Whimsical Wednesday: A Flair for Old Churches

Whimsical Wednesday shows my fancy in a myriad of beautiful things.

As we all know, Christianity was introduced to the Philippines by the Spaniards in the 16th century.  Right then, the very first church was built in the country, the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu.  The Catholic church defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments, and exercising charity.  (wikipedia.com)  And this is the vocation Philippine Catholic churches never fail to fulfill!

But aside from the church’s noble cause in the society, I also see it as an ornate and architecturally prestigious building.  I see it as a work of art!  As my first feature of an old church in EOS Destination #1!, I am fascinated with its exterior and interior design may it be of any style – Trompe-l’oleil, Baroque, or Rococo.  Then my flair for old churches sparked up especially when I had the chance to visit the historical province of Albay.  It is a place where churches play dominant features of the towns and countryside in which they stood.

First church is the Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno in the province’s capital, Legazpi City.

Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno Legazpi Albay
The Albay Cathedral (as it is commonly called), is the Episcopal Seat of the Diocese of Legazpi.  Thus, bishops of the province reside here.  My favorite piece of the church is the angel bearing something like a mailbox maybe for prayer requests or donations.

angelmailbox

The Grand Interior of the Church
The Grand Interior of the Church

Second church is The Parish Church of San Juan Bautista in Tabaco City, Albay.

The Parish Church of San Juan Bautista Tabaco, Albay
The parish was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum in 2001.  My favorite pieces here are the glass windows depicting the life of Jesus Christ while He lives on earth.

window cathedral

At the Sides - The Massive Columns of the Church
At the Sides – The Massive Columns of the Church

Third church is Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Church in Daraga, Albay.

Nuestra Senora de la Porteria Church Daraga Albay
The church was built by the Franciscans in 1773.  It is where the churchgoers of Cagsawa transferred to hear mass after their church was ruined during the Mt. Mayon eruption in 1814.  My favorite piece is the hefty belfry where I stood awed by the ringing of its giant bell!

belfryNuestra Senora de la Porteria Church Daraga Albay2
Fourth church is the Church of Cagsawa in Cagsawa, Albay.

Church of Cagsaua
As mentioned, the church was buried in rocks and lava during the eruption of Mayon Volcano.  Thus, only the remains stood still in the site.  My favorite part of the ruins is the stone foundation for it reminds me of the ruins of ancient Greece (not that I had already visited the place).

stonefoundation
Church of Cagsaua2

The Ruins Turned Into a Garden
Nowadays, churches not only play as a place for Christianity but they also play as tourist attractions.  But we must all be reminded that it is still a place of worship wherein we ought to pay respect to.  Upon visiting a church, do ask some locals first if it is OK to take some photos.    Be quiet upon entering the church and never use your flash.  Then buy a candle or two and light them for guidance.  Be thankful to the Lord for giving us the opportunity to enjoy His wondrous works!

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