Holy Week has been one of the significant yearly events in the Philippines. It is a 1 week event observation but it is formally begin in Thursday and culminates in Sunday. There is no specific month or date for the said event but it usually fall in March or April. Because Holy Week is fast approaching, here are our top picks of historic and ancient churches you may want to visit.
QUIAPO CHURCH, Quezon
The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or canonically known as Parish of Saint John the Baptist and also known as Quiapo Church is famous home for the Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ and is said to be miraculous. The basilica is under the Archdiocese of Manila and its current rector is Rev. Msgr. Hernando M. Coronel. On Fridays, thousands of Catholic devotees may be seen inside the church edging forward on their knees to the crucifix. In January, every year a weeklong festival is held for the celebration of the Black Nazarene. The Black Nazarene is surrounded by millions of faithful devotees and trying to touch the sculpture of the Black Nazarene.
STO. NINO BASILICA, Cebu
Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño or the Sto. Niño Basilica is the oldest Roman Catholic church established in the Philippines. The statue depicting the Child Jesus was founded by the Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in 1565. The celebration of the patron is held every 3rd Sunday of January and is commonly known as the Sinulog Festival. One of the highlight of the celebration is the street parade where devotees and participants wear colorful costumes that depict the patron.
Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte
The Saint Agustin Church commonly known as the Paoay Church is one of the oldest church of the Philippines, having completed its construction in 1710. In 1973, the Philippines Government declared the church as a National Cultural Treasure and is later included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site’s collective group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines in 1993.
The famous fact of the Paoay Church is it’s contribution to the Philippine History where the church bell tower was once used by the Katipuneros as an observation post during the Spanish Revolution. Right side of the church is the small sanctuary of prayer garden or famously called as Jardin de San Agustin.
Barasoain Church, Bulacan
The Barasoain Church is a Roman Catholic Church that was first built in 1630. The old church was destroyed by fire in 1884 and was re-constructed in 1885. Barasoain Church has a great contribution to the Philippine History as this serves as the birthplace of the First Philippine Republic. The first president of the Philippines, General Emiliio Aguinaldo, took his oath of office as President in this church in January 23, 1899.
Baclayon Church, Bohol
The Church of Immaculada Concepcion in Baclayon is considered as one of the oldest church of the Philippines. The construction was began in 1717 were 200 native force laborers cut coral blocks from the sea and is the main material of the construction. Millions of white eggs were said to have been used as the cement. The church construction was completed in 1727.