Sunday, June 26, 2016

National Cultural Treasure Series - MINOR BASILICA OF SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, Tayabas, Quezon


The Minor Basilica of St. Michael The Archangel in Tayabas, Quezon is known as the longest Spanish Colonial church with the longest aisle in the entire Philippines measuring 103 meters or 338 feet long. The church is the largest in the province of Quezon and the 2nd biggest in the Philippines, and one of the oldest religious structures. It is built in the shape of a key. Locals often refer to the church as Susi ng Tayabas or the "Key of Tayabas" because of its floor plan designed after the shape of a key. The church has earned the reputation of being one of the most beautiful churches in the country.

The Church of St. Michael The Archangel was declared by the National Historical Institute as a National Historical Landmark in 1978.  The National Museum of the Philippines declared Tayabas Basilica as a National Cultural Treasure on July 31, 2001 along with 25 churches in the Philippines.






The church's 103-meter (338-foot) aisle also has the longest nave among Spanish colonial era churches in the Philippines.


The church underwent a series of rebuilding and renovations since it was built more than 400 years ago. The Franciscan Missionaries had the first church built in 1585 using indigenous materials like bamboo, anahaw and nipa. It was rebuilt in 1590 by Saint Juan Bautista. And again rebuilt in 1600 using bricks. Ravaged by an earthquake in 1743, the church was repaired and enlarged in 1856 to include a transept and cupola. An 18th century clock that chimed every 30 minutes was installed on the side of the belfry, said to be the only one of its kind in the Philippines.




Monday, June 13, 2016

National Cultural Treasure Series - SAN AGUSTINE OF HIPPO CHURCH, Bacong, Negros Oriental



The Church of St. Agustine of Hippo is located in the coastal town of Bacong, Negros Oriental, the smallest municipality in the province, located south of Dumaguete City. It is the town’s heritage jewel with it's fabled pipe organ. The church’s current structure was completed in 1865. Its sits with its fa├žade and belfry close to and facing the shore as do most churches of the era. 

The church was declared by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure in 2002. 






Its bell tower, the tallest in the province, served as look out for monitoring of maurading pirates.  Climbing the top is quite a challenge but the breathtaking view of the Negros seaside and the town plaza surrounded by majestic acacia trees. 






Most of the interior of the church is renovated except for the altar, which is said to be the oldest in the province. It remains one of two original elements. The church’s pipe organ is the other. It was ordered from Zaragoza, Spain and installed in 1894. The pipe organ was restored in 2009.



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