This is the 2nd part of my Journey to Holiness...
Saint James the Great Church
Betis, Guagua, Pampanga
It is more popularly known as “Betis Church” and it is also nicknamed as the “Sistine Chapel of the Philippines” because of its beautiful interior. Fr. Fernando Pinto started its construction in 1660 and was finally completed in 1770 by Fr. Jose de Cruz. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) declared this church a National Treasure, one of only 26 churches in the country bestowed that honor. Main attraction of the church is the ceiling mural by famous painter Simon Flores.
I was in awe when I saw the interior of the church especially the ceiling. You cannot believe that there is such a beautiful masterpiece inside the church because of the simplicity you can see outside.
When you visit the church you can buy souvenir items like mugs and small plates and sweets like, yema, tarts, polvoron etc.
San Guillermo Parish Church
Now known as the half buried church of Bacolor it is one of the two oldest churches in Pampanga. San Guillermo Parish Church is named after the town’s patron saint. Lahar flowed from the slopes of Mt. Pinatubo which erupted on June 15, 1991, buried the church at half its 12-meter height prompting of its more than 50,000 town residents to evacuate to safer grounds.
The windows of the church now serves as the entrance.
You’ll notice that the ceiling is now undergoing repairs as well as some areas of the church.
Now the church is becoming more famous because the shooting of the teleseryeng May Bukas Pa. It serves as the location of some of the important scenes in the highest rating teleserye of ABS-CBN. Santino has become a household name since its airing several months ago.
Here are some pics of the areas that some of the scenes were taped.
They (the Fathers) usually held their meetings here, located at the side of the church.
If you'll remember in the first episode, this is the place where they were running after the little Santino because the latter doesn't want to take a bath (hehehe, alam na alam ko... follower ako ng May Bukas Pa eh...)
O eto, katabi lang pala ng church ang "Bahay ni Mayor" (played by Albert M.) ibig sabihin magkapitbahay lang pala sina Stella at Cocoy? hahaha!!!!
The 6th Church that we’ve visited was in Tarlac. Immaculate Conception was built in July 30, 1801, the old roof was made of cogon and the walls are made of bricks. It has undergone a major reconstruction in the year 1995 because of the 1991 earthquake. The church has two bell towers but only the left side tower has the bells in it donated by two prominent persons of the town of Cupcupin (sorry I forgot to take down the names of the person that was mentioned by our tour guide).
There was a wedding that about to start that afternoon, thanks to the Parish Priest for he allowed us to enter the church and say our prayers before the wedding ceremony starts.
Well, that was the six churches that we’ve visited and I hope next time, I’ll be given a chance again to be part of the 3rd Pilgrimage which I think will be held in the province of Ilocos.