his untiring efforts in the propagation and conservation of the Spanish language, Bernabe received two decorations from Spain – El Yugo y las Flechas in 1940 and orden de Isabela la Catolica in 1953. In 1964, he was also awarded the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinagan Award by the City Government of Manila.
He taught Spanish in different schools such as: Far Eastern University, Philippine Law School and Institute de Espanol at Colegio de San Juan de Letran. In 1951, he accompanied President Elpidio Quirino on the latter’s state visit to Spain. He joined the world of politics, as a representative to Congress of the first district of Rizal.
He retired from politics and once more joined the journalistic profession in the La Vanguardia. He was appointed professor of Spanish at the University of the Philippines and a technical assistant for Filipino-Spanish Relations at Malacañang from 1943-1947. Bernabe died of coronary thrombosis on November 29, 1960, at barrio La Huerta,Parañaque , as he was having conversation with his friends, he collapsed and never regained consciousness.
He was also featured in Philippine stamps in 1990 to commemorate the centennial of his birth.
References: Philippine Postal Corporation Philatelic Bulletin : May ,1990 ( Manuel H. Bernabe)
National Historical Commission of the Philippines

Saint Andrew Cathedral

Saint Andrew Cathedral is officially The Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew and commonly referred to as the Parañaque Cathedral, is one of the oldest churches in the country. It was established on May 11, 1580 by the Agustinian order. The church is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Parañaque.

apostolic marker installed in 2011

main altar

painting which depicts Saint Andrew parish and its images

These churches and shrines is just 2 ride away from Asiatel Airport Hotel .

Address : Aurora formerly Tramo Road, cor. Andrews, Aurora Blvd, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Near Resorts World Manila, NAIA Terminal 3.
(02)8332136
09222837339
09773283313
09216809738

 

A Visit to Saint Vincent Seminary in Tandang Sora

221 Tandang Sora , Quezon City- Philippines

One could not miss this imposing church along Tandang Sora Avenue .  This had been a favorite wedding and events place . There is also an active sunday market within the seminary grounds with about 50 to 60 stall holders selling from native kakanins, ready to wear ( rtw ) clothes, children’s toy , food and accessories .

Santuario de San Vicente de Paul

The construction of the Santuario de San Vicente de Paul Church building started as a Millennium Project of the Philippine Province of the Congregation of the Mission.

flea market 

Well-known Filipino-Chinese architect Mr. Froilan Hong , who is sought after member of the designers’ academe recognized internationally.  He also designed the Manila Film Center . The Church ossuary is built just below the main church .

church door made by Mr. Micheal Cacnio -a TOYM awardee 2006 ( photo courtesy of Ms. Jo Quimpo )

History :

It was in the 2000 Provincial Assembly that the initial concept was given an approval. Earlier proposals advocated the maximization of the vacant lot in front of the seminary. Since the Seminary Chapel was open to the public and had become smaller with the increasing number of mass-goers, a bigger Church structure that would include a Pastoral-Social Center was seen as the best project for the said space. With the go-signal and permission coming from the Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal L. Sin to build a shrine, the ground-breaking took place on March 25, 2003. The construction was slow and it took over 10 years before the church and surrounding venue place is slowly towards its full completion .

altar table design and made by Mr. Daniel dela Cruz ( photo courtesy of Ms. Jo Quimpo) 

Altar Set

The altar sets was designed and made by Mr. Daniel dela Cruz . He is industrial product designer -turned sculptor . The altar table of the church was patterned after the empty tomb of Christ after his resurrection . As described by John 20:17 ” John narrates how , when Mary of Magdalene told them that Jesus’ body had disappeared , Peter and John hurried to the tomb but but only saw burial cloths and the cloth that had covered Jesus’s head .

church lectern , main altar and priest seat / presidential  chair are all made from bronze

The altar piece , one whole artwork  from bronze , had a patina with gold hues. The empty tomb is reflected those full-length cover or lid had been towards the place where Christ’s body is found. Eight rays emanate from the lower portion which is illuminated with proper lighting fixtures . All these pieces were finished by the first quarter of 2015.

The Jesus Christ crucifixion was made by Mr. Jordan Mendoza. He is an artist son of well-known artist Mr. Jose Mendoza .  He named the bronze crucifix ” The last two minute of Christ ”

church seats

The church boast clean lines of pews, level play , very welcoming ambiance. It had a sitting capacity of between 800 to 1,000 people at any given day . In fact , the church had been a venue for some religious concert . It also had a good acoustic .

The windows are also well-placed and allow natural lights to enter the main church without adding artificial lights.  The church is well-ventilated .

Artist Haven

With its unique architectural design, Santuario de San Vicente de Paul commands attention as it stands imposingly along Tandang Sora Avenue. The beautiful structure whose construction started in 2003 has been gradually moving toward its completion especially in recent years.

There are several artists who help design and construct different art pieces and church pieces . Mr. Daniel dela Cruz, Mr. Jordan Mendoza, Mr. Micheal Cacnio , Mr. Willy Layug and Ms. Jo-Ann Pamintuan .

Chapel of the Our Lady of Miraculous Medal 

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal 

The chapel of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal is created in modern stylized  Philippine rococo architecture using old narra trees that were toppled down when a strong typhoon hit the place.  Instead of discarding the old trees. The congregation decided to ask for the help of well-known artist Mr. Willy Layug from Betis, Pampanga  province. Hence giving another life to the felled narra trees.

He also done several art works which included some religious icon that were given to Pope Francis and other foreign dignitaries . He also did the main altar and Marian images at the Our Lady of Mercy Parish Church in Novaliches .

The chapel sitting capacity is just between 20 to 25 people.

Website: http://www.willylayug.net/

Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament / Perpetual Adoration Chapel

The chapel is air-conditioned and had a wooden seats for the devotee. According to the parish head . There were some attempt by burglars a couple of years ago to get the items inside the chapel.

Monstrance with relic of Saint Vincent 

Parish Museum 

The group was given a first hand tour  by Father Raul Pura at the parish museum where we saw some of the church pieces , vestments , relics , fixtures from the church before the modern art pieces were installed in 2015.  Some of the important church items are made from a well-known maker from Bulacan .  The tour was facilitated thru Ms. Edna del Rosario and Mr. Randy  Angelo Diono .

chalice

church lectern made from hard wood 

Bulwagang San Vicente

Bulwagang San Vicente is located just beside the main church and just above the parish office. The venue place had a sitting capacity between 300 to 350 people , ideal for weddings, debuts, seminar , baptism and conferences. The food tasting event was co-hosted by Hizon Catering and their partners.

There is also a mural art work by local artist.

Contact :926-80-63 Church 

For Reservation:   ( Events and Wedding : 584-83-01 / (0917-8912208 ) 

info@verandasanvicente.com

Note : Photos were from the author and Ms. Jo Quimpo – All photos were taken within the premises of the church and seminary ground with proper coordination from the parish . 

any use of the photos – Please cite this blog

References:

Souvenir Program 2015 Sanctuario de San Vicente

Novaliches Diocese :http://www.novalichesdiocese.net/santuario-de-san-vicente-de-paul-parish-and-shrine-of-the-poor/

FB Veranda San Vicente 

A Visit to San Miguel Arcangel Church in San Miguel , Bulacan

De Leon St., Barangay. Poblacion,San Miguel, Bulacan province

San Miguel Archangel Church facade

Lakad Pamana with the partnership of Arki’s Tambayan, local government of San Miguel , Bulacan ,  Clarita Water , Sweet Bulakenya products , Mr. Rolly Reyes, Ms. Aida Yamaguchi of Banal na Bundok , San Miguel residents Mr. Pat Fajardo,  Mr. Lorenzo Buencamino had organized a cultural , heritage and industry tour of San Miguel , Bulacan to commemorate the 118th anniversary of independence day . 

San Miguel Archangel Church and convent

Travel time from Quezon City to San Miguel had become much faster compared several years ago, When we would endure 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours just to visit the famed municipality .We left Trinoma area past 6:30am and arrived around past 8:00am at Arki’s Tambayan before we toured the church.

interior of the church

This is due to many factors, road are cemented and less traffic due to the public holidays. There is also an ongoing road construction ( viaduct ) which connects the town of San Miguel to Balagtas exit , making travel time even much faster .

San Miguel

fountain

There are old narra trees and fountains within the church premises.

historical timeline

History:

It is believed that the town of San Miguel was initially established as a town under the province of Pampanga.  The parish of San Miguel de Mayumo was founded years before 1607 as a visita of Candaba .It was  declared an independent parish in 1725. However, some records tell that the parish of San Miguel was later annexed to Gapan , Nueva Ecija in 1726 as a visita. It was also recorded that San Miguel de Mayumo was once annexed to Macabebe, Pampanga also as a visita in 1763.

names of the parishioners who donated money for the restoration and rehabilitation of the church.

Augustinian Friars:

>1742 Reverend Father Agustin Galeeran-Ministro
>1744 Reverend Father Francisco Alvarez
>1750 Reverend Father Miguel Arias
>1751 Reverend Father Jose Vega Sirvio
>1756 Reverend Father Agustin Alejandro Dominguez
>1759 Reverend Father Juan de Oro
>1769 Reverend Father Gabriel Homar
>1773 Reverend Father Francisco Gonzales
>1839-1840 Reverend Father D. Mariano Buencamino
>1842-1843 Reverend Father D. Anselmo Fajardo
>1847-1849 Reverend Father Antonio de la Fuente
>1850-1863 Reverend Father Juan Manuel Tombo
>1864 Reverend Father Benito Perez
>1866-1870 Reverend Father Eugenio Ortiz
>1875-1879 Reverend Father Francisco Arriola
>1879-1886 Reverend Father Alejandro Hernandez
>1890-1891 Reverend Father Antonio de Piernavida
>1893 Reverend Father Pablo Alvarez
>1894-1898 Reverend Father Joaquin Garcia
>1897 Reverend Father Agapito Pena

Filipino Parish Priests:

>June 15, 1898—1922 Reverend Father Ildefonso Carranza
>July 4, 1923—1931 Reverend Father Deogracias R. Javier
>January 1931— – – – – Ilmo. Monsignor Marcelino Fajardo, P.C.
>August 5, 1931—1936 Reverend Father Arsenio Nicdao
>June 14, 1936—1948 Ilmo. Father Honorio Resurreccion, D.P.
>March 15, 1948—1951 Reverend Father Francisco Domingo
>April 15, 1951—1955 Ilmo. Monsignor Arsenio Reyes, P.C.
>May 10, 1955—1957 Ilmo. Monsignor Pedro L. Abad, P.C.
>May 10, 1957—1968 Ilmo. Monsignor Jose B. Aguinaldo, A.D.
>June 1968—1985 Rt. Rdo. Monsignor Jose M. Salas, D.P.
>June 20, 1985—1987 Reverend Father Paulo Dimagiba
>November 4, 1987—1988 Reverend Father Marcelo Sanchez
>September 5, 1988 Rt. Reverend Monsignor Jaime S. Garcia
>Reverend Father Francisco J. Vistan
>Reverend Father Javier B. Joaquin
>Reverend Father Virgilio M. Cruz

Saint Micheal of Archangel statue

Architecture:

The church, with its predominantly Baroque features, has a two-level façade and a curved pediment surmounted by the rectangular belfry with a bulbous dome .

The façade is primarily adorned by the paired pilasters  and multi-edged cornices dividing the front into several sections.

retablo

The dome was partly destroyed during the second world war and was restored few years later. the main retablo still boast of beaten silver works , candelabra ( candle holder ) and statue of Saint Micheal of Archangel .

The group also toured the church yard and was led to the niches of the prominent families of the place that was buried.

Dr. Maximo Sison Viola and his wife Juana Roura de Viola

Dr. Maximo Sison Viola (1857–1933) was a propagandist, writer, revolutionary leader and doctor from San Miguel, Bulacan.

He is known as the best friend and confidant of Dr. Jose Rizal  in Europe. They work together, they visited museums, art gallery, restaurants and stayed in hotels to work there in Europe. He led a fight against the Spaniards with his two brothers and stayed at Biak-na-Bato. . He also financed the publication of  Noli Me Tangere , the first 2000 copies of the novel in 1887. He studied medicine in University of Santo Tomas and in 1882 he went to Spain to continue his studies. He finished his course in the year 1886.

The group saw Mr. Freddie Goyena – proprietor of Goyena Special Chicharon within the church courtyard.

After a short tour of the church and courtyard , The group went to the municipal building and several ancestral houses .

References:

Bulacan Government : http://www.bulacan.gov.ph/generalinfo/hero.php?id=33

NHCP : http://nhcp.gov.ph/dr-maximo-s-viola-the-man-who-first-read-the-noli-me-tangere/

https://smdmkatkkk.wordpress.com/category/saint-michael-the-archangel-parish/

Mr. Lorenzo Buencamino

A Visit to the Immaculate Conception Church of Bulan Sorsogon

Bulan , Sorsogon province -Philippines

The Immaculate Conception Parish Church is said  to be  as the biggest parochial church in Sorsogon province . This is more popularly called Bulan Catholic Church .

watchtower

This used to be a small parish church built during the Spanish period but the church is continuously expanded and a new belfry was erected in 2000. According to our relatives from Bulan, the church used to be open 24 hours a day but due to safety and security concerns . Caretakers had to open the church only on special request or past 4:30am .

marker

There is a belfry that was constructed on March 15, 2000 and finished on May 25, 2000 . It was blessed and dedicated on June 12, 2000.  This was spearheaded by The 3M Squires Foundation.

marble plaque -donated by Mrs. Torribia Viyuda De Vera ( my maternal grandmother) 

The church ground is quite big with major construction happened from 1965 to 1967 with prominent families , politicians , public school teachers, Filipino-Chinese association donating money for the construction of the foundations of the church.

The names of the families and associations which donated to the construction had their family surnames etch on a plaque and installed at the pillars of the church.

Bulan District Teachers

Tomasa viyuda Lim

Lola sa Tuhod -Señora Tomasa viyuda de Lim is my maternal grandmother’s – stepmother .

Queen Mely de Vera – Miss Bulan 1965

 According to the stories of my second cousin Ms. Myrna Uy of Bulan , Sorsogon. There was a beauty pageant organized by the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Bulan chapter way back in 1965 together with the Bulan community. The aim was to help built the church and the proceeds of the pageant was used in the construction of the church.

There were several young women that joined the competition and people would buy ballots in support of the candidates. The contestants were judge not on beauty alone but on bearing . After the tabulation , It was Miss Milagros Lim de Vera who won the title and all the proceeds were donated to the church .

main altar

There is also a daily mass which starts at around past 5:15 am , The language spoken is Bikol- Sorsogon .

immaculate conception -this is about 15 feet statue

the statute is lighted during the mass

our lady of perpetual help

This is located just a few meters from the house of where i stayed.  A Visit to Sibil Cemetery in Bulan, Sorsogon

 

A Visit to the National Shrine of La Virgen Divina Pastora

Three Kings Parish, Delos Reyes Street,  3105 Gapan City , Nueva Ecija province -Philippines

The Divina Pastora’s two centuries of existence has given rise to legends on the origin of the image – that it was found floating on a river, or discovered under a tree. The fact is the image did not have a supernatural but rather historical origin.

The exterior of the church is plain while its interior formerly has a central retablo with niches dedicated to the Epiphany of the Lord and to the Virgen La Divina Pastora.

National Shrine of La Virgen de Divina Pastora

Near the end of the 1700s in Gapan, there lived a woman named Doña Juana Valmonte, one of the eight children of Don Bartolome dela Cruz Valmonte, said to be Gapan’s first gobernadorcillo in 1747, and Doña Eulalia Fernandez — the couple from whom all the Valmontes descended.

church marker

The Parish Church of the Three Kings in Gapan is considered the oldest and biggest colonial church in Nueva Ecija. In 1986, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines declared this church as the National Shrine of Virgen La Divina Pastora.

interior

A spinster, Dona Juana was a woman who could be considered much ahead of the ladies of her era. She lived in the family farm, serving as its overseer, in Barrio Callos, named after a tree species that abounds in the place that, at that time, was a part of Gapan but is now within the jurisdiction of the adjacent town of Peñaranda.

This central retablo however was torn down in the 1970s due to infestation of termites. It was replaced with a modern style sanctuary dominated by a huge image of the Crucifixion, arguably the largest in the province of Nueva Ecija. Only the two side retablo are maintained to this day. Prominently displayed on the left retablo is the original miniature image of the Virgen Divina Pastora which was donated by the Valmonte Family in 1986. The right retablo enshrines the Adoration of the Magi.

church ceiling

Described as a stocky woman, she was said to possess such physical prowess that she could wrestle cattle to the ground when it was time to brand them.

While the palitada of the walls was stripped, the grand painting of the Holy Trinity on the church’s dome has been preserved. Local artist, Isidoro Samonte painted this image in the early 1900s.

angels

We were led up to the church belfry and we saw some bats living

ecclesiastical museum

life sized statue

collection of rosaries from different countries

private chapel

Located within the church is an old house which also served as private quarters of the current head of the shrine. We were allowed an exclusive access to the chapel.

Website links:

http://monvalmonte.com/divinapastora/main.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Shrine_of_Virgen_La_Divina_Pastora