10 amazing churches and chapels to cross off your Visita Iglesia bucket list

IMAGE Courtesy of Gabbi Garcia

The Saint Augustine Church, also known as the Paoay Church, is one of the four Baroque Churches in the country. It was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Visita Iglesia is a tradition that Catholics do during Holy Week.

The general practice is to visit seven churches either on Holy Thursday or Good Friday, and recite the stations of the cross.

The Philippines, which was introduced to Christianity by Spanish colonizers in the early 16th century, is presently the third biggest Roman Catholic country in the world after Brazil and Mexico.

It's also home to some of the oldest and most majestic churches in the world. Here are some of them.

MANILA CATHEDRAL

Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Manila Cathedral, serves as the episcopal see of the Archbishop of Manila.

It was founded in 1571 by Fray Juan de Vivero.

The cathedral's current architectural design was constructed from 1954 to 1958 under Most Reverend Rufino J. Cardinal Santos, with the supervision of Filipino architect Fernando H. Ocampo.

The cathedral was renovated for "earthquake retrofitting and subsidence prevention" in 2012, and it reopened in 2014.

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QUIAPO CHURCH

Quiapo Church, known canonically as Parish of Saint John the Baptist, is one of the most popular churches in the metro which houses the miraculous Black Nazarene, also known as Nuestro Señor Jesús Nazareno.

The church has a rich history which credits Franciscan friar Antonio de Nombella as its founder in 1588.

It was officially declared a Minor Basilica in 1988.

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PAOAY CHURCH

The Saint Augustine Church, also known as the Paoay Church, is located at the Municipality of Paoay, Ilocos Norte.

Augustinian friars led by Father Antonio Estavillo started the church's construction in 1694, and was finished in 1710. The church is known for its earthquake-Baroque style architecture.

It is one of the four Baroque Churches in the country, along with Miagao Church in Iloilo, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, and Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Ilocos Sur.

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It was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 11, 1993.

BARASOAIN CHURCH

The Barasoain Church, also known as the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, located in Malolos, Bulacan, was built in 1888.

The church earned the title "Cradle of Democracy in the East, the most important religious building in the Philippines, after witnessing important events in Philippine history.

It became the site of the first Philippine Congress, better known as the Malolos Congress, where the Malolos Constitution was drafted in 1898.

It was also where the First Philippine Republic was inaugurated in 1899, with Emilio Aguinaldo taking oath as the country's first official president.

DARAGA CHURCH

The Daraga Church, formally called Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church, was built by Franciscan missionaries in 1772.

The church's architecture is said to be a mix of Renaissance Gothic and Mexican baroque.

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STO. NIÑO BASICILA

The Sto. Niño Basilica located in Cebu City is officially known as the Basílica Menor del Santo Niño de Cebú.

It is the oldest church in the country founded in 1565 by Andrés de Urdaneta, O.S.A., and Diego de Herrera, O.S.A..

The church was built exactly where the Spanish explorers discovered a statue depicting the Child Jesus, also known as the Santo Niño de Cebú, in 1565.

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ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH

The Catholic Church Of St. John The Baptist, also known as Jimenez Church, is located at the Municipality of Jimenez in Misamis Occidental.

It is one of the oldest churches in the country, and considered one of the best preserved Spanish era church built in Mindanao.

The church is predominantly Baroque in architecture, and has well-preserved neo-gothic interiors.

Its construction started 1862, and was finished in 1880s.

It was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum on July 31, 2001.

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One of the oldest church in the Philippines! #proudjimenznon #hometown

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SAN SEBASTIAN CATHEDRAL

San Sebastian Cathedral is located in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

The cathedral features baroque-style architecture and is made of coral stones, which was sourced from the island of Guimaras.

Its construction started in 1876, and was finished in 1882.

San Sebastian Cathedral now serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod.

MIAGAO CHURCH

Miagao Church, also known as the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, is located in Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines.

It was founded by the Augustinians in 1731, and is known for its Baroque-Romanesque architectural style.

The church was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 11, 1993.

CALLAO CAVE CHAPEL

The Callao Cave Chapel, located in Peñablanca, Cagayan, is a serene chapel for those who want to reflect this Holy Week.

The chapel is found at the first chamber of Callao Cave.

The locals set up wooden pews facing rock formation which resembles a church altar.

Aside from the lamps, the chapel is well-lit by the natural light which passes through a crevice on top of the altar.


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