Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cagayan’s Magnificent Historic Churches; An Astounding Trip Back in Time

Cagayan’s Magnificent Historic Churches
 An Astounding Trip Back in Time 
Tuguegarao, Cagayan Series 5

Metropolitan Cathedral of Tuguegarao.

 Visiting several of Cagayan’s  magnificent ancient   
churches was on our itinerary and the very first 
church that we visited upon arriving in Tuguegrao
was the Metropolitan Cathedral of Tuguegarao.

 The churchyard was already dark when we arrived
but we still managed to take photos of the frontage,

 …and of the park that had the 
Sacred Heart of Jesus monument.

 The cathedral's brick facade was
highlighted with white columns, 
and a five story tall bell tower. 


The front door was already closed so 
we used the rear entrance, where we
had to pass by a lovely patio with the 
statue of the Virgen Mary as a centerpiece.

Also known as St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 
it was apparently built from 1761 to 1767
by the supervision of the Spanish Dominicans 
who came to evangelize Cagayan Valley.

It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao 
and considered as the biggest Spanish-built
church in the entire Cagayan Valley Region.

 The church was in a little disarray as it
was undergoing intensive renovation,

 …but still, even without the light on, the
cavernous church still looked beautiful.

St. Dominic Church, Lallo Cagayan 

On our way back from Sta. Ana to Tuguergrao 
we were able to visit the ancient churches the 
first of which was the Lallo Church.

Also known as St. Dominic Church, we really 
wanted to visit this very historic church as this
is actually the old Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia,

 one of the five original Archdioceses established
by the Spaniards, together with our very own 
Archdiocese  of Nueva Caceres, here in Naga City.

The archdiocese was erected in 1595 in the city 
of Nueva Segovia now the modern-day Lallo,

 The church was well preserved 
and retained its grand old glory,

…and gives one an awe-inspiring feeling 
of coming face to face with the past.


St. Phelomene Church. Alcala, Cagayan

We also got to visit the Alcala town’s
beautiful St. Phelomene Church.


 The church was not on my list but it was
located by the highway and it was a sight 
to behold so we decided to stop to see it.


It is an all red brick church with a 
charming courtyard that would make
one feel that he is in a European piazza.

 The massive church door had intricate
grape vine  design trimmed with gold.

The church interior was undergoing renovation and
I hope that they avoid overdoing the restoration 
to preserve the church’s original grandeur, the way
it was built by their predecessors in the past.

St. James the Apostle Church, Iguig, Cagayan

 We came to Iguig Church to see
the  very popular Calvary Hills,

… that had a larger than life statues depicting
the stations of the cross of Christ’s crucifixion.

This was a must list visit for us as it
was only a week before the holy week.

This Igiug Church, also known as the 
St. James the Apostle Church was
a wonderful revelation for my family,

…as it offered much more
aside for the Calvary Hills.

 Iguig Church is a treasure throve of historical artifacts,
And it was still undergoing renovation during our visit. 

Fortunately, the present parish had preserved
most of the church’s  ancient architectural details,

,,,and had a beautiful green-  colored altar,

It also had a small shrine that had a
regular looking solitary cross at the altar,

…but it had a glass encased cavity that contains
a relic of a cross where Jesus was crucified,
This original relic alone is a compelling
reason toe visit Iguig  Church.

The church also had an ancient obelisk at the
courtyard that was still intact and seemed  to
have been left untouched since it was built in 1700.

There was also  a remnant f an ancient brick
Spanish staircase that used to lead to the
riverbanks  of the  mighty Cagayan River

The river has since receded and  the staircase
is now located far away from the river bank . 

Also nearby is an ancient  well that saito supply 
water for the town of Iguigin the 17th century


The structure was well preserved
Although the well  had since dried up.

We were overwhelmed by the ancient artifacts,
that Iguig appeared like as an outdoor museum. 

It reminded us of Athens, Greece where you
see magnificent relics of the past everywhere,

Iguig may not be as grand and as old as
the Parthenon, as they date back before Christ,
but the historical impact in our country is just as great.

Basilica Minore of Our Lady oPiat 

We visited the  Basilica Minore of Our Lady oPiat 
on a different day as it was off way.

The church is newer compared to most of
the churches that we visited in the province.

It was only built in the 1990’s, where
the Lady of Piat  would be transferred,

…that was originally enthroned in 1604 in Lallo Church,
the site of the historic Nueva Segovia in Cagayan. 

Visiting this miraculous image located
in the town of Piat is a must  for every   
Marian devotee visiting the province. 

Just like the Lady of Penafrancia where
I came from in Naga City that is considered
as  Bicol Region’s  patroness, Our Lady of Piat
is Cagayan Valley Region’s patroness.

Visiting  Cagayan’s long list of wonderful ancient churches
is valuable lesson in history and definitely enhanced
my young  children’s appreciation of our colonial past.

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