Lazada Philippines

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Memorable Visit at San Pedro de Alcantara Church

Last Holy Week, I was able to visit more than a dozen of churches. From classic to contemporary, one thing that I can't deny, my heart skips a beat every time I see one beautiful Philippine church. And one of those many churches that I visited that really left a mark of good memory in my heart and mind is Pakil, Laguna's San Pedro de Alcantara Church.

This church albeit housing Saint Peter de Alcantara is more popular for its miraculous Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba or Our Lady of Sorrows of Turumba.

On my first-ever visit on this church last Good Friday, I was able to walk at every passage of this church and hear its very uplifting and truly mystifying stories. We know how the life in the provinces in our country works, and here in Pakil, there's no exception.

From folklore to historical background, I was able to get it right from the mouth of the people who were born and raised here - something that made my visit here more interesting and really memorable.

Aside from the fact that this church or rather this town is the only town in Laguna that wasn't destroyed during World War I and World War II, Pakil and San Pedro de Alcantara Church both possess strong, vibrant features that can stand the test of time.

From its interior's intricate designs and lovely warm colors, these are some of the distinct characteristics of this church that made my visit very homey. But of course, since I'm here with my friends who were from this part of the country, I had an instant access to the deeper "interior" of the church.

Walking through the left passage of the church that connects to the private offices, our view was swarmed with red bricks that I find so fascinating. One story that I got about these bricks was it was only in 1997 that everyone learned that the church is actually made of these beautiful red bricks. According to my friend, back then, the church is usually painted with white, peach or mint green colors. But one morning of 1997, the then parish priest accidentally tore up the paint in one of the walls of the church. He noticed something reddish that made him decide to continue the tearing up. He found out that underneath the paint is a red-colored wall, which he then assumed as a brick. That parish priest asked volunteers from the town after each mass to help him tear up the remaining paint on the wall, and after 3 years of tearing and cleaning, this is what they've got, a more enthralling San Pedro de Alcantara Church.

These red bricks run from the interior of the church up to the second floor where the dining area, adoration chapel and mini museum are located. Can you imagine why it took so long to tear up all of those paints?

But before we head to the second floor, we dropped by first at their souvenir shop where we found those items above. From the miraculous oil, to replicas of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba and some Pakil souvenirs, you can find it in here. I was also lucky to see the grotto that they have inside the church. Actually, it  is like a small courtyard that has a replica of Our Lady of Fatima - a nice touch to the whole church.

On our way to the upper floor, we were greeted by some murals and more red bricks. The flooring of the second floor is made of this century old wood that every footstep can be heard below. It is safe, if in case you ask. And I must add that the floor is so shiny that you can even use it as a mirror. Hehe.

From here, one of the church's helpers, Kuya Nelson, guided us to the different rooms including those that are not open to the public. :-) 


Upon entering second floor, you'll see these frames that will give you a brief and concise background about the church and about Pakil, Laguna. How I wish that every church has this kind of stuff so it'll be easier for visitors to learn about that church. ^_^

I learned that this church has been a part of some movies and TV shows in the country and it has been a center of pilgrimage here in Laguna before, during and after the Lenten season.

We were able to visit the dining area where the priests, bishops, cardinals and other important guests dine when they are here, as well as the adoration chapel that has this old-style retablo, which is currently the house of the miraculous portrait of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba. This portrait of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba is the actual portrait that the fishermen had found floating in Laguna de Bay back in the late 1700. Kuya Nelson added that this portrait (left, below) doesn't leave the church premises anymore since one of their previous parish priest suggested to create a life-size replica (right, below) of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores.

I was able to take a good look of the portrait and the life-size replica, and both are mystically stunning! And since I'm that close, I had a chance to whisper my prayer and wishes, and I can feel that it will come true! :-)

After that, Kuya Nelson led us to the walk-in closet of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba, and to our surprise, we found these elegant pieces that made me think Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba is as vain as me. From the colorful outfits, to the perfumes, which according to Kuya Nelson were mostly donated, up to the jewelries - expensive jewelries, everything were meticulously chosen and elegantly picked! I like!

Our guide told us that before they used to change Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba's outfit 3 to 4 times a month, but now, they only change it once or twice a month. Actually, it depends on the expression that they see on Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba's face.

Sadly, our tour ends here in the walk-in closet of  Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. I'm actually hoping to see the bell tower that day, but the guy who holds the key weren't there that time, so I think, there's a reason for me to visit this church again, right :-)

San Pedro de Alcantara Church is a breathtaking site too see in the morning as well as during the night. Something that is hard to take off of my mind.

Thank your for the stories and all the inspiration!
Hope to join you on Turumba Festival, Pakil, Laguna!

Happy rammmpa!


  1. I also visited that place when I was having my Visita Iglesia in Laguna. It is a beautiful church.

  2. sammyme48@yahoo.comApril 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    thank you for a very wonderful review... hope to see you in one of the Turumba... you will surely enjoy! don't forget to wear your dancing shoes...


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