There are a myriad of churches in the Philippines … most are hundreds of years old. The architecture of each of these churches are different and fascinating. The following are churches to visit when in the Philippines.
1 | Manila Cathedral, Intramuros, Manila
Initially built using bamboo, nipa, and wood in 1581, the Manila Cathedral has been rebuilt several times as it has been damaged by fires, earthquakes, and bombings during World War II. The present structure was built in 1954 to 1958 and is now considered a significant part of Philippine history. The cathedral houses sacred relics, centuries-old artworks, and sculptures. Popes visiting the country conduct mass in Manila Cathedral which is now officially called Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
2 | Sacred Heart Chapel & Tower, Balete, Batangas
Located in the sprawling Catholic theme park called Marian Orchard, the Sacred Heart Chapel is a perfect place to have a quiet moment to pray. While the chapel is small, the structures and the beauty surrounding it are impressive. Its pathway lined with flowers connects the Sacred Heart Plaza and the Dome of Mary Mediatrix. Along the way stands the Arch of the Two Hearts, the Apostles Row, the Ruins, and Plaza Fontana. Marian Orchard, along with the Sacred Heart Chapel and other structures, is truly a great and beautiful place to meditate, worship, and pray.
3 | Daraga Church, Daraga, Albay
Built in 1773, Daraga Church is a Baroque architecture with a facade and walls made of volcanic rocks which are abundant in the area considering its proximity to Mayon Volcano. The church was heavily damaged during World War II but has been rehabilitated and is continuously preserved to prevent further deterioration. Overlooking the sea and Mayon Volcano, the church’s facade, belfry, and baptistry are recognized as National Cultural Treasure.
4 | Callao Cave Chapel, Peñablanca, Cagayan
The only chapel in the country which is located inside a cave, the Callao Cave Chapel is found in the first and largest chamber of the cave. The chamber has a cathedral-like shape and a rock formation used as an altar. Callao Cave is a top attraction in the area and is part of Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape.
5 | Mt. Carmel Chapel, Basco, Batanes
A beautiful chapel standing atop a foothill surrounded by lush greenery, that is what best describes Mt. Carmel Chapel also known as Tukon Chapel. Newer than the other churches and chapels in this list as it was only officially opened in 2008, the design of the chapel is based on the traditional Ivatan houses in which boulders are stacked and bonded to form a wall. The hill where the chapel stands overlooks Batanes, the Pacific Ocean, and the West Philippine Sea.
READ MORE: Churches in the Philippines
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