Operation Phil Colonial Churches


Cultural Treasures and Historical Landmarks of the Philippines.

I've always been fascinated by churches all over the world. Be it the local church or those on the far side of the globe.  My curiosity is not at all based on religiosity, but rather the subtle clues it imparts from the culture it represents. Churches - like windows of civilization - much like the eyes serving as windows of the soul.

History has taught us that man's life, even during the early stages, revolves around religion in one form or another. It is not the belief that excites me, but the relics of that faith that withstood time.  The places of worship - the structure, the architecture, the images, the art, the traditions and influences that surrounds it and even its location - provide tell-tale signs of how early generations lived.  Thus, each culture can be understood by studying their churches.

It is for this reason that I ventured on my Operation Churches: Cultural Treasures of the Philippines. As of 2011, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts listed four (4) UNESCO World Heritage Churches and a total of thirty six Heritage churches in the Philippines.  My travels around the country include visiting all 36 churches and the 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  I do not plan to finish all of them in a year, but I started in 2011 and plan to continue on.

The 40 churches have been selected by the NCCA for their unique structure and cultural significance.  Aside from the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site, the NCCA further classifies heritage churches as either National Cultural Treasures or National Historical Landmarks.  A national historical landmark means that the church is associated to events or achievements significant to Philippine History as declared by the National Historical Institute. We have 21 churches classified as historical landmarks. A national cultural treasure means that the church is a unique cultural property that possesses outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to the country as declared by a cultural authority (2010 Heritage Law). Together with the 36 cultural treasures, 4 UNESCO heritage churches and 21 historical landmarks, that brings a total of 61 churches around the country. Whew!

Now I prepared a list which will guide me whenever I am in the countryside to be able to locate these churches and know their stories.

Province
NCCA Classification
Church/Location
Links to Posts
Batanes
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Carlos Borromeo in Mahatao, Batanes

National historical landmarks


Cagayan
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Raymundo de Peñafort in Rizal, Cagayan

National historical landmarks


Ilocos Sur
UNESCO
Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur
Vigan Cathedral under the inscription Historic Town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur

National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Guillermo de Aquitania in Magsingal, Ilocos Sur

National historical landmarks


Ilocos Norte
UNESCO
San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte

National Cultural treasures
San Andres Apostol Churchin Bacarra, Ilocos Norte

National historical landmarks


La Union
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of Santa Catalina de Alejandria in Luna, La Union

National historical landmarks


Abra
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of Santa Catalina de Alejandria in Tayum, Abra

National historical landmarks


Isabela
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Matias in Tumauini, Isabela

National historical landmarks


Pangasinan
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Calasiao, Pangasinan

National historical landmarks


Aurora
National Cultural treasures


National historical landmarks
Church of Baler Historical Landmark (Baler, Aurora)

Nueva Vizcaya
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Vicente de Ferrer in Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya

National historical landmarks


Zambales
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Andres in Masinloc, Zambales

National historical landmarks


Bataan
National Cultural treasures


National historical landmarks
Abucay Church Historical Landmark (Abucay, Bataan)

Pampanga
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of Santiago Apostol in Betis, Guagua, Pampanga
Parish Church of Santa Monica in Minalin, Pampanga

National historical landmarks
Lubao Church Historical Landmark (Lubao, Pampanga)

Bulacan
National Cultural treasures


National historical landmarks
Barasoain Church Historical Landmark (Malolos, Bulacan)

Manila
UNESCO
San Agustin Church in Manila

National Cultural treasures
Camarin de la Virgen, Parish Church of Nuestra Sra. De los Desamparados (Sta. Ana, Manila)

National historical landmarks
Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice (UP Diliman, Quezon City)
San Sebastian Church Historical Landmark (Quiapo, Manila)

Rizal
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Ildefonso in Tanay, Rizal

National historical landmarks


Cavite
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of the Assumption of Our Lady in Maragondon, Cavite

National historical landmarks


Laguna
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Gregorio Magno in Majayjay, Laguna

National historical landmarks
Calamba Church Historical Landmark (Calamba City, Laguna)
Church of Paete (Paete, Laguna)

Quezon
National Cultural treasures
Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel in Tayabas, Quezon

National historical landmarks


Batangas
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception in Balayan, Batangas

National historical landmarks
Taal Church Historical Landmark in Taal, Batangas

Camarines Sur
National Cultural treasures


National historical landmarks
Quipayo Church Historical Landmark in Calabanga, Camarines Sur

Albay
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Juan Bautista in Tabaco, Albay
Our Lady of the Gate Church (Daraga, Albay) - Eastern & Western Facades, Belfry and Baptistry

National historical landmarks


Marinduque
National Cultural treasures


National historical landmarks
Cathedral of Boac Historical Landmark (Boac, Marinduque)

Romblon
National Cultural treasures
Cathedral of San Jose in Romblon, Romblon

National historical landmarks


Iloilo
UNESCO
St. Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo

National Cultural treasures
 Parish Church of San Joaquin in San Joaquin, Iloilo

National historical landmarks
Barotac Nuevo Church, Convent and Cemetery Historical Landmark in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo
Dumangas Church Historical Landmark (Dumangas, Iloilo)
Ermita Chapel Historical Landmark (Dumangas, Iloilo)
Jaro Belfry Historical Landmark (Jaro, Iloilo City)
Molo Church Historical Landmark (Molo, Iloilo City)

Capiz
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of Santa Monica in Panay, Capiz

National historical landmarks


Eastern Samar
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception in Guiuan, Eastern Samar

National historical landmarks


Leyte (southern leyte, ormoc airport)
National Cultural treasures


National historical landmarks
Maasin Church (Maasin City, Southern Leyte)

Cebu
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of Patrocinio de Maria in Boljoon, Cebu

National historical landmarks
Church and Convent of Santo Niño (Cebu City)
Church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion Historical Landmark (Argao, Cebu)
Church of San Guillermo de Aquitania Historical Landmark (Dalaguete, Cebu)

Bohol
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Pedro and San Pablo in Loboc, Bohol
Maribojoc Church (Bohol)
 Loon Church in Bohol
 San Nicolas de Tolentino Church and Ermita Ruins, Dimiao, Bohol
Dauis Church, Dauis, Panglao

National historical landmarks
Baclayon Church Historical Landmark (Baclayon, Bohol)
 Church of the Most Holy Trinity Historical Landmark (Loay, Bohol)

Negros oriental
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Agustin in Bacong, Negros Oriental

National historical landmarks


Siquijor
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Isidro Labrador in Lazi, Siquijor

National historical landmarks


Misamis Oriental (CDO)
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception in Jasaan, Misamis Oriental

National historical landmarks


Misamis occidental (Ozamis Airport)
National Cultural treasures
Parish Church of San Juan Bautista in Jimenez, Misamis Occidental Parish 

National historical landmarks


Davao Oriental
National Cultural treasures
Church of San Salvador del Mundo, Caraga, Davao Oriental






Some of the churches listed above I may have visited once or twice before, that's before I made this my short term mission. Like Barasoain Church where I frequented since a classmate of mine lives in Malolos and I once worked there. Also, who have not seen San Agustin Church as this is a frequent field trip destination when we were still in primary school. Nevertheless, I decided to create a string of posts completing my list.

So watch out for it!

Completed in 2011:         11
Completed in 2012:         16 so far

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