Monday, January 6, 2014

St. Anthony de Padua Church: Iriga City, Camarines Sur

St. Anthony de Padua Church 
 Iriga City, Camarines Sur 

Last December 31, we went South of CamSur
in Iriga City for our annual Thanksgiving Mass.

We used to have this mass at the beautiful church 
on a hill in Taguntong, Goa every year end 
that also happened to be the death anniversary
of my father in law, but the new parish priest
assigned  to the church was not available then.

We were told that Fr. Lillo, the former parish priest
that accommodated us every year in this church was
transferred  to Iriga City Church, and when we 
called him up he immediately said yes and scheduled us
for a 3 PM mass at the last day of  the year 2013.


So my family trooped to Iriga City and we were
delighted to see that the city has boomed economically.

Their beautiful Iriga Public Market that looked like
a mall was full of impressive tenants like LCC Mall,

Photos by kiasog of  SSC CamSur

...and popular restaurants like Chow King
Mang Inasal, and Graceland

Photos by kiasog of SSC CamSur

....and just in front was the iconic Jollibee. 

We dined at Biggs Iriga upon arriving.


Nearby was the Iriga Shopping Center
which also houses Shakey’s Pizza,

…and a long list of popular brands like Cinderella ,Osh Kosh,
Plains and Prints, and  Rusty Lopez as their tenants.

Iriga City is also home to a 3 star Iriga Plaza Hotel
and convention center, the beautiful Moraville Hotel
and two Triple A graded hotels in the nearby Nabua
Macagang Resort Hotel and Regal Hotel.

The city is also home to huge colleges and universities,
like Unversity of Saint Anthony or (USANT),


…the University of Northeastern Philippines (UNEP).

University of Northeastern Philippines (UNEP)

…and La Consolacion College to name a few.

It has Santa Maria Josefa Hospital, very modern
Catholic Church owned tertiary hospital, one of
the best equipped in the region that offers services
like CT Scan, hemodialysis center and endoscopy.

 Josefa Hospital

When we arrived at the Iriga City Church
or St. Anthony de Padua Church, it looked
 rather very conventional on the outside,


…but the interiors took our breath away.

It had an unpainted Baroque ceiling and despite
being devoid of any color, it was eye-catching .

The altar was one of the most intricate
Baroque art that I have seen in the region.


Intricate geometric patterns gilded in dazzling
gold and silver are sure to impress visitors.

The grandeur of some of the most beautiful
churches n Europe seemed to have been
recreated in this unassuming church.

 We were also pleasantly surprised to discover that
it also houses the Shrine of the Black Nazarene.

The thanksgiving mass went on smoothly,

…and despite our initial disappointment of not
having our traditional year end mass in Goa,
this Iriga Church mass was a blessing in disguise.

It introduced us to the sights and sounds of this
wonderful booming city south of CamSur.

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