Top 10 Famous Old Churches in the Philippines
Here are the list of most beautiful and historical churches in the Philippines. A truly Philippine pride.
Top 10 Famous Old Churches in the Philippines
1. Paoay Church
Paoay Church is included in the Unesco World Heritage list. The church was constructed in 1704 and was completed in 1894 by the Augustinian friars led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo. It is considered as the best-known “earthquake Baroque” church in the Philippines. Large coral stones were used for the lower level while bricks were used for the upper levels of the church. The walls are 1.67 meters thick and are supported by 24 carved and massive buttresses. It is a combination of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental architectural designs.
2. Barasoain Church
The Cradle of Democracy in the East Barasoain Church (also known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish) is a Roman Catholic church built in 1630 in Malolos City, Bulacan. Having earned the title as the Cradle of Democracy in the East, most important religious buildings in the Philippines, and the site of the First Philippine Republic, the Church is proverbial for its historical importance among Filipinos. Founded by Augustinian Missionaries in 1859, the church is also renowned for its architectural design and internal adornments. The original church was burned during the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution however, it was renovated. It is about 42 kilometers away from Manila.
3. San Agustin Church of Manila
San Agustín Church is a Roman Catholic church under the auspices of The Order of St. Augustine, located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila. Completed by 1607, it is the oldest church currently standing in the Philippines. No other surviving building in the Philippines has been claimed to pre-date San Agustin Church. In 1993, San Agustin Church was one of four Philippine churches constructed during during the Spanish colonial period designated by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, under the classification “Baroque Churches of the Philippines”. It had been named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976.
4. San Sebastian Church of Manila
The Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, better known as San Sebastian Church, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Manila, the Philippines. It is the seat of the Parish of San Sebastian and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. San Sebastian Church was completed in 1891, it is noted for its architectural features. An example of the revival of Gothic architecture in the Philippines, it has been recognized by the UNESCO as the only all-steel church or basilica in Asia. It has also been implausibly reputed to be the first prefabricated building in the world, and more plausibly claimed as the only prefabricated steel church in the world. In 2006, San Sebastian Church was included in the Tentative List for possible designation as a World Heritage Site. It was designated as a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1973. The Church is under the care of The Order of the Augustinian Recollects, who also operate a college adjacent to the basilica. It is located at Plaza del Carmen, at the eastern end of Claro M. Recto Street, in Quiapo, Manila
5. Dauis Church of Bohol
Another beautiful church in Bohol is the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Dauis, on the Island of Panglao. It is located not far from the bridge that connects Panglao with Bohol. The church was founded by the Jesuits Fr. Diego de Ayala and Joseph Gregorio. The church is build in a mixture of styles, influenced by both Byzantine and Romanesque architecture. Inside, on the ceiling, are some impressive frescoes painted Ray Francia in 1916. Lito Arraya renovated the building in 1970. The church’s patron saint, the Virgin of the Assumption, is said to possess miraculous powers. An old legend relates that once, when the town was invaded by pirates, the people of Dauis locked themselves into the church. However, they soon ran out of provisions and water. Then a miracle occurred: a well appeared at the foot of the altar. This same well is still the main source of water for the people living close to the church, and, although the well is only a few meters from the sea, the water is absolutely fresh. The water is said to have healing powers, so, if you’re visiting here, don’t forget to bring a bottle and take some home.
6. Quiapo Church
Quiapo is a district of Manila, Philippines, also referred to as the “old downtown.” It is known for its cheap prices on items ranging from electronics, bicycles to native handicrafts. Quiapo is also famous for the Black Nazarene. Thousands of people parade through the streets to touch the statue where it is supposed to produce miraculous effects. A number of faithful usually collapse in a faint during the ritual, and some have even died. The Feast Day of the Black Nazarene (also known as Quiapo Day) is celebrated every January 9th. Plaza Miranda in the heart of Quiapo District, is named after Jose Sandino y Miranda, who served as secretary of the treasury of the Philippines for 10 years beginning in 1853. It is a square or a public plaza in front of the St. John the Baptist Church or Quiapo Church as it is widely known. It is also a popular site of political rallies. On August 21, 1971, while the Liberal Party held their Miting de Avance in the plaza, a bomb exploded, killing 9 and injuring almost 100 civilians.
7. San Jose Church in Ivana Basco Batanes
San Jose Church (Ivana). Built in 1814 although its foundation dates back to 1795. Of all the old churches in Batanes, it is the only one that was not built in the espadaña style. It has a crenellated fortress-like campanile or belltower that gives the appearance of a fortification. Fronts the Ivana Seaport and offers a commanding view of the sea and surrounding countryside due to its elevation. Located 14 kilometers from Basco
8. Baguio Cathedral
Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, better known as Baguio Cathedral, is a Catholic cathedral located at Cathedral Loop, adjacent to Session Road in Baguio City in the Philippines. It is distinct for its rose-colored exterior and is one of the most photographed buildings in Baguio City. It served as an evacuation center during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II.
9. Basilica de Sto. Niño in Cebu
The Basilica of Santo Niño, also called Basilica del Santo Niño, Basílica Minore del Santo Niño and formerly known as the San Agustin Church prior to its elevation as a Basilica Minore, is a 16th century church in the heart of Cebu City, Philippines. It is purportedly built on the exact spot where the image of the Santo Niño, a sculpture depicting Jesus as a black Holy Child, was found by Spanish conquistadors in 1565 preserved in a burned wooden box which was left behind during the 1521 Magellan expedition.
10. Our Lady of Manaog Shrine in Pangasinan
Manaoag, Pangasinan is one of the Philippines’ pilgrimage centers, thanks to the presence of the Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine, home to the image of the Nuestra Señora del Rosario (i.e., Our Lady of the Rosary), which is believed to have miraculous powers. Non-Catholics may scoff at such idolatrous devotion, but that has not deterred millions of Filipino Catholics from visiting the shrine and venerating this representation of Virgin Mary.