Lazada Philippines

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Via Crucis: 10 Churches of Bicolandia (Part 1)

As a solo traveler, one of the most memorable places that I've visited is the Bicolandia region. With its majestic volcanoes painting the sky with such a striking images, Bicolandia also poses some soul-lifting churches that are perfect to see if you are planning to do a Via Crucis or Visita Iglesia this Holy Week in this side of the country.

Though there may be more beautiful churches to see than the 10 that I’ve recently visited, these 10 are just some of the spots that draw not just pilgrims but also tourist of this humble but very breathtaking province.

Exploring the southern part of Luzon has been my dream for a very long time. A region boasts with amazing array of natural resources, Bicolandia or Bicol  possesses the most captivating scenery and culture that you can enjoy by going around its provinces; by tasting every unique and spicy dish they've have created out of their creative minds; and by just being with its sincere and loving people, the Bicolanos.

Aside from checking out the province’s churches, it is also in my itinerary to try some of the world-famous Bicolano dishes, tourist spots and of course shopping malls, so twelve hours away from Metro Manila, I arrived in Legaspi Bus Terminal one morning of May. The thick summer air welcomed me as I begin my solo journey in this region. This is my first time here, so I have my Google map ready just in case I lost.

A few minutes after, I found myself standing in front of Legazpi Church.

Legazpi Church

Located along Peñaranda St., Legazpi Port District, Legazpi, Albay, Legazpi Church houses St. Raphael the Archangel, who also serves as its patron saint. Though it may look modern, the history is of this church is as colorful as its facade. Originally built in 1834, this church suffered a massive destruction during World War II.

Though the structure may resemble to some religion’s church, the altar of St. Raphael the Archangel is standing on a single block of hardened lava, which came from Mt. Mayon.

After some minutes of photo taking and praying, I headed to my next church destination.

This one is quite famous now after it was featured to some local movies. As white as its facade, Daraga Church houses Nuestra Señora de la Porteria or the Our Lady of the Gate.

Daraga Church

Perched on Sta. Maria Hill, Daraga, Albay, this church was built in 1773 by Franciscan missionaries. It is said that this church was built as a settlement area for the people of Cagsawa who fears another eruption of Mt. Mayon. A Baroque architecture, Daraga Church offers a breathtaking view of Mt. Mayon that will surely sweep you off of your feet.

I was lucky to chance upon a wedding when I visited this church, and through enough, the place spells love that captures not just once eye but also one’s heart and soul.

The third church in Albay Province that you should visit this season is the Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno.

Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno

Located nearby Peñaranda Park, Legazpi City Hall and Provincial Capitol in the province of Albay, the Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno was built in honor of the great conquistador, Senor Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, through the kindness of Pedro Romero, in 1834.

Definitely one of the grandest church that will welcome you here in Albay, the Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno has been a favorite destination for many pilgrims of the province and neighboring regions.

Heading a little north-east, I came across the Tabaco Church or the Saint John the Baptist Parish Church.

Tabaco Church

Neatly located at the heart of the municipality of Tabaco, Albay, this church was founded by the Franciscans and currently considered as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines.

A noticeable feature of this structure is its black colored facade which is said to be caused by the dark volcanic soil and stones used in building it. A number of mason’s marks are also be found around the structure, which until now has no explanation.

The interior of this church was exquisitely adorned by pillars and other rococo designs that make it one of the distinguish structures in the province.

A little up north is the quite province of Tiwi, Albay. Currently famous of supplying geothermal power to the entire province, Tiwi has its own church that it is being considered as Bicol’s another prized possession.

Tiwi Church

Formerly known as the century-old Tigbi Parish Church, Tiwi Church or St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish is located at Sitio Basag, Barangay Tigbi. 

This church was recently renovated to keep its distinct features and to strengthen its walls that has been withstanding calamities for decades now.

Pilgrims and tourists alike flock to St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish and to the other famous Tiwi Church, the Diocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Salvacion, to worship during Holy Week.

1 comment:

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