Heritage Sites

Philippines' Most Beautiful Churches as Seen in Your Fave Teleserye

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Mar 17, 2016
Philippines' Most Beautiful Churches as Seen in Your Fave Teleserye

Three centuries of the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines resulted to the construction of churches, no matter how big or small, in every barangay or province. These did not only serve as the political backbone of their regime in the country but also furthered Christianity among Filipinos. Aside from surviving time, these churches that are mostly of Baroque architecture have also been subjected to pirate attacks, local revolts, earthquakes, fire incidents, typhoons, and other natural or man-made calamities. With such history, people in the present can only stand inside these churches in awe.

Even your favorite Kapamilya teleserye can't help but feature these historical and cultural sites. This Holy Week, why not make your Visita Iglesia unique by following the path that our local shows has taken? Start in the Walled City of Manila and drive all the way to South Luzon and then back to Central Luzon for a very Filipino Maundy Thursday.

 

1) San Agustin Church (Intramuros, Manila)

Under the auspices of The Order of St. Augustine, the present San Agustin Church is actually the third structure erected on the site. The first, made of bamboo and nipa, was destroyed by fire only three years after construction while the second, which was made of wood, met the same fate. The current structure was constructed with stone in 1586 and was based on a design by Juan Marcias. It was declared complete on January 19, 1607.

San Agustin Church was looted by British forces during the Seven Years' War, hit with a strong earthquakes in 1863 and 1880, and doubled as a hospital during calamities in the city. It was also the church where Spanish Governor-General Fermin Jaudenes prepared the terms for the surrender of Manila to the United States of America. The church also survived World War II, the final days of the Battle of Manila, and the bombing of Intramuros.

San Agustin Church before the facade was changed into a stone-color one
(Photo from marilil.wordpress.com)

It's current claim-to-fame is that it was the site of the wedding of Clark (James Reid) and Leah (Nadine Lustre) during the last episode of the hit rom-com teleserye On the Wings of Love (2015 - 2016). What started as a fixed marriage in front of a judge in the United States ended up as to a real romance that ended up in a church wedding at San Agustin.

Wedding of Clark & Leah
(Screencap from ABS-CBN Entertainment)

ALSO READ: 5 Times OTWOL Made Us Fall in Love Again with Manila

2) Divine Mercy Parish (Silang, Cavite)

Irene (Cristine Reyes) and Natoy (Zanjoe Marudo) of the melodramatic family drama Tubig at Langis (2016) had their wedding in a local parish in Biluso, Silang, Cavite. The diocesan shrine is under the Vicariate of Our Lady of Candelaria which heads the Catholic churches in Silang, Carmona, and General Mariano Alvarez.

Divine Mercy Parish
(Photo from saansacavite.com)

 

3) Taal Basilica (Batangas)

Canonically known as the Minor Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours, the Taal Basilica is regarded as Asia's largest Catholic church. The construction of the town's original church started in 1575 but was rebuilt in 1642 using stronger materials. However, the 1754 eruption of the Taal Volcano caused its complete destruction. This also led to the transfer of the whole town (and its church) to the current location which faces Balayan Bay. The new church was heavily damaged by a strong earthquake in 1852 and the construction of another structure, which is the present-day Basilica, began four years later.

In 1953, the church was restored in preparation for the Canonical Coronation of the Our Lady of Caysaysay. A year later, the church was declared a Minor Basilica, making it the third in the country.

Taal Basilica
(Photo from Allan Jay Quesada, Wikimedia)

The church that has withstood time and tragedies was also the site of the wedding of Maya (Jodi Sta. Maria) and Sir Chief (Richard Yap) of the daytime television drama Be Careful with My Heart (2012 - 2014). Who knew that a simple girl can complete the life of a rich businessman?

4) San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church (Nagcarlan, Laguna)

Nagcarlan church's famous structure is its brick bell tower. It was built in 1752, along with the whole church made of stone and bricks, only to be partially destroyed by fire in 1781. Reconstruction was completed in 1845 and the church was rebuilt with adobe and restored with designed tiles. Its four-storey tower was the perfect shooting location of the fantaserye Kampanerang Kuba (2005) topbilled by Anne Curtis. The story follows Imang, the young kuba who grows up to be the kampanera or the person who rings the church bell.

San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church
(Photo from Wikipedia)

 

5) St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church (Pakil, Laguna)

The local church in Pakil was designated as the Diocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba and the home of the Our Lady of Turumba. Its design features a formed cruciform, classical Corinthian columns, and floral stone relief. It has a belfry that has four small bells and one huge bell. Enshrined in the parish is an oil-on-canvas painting of the Our Lady of Sorrows of Turumba, which measures 9 by 11 inches. It was found by local fishermen on the banks of the Matamig River in 1788. 

Used as the filming location of Juan dela Cruz (2013) and the follow-up series My Little Juan (2013), Pakil Church served as the home of orphan boy Juan (Izzy Canillo, later Coco Martin) who was brought up by the parish priest named Father Cito (Jaime Fabregas).

St. Peter of Alcantara
(Photo from Richard Eusebio, Wikimedia)

 

6) Daraga Church (Albay)

Canonically known as Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church, the Daraga Church is known for the unique make-up on its walls and façade—volcanic rocks (all thanks to Mayon Volcano). This has been coated with lime for protection from deterioration.

The church, along with the beauty of Albay including the Philippines' perfect cone-shaped volcano, is heavily featured in the feel-good series We Will Survive.

Daraga Church
(Screencap from ABS-CBN Entertainment)

 

ALSO READ: Explore Bicol and Palawan Right from Your TV Screen

 

7) San Guillermo Parish Church (Bacolor, Pampanga)

May Bukas Pa (2009 - 2010), a Philippine drama series, followed the story of orphan boy Santino (zaijain Jaranilla) who tries to help the people in the fictional town of Bagong Pag-asa. Most of the scenes are taped in the municipality of Bacolor, Pampanga and its parish church San Guillermo.

The current San Guillermo Parish Church is actually the second structure built after the original was destroyed by an earthquake. It boasts of having a main retablo, side retablos, and a pulpit with gold leaves. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 buried half of the church. After the eruption, the locals patiently dug up the altar and the centuries-old statues.

San Guillermo Parish Church
(Photo from Renzelle Ann Palma)

 

Sometimes, teleseryes aren't only for our entertainement. They also provide new perspective on often-ignored heritage and culture.

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