Churches to Visit in Pampanga
Kapampangans have a strong sense of faith. The number of churches in each pueblo or municipality is proof of their solid Christian foundation. Consequently, these places of worship also have significant value with some churches being considered as works of art while others are filled with a rich history. These sacred places aren’t only for the Roman Catholic devotee; art enthusiasts, history lovers, and tourists of Pampanga can all appreciate these places of worship. They can bask in the peaceful ambiance and solemnity of the structure. These features aren’t present in a house and lot for sale in Pampanga. Thus, it helps to spend an hour or two to keep in touch with your spirit.
The Carmelite Monastery in Angeles is home to the Carmelite nuns. These nuns live a life of prayer and sacrifice for others. The church at Santo Rosario Street is the perfect place to meditate and reflect. The grounds of the Monastery include the church to conduct mass, a candle lighting area and a house by the corner. Well-wishers can light a candle and offer prayers for the departed and sick.
Holy Rosary Parish Church
The Holy Rosary parish church received the Important Cultural Property (ICP) marker on October 2, 2017. The National Museum gives the ICP when a structure or cultural property carries notable cultural, artistic, and historical significance.
The Completion of the Holy Rosary parish church took place between 1877 to 1896. It has an air of elegance far from other churches in Angeles. It is open to confirmations, weddings and other services such as the blessing of establishments and houses, religious articles, and confessions. The Blessed Virgin of the Most Holy Rosary is the patron of the church.
The church stands on the streets of Santo Rosario and Santo Entiero in the city of Angeles.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando is another church from the Augustinians. It was built in 1755 and rededicated to Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion or Assumption of Our Lady in 1880. It became the cradle of the Archdiocese of Pampanga in 1948. It is the only church with a real wooden cross and the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fernando Ocampo, a native of San Fernando, was behind the design of the Cathedral.
The roof has a dome structure typical of churches from the Spanish era. There are images of saints in the front and a four-level bell tower beside the Cathedral. The structure is a few walks from the Heritage District at A. Consuji St. in the City of San Fernando.
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish
Construction of the building ended in 1587. Unfortunately, the church inflicted damages from fire incidences. Reconstruction of the church took place in 1772 under the supervision of Augustinians. Improvements of the exterior and interior of the church continued from 1862 until 1870. Its architecture is similar to the Metropolitan Cathedral. The facade of the church has baroque finishes on its doors and pavilion. The interior is simple yet elegant. Hanging golden pendant lights are on the ceiling complemented by dark wooden pews with padded kneelers.
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish is a mark of simplicity. The items on the altar are limited to the essentials. There’s a concrete dome directly above the pedestal. Locally renowned artist Willy Layug is the man behind the concept of the church in Guagua.
San Bartolome Parish
The parish is part of the Magalang’s initiative to boost its tourism. Fortunately, San Bartolome Parish is also an ICP according to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
Established in 1725 and reconstructed in 1866, it boasts well-spaced windows and openings that allow sunlight to enter the interior. Therefore, the church in Barangay San Nicolas remains bright, spacious, and sacred.
San Guillermo Parish
Managed by the Augustinians in 1576, San Guillermo Church is 12 meters high. Though the town of Bacolor is safe from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the mudflow reached the area after four years. As an after effect, the town plaza and the church were buried in mud and ash.
The “Sunken Church” features a Baroque style. The church has more details and design compared to the San Bartolome Parish. Still, the structure has signs of struggles on its walls made of bricks and stones. The brass bells from the bell tower were removed to keep the tower from sinking. Meanwhile, the old convent of the church is now an art gallery. Churchgoers and visitors can view the art installations and relics preserved in the area.
The patron saint of San Guillermo Parish is San Guillermo Ermitaño. It still holds mass every Sunday at Cabambangan, Bacolor.
St. James the Apostle Church
The church is known to the locals as Betis Church. It was built in 1660 and, through the years, have stood the test of time. The National Museum and Commission for Culture and Arts declared the church a National Treasure.
Stone and concrete fill the walls of the church. There’s a museum on the side, but the church is already a work of art by itself. Though the exterior paint flakes on the outside, its interiors retain its charm. The carved wooden doors are a sight to behold. It has the romantic flair of the Renaissance period. There are columns on the walls, colorful rose windows as well as painted holy images from the 19th and 20th-century. The hardwood floors are still intact—an impressive feat for a long-standing church.
The same goes for the ceiling. It has frescoes and trompe l’oeil made by Macario Ligon. His nephew, Victor Ramos, repainted and retouched the details during the 1970s. The paintings are sensitive to flash photography as it may affect the pigments in the paint. An elaborate chandelier hangs by the altar. There are also wooden carvings of images of saints thanks to the talented carvers of Guagua. The patron saint of the church is St. James the Moor-Slayer. A life-sized statue is on the grounds of Betis Church.
The church has a strict clothing requirement. Shorts and sleeveless tops aren’t allowed in the area. There’s a basket of sarongs by the entrance the ladies can borrow. The townsfolk of Barangay San Nicolas are sure to observe proper clothing during their time of worship.
Churches abound in the province of Pampanga. Whether it’s sightseeing, establishing your faith or meditating, these churches are open to everyone. Learn a thing or two from the Kapampangan way of living through praise and worship in their beautiful basilicas.