Of all the amazing things to see and experience on a trip to the Philippines, one of the best kept secrets is the abundance of beautiful, ancient churches and cathedrals in the country. The Philippines is the largest Christian country in Asia, and the fifth largest in the world, with around 93 per cent of the population professing the Christian faith. This is a remnant of 300 years of Spanish Catholic rule, but the faith has endured.
The vast majority of the churches in the Philippines are Catholic, as the vast majority of the Christian population is Catholic, but a large number of unique old Protestant parishes dot the islands as well.
The Paoay Church is a Roman Catholic structure completed in 1710 in the municipality of Paoay, llocos Norte. It is famous for its unusual architecture, and is built of baked bricks, coral rocks, tree sap and lumber, and has 24 carved massive buttresses for support. It is known as the “Earthquake Baroque” church of the Philippines because it is highly ornamental and beautiful, yet built very sturdy to resist the inclement weather native to the area.
The Barasoain Church, also known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, is a Roman Catholic church built in 1630 in Malolos City, Bulacan. The Barasoain Church is a site of such profound historic significance for the country that it is called both “the Cradle of Democracy in the East, the most important religious building in the Philippines,” and “the site of the First Philippine Republic.” The church was the site of the convening of the First Philippine Congress (September 15, 1898), the drafting of the Malolos Constitution (September 29, 1898 to January 21, 1899), and the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic (January 23, 1899). It is also a beautiful structure built by Augustinian Missionaries.
San Agustin Church of the Philippines
The San Agustin Church is a Roman Catholic church located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila. San Agustin Church was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, under the collective title Baroque Churches of the Philippines. The first San Agustin Church was the first religious structure constructed by the Spaniards on the island of Luzon. Made of bamboo and nipa, it was completed in 1571, but has burned and been rebuilt numerous times.
San Sebastian Church of Manila
Dauis Church in Bohol
Quiapo Church in Manila
San Jose Church in Ivana Basco Batanes
Basilica de Sto. Niño in Cebu