Wednesday, March 16, 2016


            This part consists of the parish churches of St. John the Baptist of Calumpit; St. Ildephonsus Parish of Guiguintu, St. Martin Church of Bocaue; St. Michael the Archangel Parish of Marilao and La Purisima Parish Church of Sta. Maria, Bulacan.


The town of Calumpit was founded by the Augustinians in 1672. The church was built in the mid-17th century, and placed under the protection of St. John the Baptist. 

Fr. Pedro Gallende, OSA author of “Philippine Church Facades” in describing  the church wrote: “The style of the façade reflects the audacious longing of baroque artisans to experiment. The result is a style bordering on the exuberant, theatrical and mannerist.” Hence, when recently the scrolls and floral motifs were painted peach and white, earning the ire of some heritage advocates,  I would say that the makeover only tried to emphasize and bring to the fore what was already there. The renovated belfry painted in pink added more exuberance and theatricality, which critics described made the whole structure look like a cake. 

In February 19, 2000 the church was solemnly consecrated by the Most Rev. Rolando Tria Tirona, OCD, Bishop of Malolos.

During the golden jubilee of Malolos as a diocese in 2012, this church was proclaimed one of the pilgrimage churches.

The sisters Dionisia and Cecilia Rosa Talangpaz, founders of the Beaterio de San Sebastian de Calumpang, now called the Agustinian Recollect Sisters were baptized in this church. The cause for their beatification is now underway. 

The three tiered retablo and red brick walls, 

Below the painting of St. John the Baptist is the framed  decree proclaiming  the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist in Calumpit as the Diocesan Shrine of St. John the Baptist in Sept. 28, 2013. 

The main door of the church with some intricate carvings of a tree bordered by two columns on both sides and the image of St. John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and his beheading being depicted on the two panels. 
A relic of St. John the Baptist. 


The town of Guiguintu was founded by the Augustinians in 1607 and placed under the protection of St. Ildephonsus, bishop of Toledo. The present-day church was built in the early 18th century. In June 3, 1863 both the convent and the church were severely damaged by an earthquake. The upper part of the belfry fell off.  In 1993, the left and the right wings of the church including the altar were renovated. They were blessed in October 24, 1993. In Jan. 24, 2002 the right wing of the church, including the portion of the main altar was destroyed by fire. Restoration began right away. The façade of the church was also renovated while having major improvements inside which included the beautification of the main altar. The choir loft was also beautifully constructed together with the sacristy at the right wing. In January 21, 2007 on the occasion of its 400 years foundation, the church was dedicated by Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila.

The façade has four sets of coupled Doric columns on two levels below the triangular pediments which is topped by a cross. The niche of the patron saint is found in the second level above the main door. The octagonal belfry has four levels which has a balustraded pinnacle and cross on top. 

A three niche retablo with some intricate carving designs. 

Relic of the patron saint.

Church interior. 


          The façade  has two levels with four pairs of Corinthian columns under a triangular pediment with a scroll-like mouldings at the end capped by a simple cross. The second level has three semicircular arches with balustrade. The lower level however has lost its semicircular arch owing perhaps to the balustraded canopy which has been installed.  The niche below the pediment has the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The  belfry on the left has bricks on the fourth level instead of the adobe stone with a tapering octagonal concrete top. The convento is attached on  the right side of the church.

On November 9, 2008,the Parish of St. Martin of Tours was proclaimed as the Diocesan Shrine of the “Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa.”


The church was first built in 1796 when the town was established and entrusted to St. Michael the Archangel as its protector. The church was enlarged in 1848 and finished in 1868. The church was burned during the Philippine-American war in 1899. Restoration started in 1902; returned to its original size in 1922 and finally finished in 1967. The altar retablo is fairly recent.

The façade has two levels with four columns  below the pediment,  topped by the statue of saints. The triangular pediment has  mouldings which tapers to a scroll at the end. On top of the pediment is the statue of the Sacred Heart. On both sides of the façade are thick rectangular buttresses topped by a statue of a saint.  On both sides of the main entrance are framed niches of the saints.  The octagonal belfry is at the right side just behind the façade with balustrated blind windows and arched ones for the bells. The cemetery is just immediately to the right side of the church. 

Altar retablo. 

Paintings of the four evangelists at the corners of the dome. 

Side altar. 

A closer view of the altar table. 

Inside the church facing the front door. 


         The façade of the church has almost been covered by the massive canopy. The church is made of adobe brick stones.  At the tympanum below the triangular pediment is a bas-relief image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are finials at the end of the pediment and three others also at top of the structure that connects the church to the bell tower on the right. The convento is attached to the right of the church.

             The first time I visited Sta. Maria in August 2015, the altar looked like this. The altar table was covered in front with metal which looked like silver (but was not) with golden motifs of the Eucharist. The retablo had only the statue of the Immaculate Conception. The ceiling had simple rectangular divisions. 

The painted dome of the church with Mary's Assumption and coronation in heaven. 

When I next visited the parish in February 2016 for their parish fiesta, I found a newly  installed  magnificent retablo with three niches for the Immaculate Conception in the middle with new metallic robes and St. Joachim and Anne on both sides.  

The ceiling had a new painting depicting the Immaculate Conception. 

           Was given the honor of blessing the new Camarin. This is the back of the altar where people can go up and touch the mantle of the Blessed Virgin. Blessed also their new museum and newly refurbished sacristy. 

The new side altar. 

The other side altar.

The ambo was also new in white color in consonance  with the white motif of the whole altar. 

A closer look of the right side of the ambo with  the sculpted image of St. Peter

The front view of the ambo depicting the Annunciation of Mary. 

The left side of the ambo with St. Paul as the sculpted image. 

A closer look of the milion peso tabernacle. 

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