History and Culture

5 Churches That are So Beautiful It Will Get You Excited For Simbang Gabi

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Nov 26, 2016

Our country has the longest Christmas season in the world! As early as September, one starts to hear Christmas carols playing on the radio. Malls have started to decorate their stores with nut crackers, santa clause, elves, christmas balls, etc. Most families start to put up their Christmas trees regardless of the fact that there is still Halloween to be celebrated long before Yuletide comes.

It is a joyous season everybody becomes excited about and prepares for every year. Spend the holiday season the Filipino way. Streets are decked with lights of various colors and themes, huge houses take pride in their one million lights, tables are heavy with all kinds of food, reunions happen everywhere, christmas carolers perform weekly in huge malls, etc.

Alongside the frenzy that is a consequence of all the promotion and marketing of Christmas, are the traditional practices that are distinctly Filipino. "Simbang Gabi" or Misa de Gallo  (evening mass literally) is a "panata" or a vow to complete all the 9 dawn masses prior to Christmas Day and a carry over from our past when our country was colonized by Spain for more than 3 centuries.

After devoting an hour of your time to the Lord, sweet and hot delicacies await outside the Church. Steaming and buttery bibingka, gooey puto bumbong, a piping hot chocolate or salabat which is hot water with ginger.

They say, a perfect attendance of all masses means a wish granted. Let's start with these stunning Churches that are perfect for simbang gabi during the chilly mornings of the Christmas season! 

San Joaquin Parish, Ilo-ilo

Look at that one-of-a-kind facade of San Joaquin Parish Church. Did you know that it was built from locally-sourced limestone and sea corals? How innovative! 

Read More: Iloilo's San Joaquin Parish: A Symbol of the Victory of Good Over Evil?


Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church, Tagaytay Cavite

Located at the Tagaytay-Nasugbu highway, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church will give you the extra feel of Christmas season with its extra chilly weather. After devoting your time through prayers, delight yourself with some warm treat.

Read More: Calmness on Tagaytay Hills: The Coolest Way to Do Visita Iglesia?


San Miguel Church, Manila

Who's your guardian angel? San Miguel Church is devoted to the seven archangels namely St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, St. Uriel, St. Selatiel, St. Jhudiel and St. Barachiel. Each and every archangel are delegated with a certain task. When in Manila, say a prayer or hear a mass at this church. Don't go home without knowing who's your angel. 

Read More: Only in the Philippines: Shrine Dedicated to 7 Archangels in the Heart of Manila?

St. Michael Parish Church, Cebu

Cebu, being the main city to be colonized by the Spaniards wherein Christianity was founded, is a home of distinct and beautiful historical Churches. Go to Poblacion, Argao and see St. Michael Parish Church's vintage yet astonishing features. 

Read More: Argao’s Historic Church: How San Miguel Arcangel Parish Save Cebuanos From Danger?


Calaruega Church, Batangas

Calaruega Church gives you the homey-feels. After hearing mass, explore the vicinity of the Church. A hanging bridge, koi pond, and a man-made fountain will make you feel at peace. 

Read More: Calmness on Tagaytay Hills: The Coolest Way to Do Visita Iglesia?

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St. Clement Church: The Historic 445-year-old Church in Angono

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