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Follow the Rizal-Laguna church trail this Lent
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: -
Date: 2005-03-03
Beat the trail of Baroque churches this season of Lent and bask in a long gone by era of Old World architecture.

St. Jerome Parish Church is just one of the national treasures you can visit along the lakeside trail from Rizal to Laguna which also boasts of San Ildefonso Church in Tanay, Our Lady of Candelaria Parish in Mabitac, St. James the Apostle Church in Paete, St. Peter of Alcantara Church in Pakil, St. Mary Magdalene Church in Magdalena, and Majayjay Church in Mount Banahaw de Lucban (one of the oldest churches in Asia).

When the Spaniards were expelled from our country in 1899, religious missionaries left behind hundreds of churches built across the archipelago. St. Jerome Parish Church in San Jose, Morong, Rizal is one of the remnants of the grandeur and spirit of the colonial period. Nothing in our Western culture now can beat its neo-Baroque style.

Originally built in 1615 by Chinese craftsmen, the church survived natural disasters and the tumultuous Spanish regime, with its walls standing witness to the Katipuneros who were captured and executed there. Sitting majestically on a hill overlooking the river, the Morong Church is truly a cultural icon, an edifice of the Christian faith, and a cradle of our architectural heritage. Its new belfry was integrated with the old three-storey facade, thus, becoming one of the most well-composed architectures in colonial Philippines.

This Lenten season, Escape Planner Travel & Tours arranges special Visita Iglesia day tours in Rizal-Laguna and Bulacan-Pampanga. For only R950 take a walk down historical trails, discover hidden alleys (such as the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery), climb the steep staircase up to the bell towers, listen to locals’ tales that made these churches not just a town landmark but a reminder of the past, take a sidetrip to fishing villages in Binangonan, the "tsinelas tiangge" in Liliw, the woodcarvings in Paete and artworks in Angono, or simply meander in the churchyards, buy sorbetero ice cream or buko pie, and take pictures of these centuries – old stone monuments. And, of course, meditate and offer prayers that will make your pilgrimage an inspiring spiritual experience. This special promotional rate is valid from March 7 to 27 only. Itineraries may have to change during the Holy Week.

Other appreciation tours include visits to churches in Miag-ao Church in Iloilo, Paoay Church in Ilocos and Basilica of St. Martin de Tours in Taal, Batangas. For more details, email:

[ Paoay Church Wiki | Underground Cemetery Wiki | Morong Church Wiki | Miag-ao Church Wiki ]

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