By Kaye Mangabat
The Philippines has been colonized by Spain for centuries giving rise to the spread of Catholicism in most places in the archipelago. There are a lot of places of worships including churches rich in history and with unique architectures.
Here’s a list of some of the unique churches found in the country:
Barasoain Church – The church is a popular tourist destinations in Bulacan. It was built in 1630 and is known as the “Cradle of Democracy in the East.” This is because the church housed the constitutional convention of the first Philippine Congress in 1898. Proclaimed a National Shrine in 1973, the church’s architectural design and internal adornments are a magnificent sight. From the antique pews to the grand altar to the artsy trappings on the ceilings and walls, one would get the feeling of being transported back into the olden days.
Bantay Church – The baroque and neo-gothic inspired Bantay Church was built in the 1530s. It is also known as San Augustine Church and is one of the oldest churches in Ilocos Sur. With its robust historic past, the church has been rebuilt in 1950s because of World War II. It also has a bell tower a few meters away. Made with fiery-red bricks, this bell tower served as an early warning to the locals before for the imminent attack of foreign colonizers.
Paoay Church – This church is famous for its rich history and earthquake-proof design. The Paoay Church has stood the test of time, surviving through World War II, heavy flash floods and strong earthquakes. It was also included in World Heritage list of UNESCO in 1993.
St. John Baptist Parish – This church sits on top of a hill and has a facade made of red bricks. The church is one of the rarest and well-preserved, century-old churches in the country and is found in Liliw, Laguna. It is surrounded by statues of saints that the locals pray to. The church also has a good view of Laguna de Bay. Beside the church is a bell tower.
St. Mathias Church – This church, also known as Tumauini Church, was first built using only nipa. It was rebuilt using carve woods and bricks in 1753. It was declared a National Historical Landmark on February 24, 1989. A very solemn setting of pews and church’s ornaments will help you with your prayer reflections. There is also a cylindrical tower beside the church.
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