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Pampanga Religious Tourist Attractions
Sta. Catalina Church (Arayat, Pampanga)
Built in honor of St. Catherine of Alexandra, it is one of the oldest churches in the province and is known for its classical architecture.
San Guillermo Parish Church (Bacolor, Pampanga)
One of Pampanga’s oldest churches. It features fascinating works of architecture, such as its classic altar in antique carved design and décor blending with religious frescos reminiscent of neoclassical works of European art.
Apu Chapel (Angeles City, Pampanga)
This is the shrine of the Our Lord of the Holy Sepulchre (Apung Mamacalulu). Devotees from all over Pampanga flock to this shrine every Friday to venerate the supposedly miraculous image of Jesus Christ lying in the sepulcher. It is also every Friday when people buy household items, clothing including audio-video equipment in a makeshift market called "tiangge" at bargain prices.
Holy Rosary Cathedral (Angeles City, Pampanga)
Located at the intersection of Sto. Rosario and Sto. Entierro Streets, the Holy Rosary Church was constructed from 1877 to 1896 by the townspeople of Angeles by forced labor system known as "polos y servicios" imposed by the Spanish colonial government. From 1899 to 1900 the church was used by the US Army as a military hospital. In 1896 - 1898, the backyard of the church became the execution grounds to the Spanish forces in shooting down Filipino rebels and suspects. It has a beautiful transient and measures 70m. long, 20m. wide and 12m. high. The dominant element of façade is the symmetry created by recessed arched windows which are in harmony with the segmented ones.
Apalit Parochial Church (Apalit, Pampanga)
Located at the town plaza, it was built in the year 1629 - 1630 and designed in Baroque architecture. The painting on the ceilings and dome are filled with beautiful paintings and are worth studying. The style of the façade is reminiscent of European neo-classic churches. It was rebuilt by Father Antonio Redondo between the years 1876 - 1880. Its towers were finished in 1896 by the Rev. Toribio Fanjul, who purposely made them low to minimize the effects of earthquakes.
St. Catherine Parish Church (Arayat, Pampanga)
One of the oldest churches in Pampanga and known for its classical architectures. No records on builder and date of construction of present church. The church measures 70m. long, 16m. wide and 12m. high. The presbytery, ceiling and the main altar have been recently renovated. The original stone of the façade has been covered with cement and painted white.
San Guillermo Parish Church (Bacolor, Pampanga)
It is one of the oldest and largest churches in Pampanga. It was constructed by the Augustinian friars in 1576 on the lot of Don Guillermo Manabat, a rich landlord believed to be the founder of Bacolor. The church was restored by Fr. Manuel Diaz in 1897. The church measured 56m. long, 15m. wide and 12m. high. It has a central nave and an ample and well-lighted transept with windows. The main retablo, side retablos and pulpit are gilded with gold leaf. The richness of the decoration of Bacolor is indicative of the advanced stage of its baroque style. In spite of the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which half-buried the church on Oct. 1, 1995, masses are still held every Sunday morning.
St. Andrew Parish Church (Candaba, Pampanga)
The simplicity of line and scarcity of ornamentation are the main traits of the façade of this church, the triangular pediment with its protruding center helps maintain the simplicity of line. A new feature of the façade is the depressed three-centered arches of the windows on the second level. The second level is separated by a cornice decorated with geometric designs.
St. Joseph Parish Church (Florida Blanca, Pampanga)
Pseudo-Gothic elements blend subtly along the classic design of the structure. The flame-like arch of the main entrance and lateral doors provide contrast to the triangular pediment. The structures are simple and the large voids lend drama to an otherwise bare design.
Betis Catholic Church (Guagua, Pampanga)
The jewel in the crown is the Betis Church (Santiago de Galicia Parish), built in the early 1700s and repaired continually throughout the 1800s. The unadorned exterior does not prepare the visitor for what he's about to witness inside: the main altar (retablo) with ornate carvings and saints peering out of their niches like ancient dolls, and the paintings on the ceiling that attract comparison with the Sistine Chapel. NCCA declared this church a National Treasure, one of only ten churches in the country bestowed that honor. The main attraction is the original ceiling mural done by the famous painter Simon Flores (1839-1904). Not to be missed are the original Simon Flores painting of the Holy Family, the artesian well (dug in
Church of Lubao (Lubao, Pampanga)
Built in 1572, by Architect Fr. Antonio Herrera, the Augustinian mission constructed this church in 1614-1630 out of locally made bricks and sand mixed in egg albumin. The church was occupied in 1898 by the revolutionary forces, used as hospital in 1899 by the American forces, and was destroyed in 1942 by the Japanese shelling. It was then repaired in 1949-1952 under the direction of Fr. Melencio Garcia. It measures 82.45m. long, 21.12m. wide and 10.50m. high. The walls are 2.46m thick. It has one nave originally painted by Italian artists, Dibella and Alberoni. The five story belfry 15.31m. high remains unrestored.
St. Nicholas of Tolentino Parish Church (Macabebe, Pampanga)
It was founded in 1575 under the advocation of San Nicolas de Tolentino. The church measures 70m. long, 17m. wide and 11m. high. The façade of the church has scantly ornamentation and its architectural symmetry is lost amid and the various forms assumed the windows and the main entrance. Simple neo-classic lines of the façade.
Church of Magalang (Magalang, Pampanga)
San Bartolome Church - Established by the Augustinians in 1605, it was the scene of the encounter between the followers of Andres Malong led by Melchor de Vera and the Spanish troops in 1660. Moved to San Bartolome in 1734, the church was swept by Parua river in the flood of 1863. It was re-established in Barrio San Pedro on December 13, 1863. The 3-aisle church is made of stone and wood. It is 55m. long, 21m. wide and 7m. high. Interplay of arches, as seen on the main entrance, doors and niches, pediments and fenestrations, including those of the bellowers and adjacent convent suggest a touch of baroque.
St. Michael Archangel Parish Church (Masantol, Pampanga)
The church was built by the parish priest of Macabebe who attended to the spiritual needs of Masantol. The center bell tower is of renaissance influence. The cemented façade contrasts with natural texture and color of the original stones at the sides.
The Minalin Church (Sta. Monica Parish), located on the town's highest ground called burul (the town had moved to its present site due to flooding, hence 'minalis,' later corrupted to minalin) but despite its elevation, silt from the river has already invaded its beautiful church. The peeled palitada reveals the original red brick walls, giving the church its unique old-rose touches. The ancient mural paintings in the adjoining convent, one of which is a primitive-looking map with details of trees, ducks, crows, a boat, a hunter and a crocodile. A detail not to be missed are the corbels and beams in the convent and high up in the church's ceiling, with carvings that some say depict pre-Hispanic pagan deities like naga (serpent), dapu (crocodile) and galura (eagle), but Siuala ding Meangubie believes they depict only one creature, bulig (mudfish).
Sta. Rita of Casia Parish Church (Sta. Rita)
Building of the church had to be delayed until late 19th century due to economic adjuristicial conditions. The single-nave church is 55m long, 13m wide and 10m high. It has a large and well lit transept. The solid brass façade has baroque characteristics and the single columns are relatively slender.
St. Catherine Alexandra Church (Porac)
The original structure is very much intact but slight revisions have been made to the inside. Quite remote, the church underwent restoration in the 1980’s. The church is 52m long, 12m wide and 9m high.
Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando
(City of San Fernando) – The present church may have been built by the end of the 18th century, constructed most probably by Fr. Sebastian Moreno, its parish priest in 1756, and was restored in 1808. The church measures 70m. long, 13m. wide and 11m. high. The round majestic dome rising from the rotanda of the transept is reminiscent of the baroque style with some renaissance touch. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. President Emilio F. Aguinaldo and his cabinet viewed the Phillippine Revolutionary Army from the windows of the convento on October 9, 1898. The church and the convento were burned by the Philippine Revolutionary Army on orders of Gen. Antonio Luna on May 4, 1899. It was again destroyed by fire in 1939, and later restored by Architect Fernando H. Ocampo.
San Luis Church
(San Luis, Pampanga) is located in a place that used to be called Cabagsac, referring to the proliferation of fruit bats. In fact, today, a fishnet is permanently installed high above the altar precisely to catch thousands of bats that are roosting inside the church. The interior is dark, has an ambience of antiquity and mystery and overpowering odor of bat urine. The main attraction is the three-tower facade, perhaps one of its kind in the country. Not to be missed is the ancient cemetery located in a hidden corner at the back of the church, with some tombstones dating back to the 1800s and bearing the names of the town's prominent families, including Taruc.
Sta. Lucia Parish Church
(Sasmoan, Pampanga) The church is 45m long and 11m wide and 6m high. An author described it as “very beautiful and of very good condition.” When looking at the complex of church and convent, one is stuck by the impression that the round and rectangular openings are capriciously aligned. This makes the façade both interesting and unique. Attracts devotees from all over the provinces to honor Sta. Lucia and ask their petitions. She is believed to be a miraculous saint.
St. Anne Parish Church
(Sta. Ana, Pampanga) The church is 58m long, 14m wide and 13 m high. The recently applied coat of red and white paint has turned this centuries old church into a gaudy 20th century anomaly. The massive hexagonal four-storey bellower has blind and open recesses, keeping with the symmetry of the façade. It ends in a balustrade dome topped by a cross.