Thursday, March 24, 2016

Visita Iglesia in Bataan

Diocese of Balanga
Dioecesis Balangensis
Diyosesis ng Balanga

First time I set my foot in the province Bataan was when I had Holy Week vacation in my college friend's house in Balanga City. I witnessed their tradition of self-flagellation, a practice of slashing one's back with a whip, resulting to backbleeding. Since then, I wanted to visit other historic churches by hopping from one town to another.

First stop is the beautiful town of Hermosa with flagship church Saint Peter of Verona Parish Church. The renovated church is spacious and a huge altar housing the patron saint.

If Pangasinan has Manaoag, then Bataan has OraniOur Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish Church hosts the miraculous image called by pilgrims as Virgen Milagrosa. Dominicans brought this Marian image to the shores of Bataan and countless miracles prospered the little visita (small settlement during colonial times) to a full pueblo (town).

Famous for their capiz shells and araro cookies, the town of Samal has a heritage structure Parish Church of St. Catherine of Siena. The pinkish facade is complemented by a long old convent. It is hidden at the back of municipal hall. 

Saint Dominic Parish Church of Abucay town is an old edifice located along the national highway. Historical marker depicted that it was the site of first printing press by Tomas Pinpin and of a bloody war against Dutch Invaders of late 17th century.

In the heart of Balanga City stands the seat of Roman Catholic Diocese of Balanga that covers the ecclesiastical province of Bataan, the Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph. The former white facade was replaced with red bricks and dramatically faces the plaza adjacent to city hall.

Crossing the river from Balanga City will lead you to town of Pilar, where the historic Mount Samat is located. Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church is situated a few meter away from the municipal hall.

The Saint Michael The Archangel Parish Church in the southeastern town of Orion has a clean facade and ornate altars. Their intact main and side altars are the best I've ever seen in Bataan.

Eastern Coast: Hermosa-Orani-Samal-Abucay-Balanga City-Pilar-Orion

Lastly, I added the heritage church at Bataan's western coast:

Our Lady of the Pillar Parish
Situated at the northwestern corner of Bataan, Morong church was administered by Recollects in 1607. The coral-stone church is a witness to revolution against Spaniards and resistance of Filipino-American soldiers during World War II. Located across the municipal hall, one can see the original fa├žade of fortress-like built.

Have a blessed trip everyone! (n_n)

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