6 Cagayan Churches Worth a Visit

Friday, April 28, 2017

cagayan tourist spots

The Philippines has always been a predominantly Catholic country. It's no wonder then that there are so many churches and cathedrals here. Check out these six religious structures to perhaps include in your next visita iglesia. Or. you could just see them for the architectural masterpieces that they are. After all, the best artworks are often found in churches.
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1. Basilica Minore de Nuestra Senora De Piat
This church in the municipality of Piat is one of the twelve Minor Basilicas in the Philippines. Located on a hill and built in the Romanesque style of architecture, the church has a modest facade adorned by a tall belfry. The structure is mostly red bricks – a feature common in Cagayan. Its entrance archway is unusually located in the back of the church. 
churches in cagayan

Next to the shrine is the Basilica Museum that displays artifacts related to the Our Lady of Piat. Life-size renditions of the Stations of the Cross also surround the church. The church itself houses a 407-year old Black Virgin Mary – Our Lady of Piat, contributing to its reputation as the Pilgrimage Center of the North. 
cagayan churches

Nuestra Señora de Piat
Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat Rd, Piat, Cagayan

2. Tuguegarao Cathedral
The Tuguegarao Cathedral, formally known as the St. Peter Metropolitan Cathedral, is a baroque-style church located in the center of Tuguegarao. It is considered as one of the largest churches in the Cagayan Valley. 
churches in cagayan

The cathedral possesses a whimsical facade reminiscent of the Paoay Church. Its most notable feature is the wave-like pediment described as "broken and crested". Despite suffering greatly from bombings during World War II, the church has become a popular site for pilgrims. 
cagayan churches
Photo by Martin San Diego for the North Philippines Visitors Bureau

Tuguegarao Cathedral (St. Peter Metropolitan Cathedral)
Rizal Street, Barangay Centro 10, Tuguegarao, Cagayan

3. Calvary Hills and San Antonio de Galicia Church
In the pottery town of Iguig stands the San Antonio de Galicia Church. While adhering to the red brick-theme of Cagayan, it is unique in that it's the only church in the Philippines that uses flying buttresses. It is also the first church in the Cagayan Valley region to have galvanized steel for roofs. 

An expansive grassland surround the church. Known as the Calvary Hills, this area has large depictions of the Stations of the Cross. It also overlooks the Cagayan River. In fact, there is a stone stairway that leads to the tributary – a path once used by Spanish officials to travel, and for galleon traders to transport goods. Nearby is also another church: the Jubilee Cross Chapel, which holds an authenticated relic of the true Cross. 
churches in cagayan

Calvary Hills and San Antononio De Galicia Church
Cagayan Valley Rd, Iguig, Cagayan

4. St. Philomene Church
With walls spanning 90m x 30m, St. Philomene Church in the town of Alcala dates back to the Spanish era, making it not just the “widest” red brick church in the Philippines but also one of the oldests. It lies adjacent to the St. Philomene Academy which, like the church, has a facade of red bricks. There is also a beautiful courtyard just before the entrance to the church. Walking around it sort of transports you back to time.
churches in cagayan

As it should since the church serves a notable role in our history. Prior to his establishment of the Philippine Independent Church, Bishop Gregorio Aglipay was declared Ecclesiastical Governor of Cagayan here in St. Philomene. The church also served as the base of revolutionary leader Daniel Tirona during the revolt against the Spanish in 1898. 
cagayan churches

St. Philomene Church
Maharlika Highway, Alcala, Cagayan

5. Sto. Domingo de Guzman Church
Lal-lo was once known as the city of Nueva Segovia and was formerly the seat of the Diocese of the selfsame before it was moved to Vigan in Ilocos Sur. The Sto. Domingo de Guzman Church is found here, which, incidentally, is the only standing Spanish structure in the municipality.
cagayan church

While still staying true to the red-brick motif of Cagayan, one distinguishing feature of the church is the giant clam shell in the altar. The glistening iridescent shell is fastened just below the crucifix and serves as the lid for the church tabernacle. The shell is from the indigenous Batissa violacea – a freshwater clam that’s abundant in the Cagayan River, and is also the most expensive. Farming these prized clams is one of the main industries of Lal-lo.
churches in cagayan

Sto. Domingo de Guzman Church
Lal-lo Cagayan

6. San Jacinto De Polonia Church
In Camaliniugan, the San Jacinto de Polonia Church is home to a treasure: the Sancta Maria bell. Forged in 1595, it is considered as the oldest in Asia. During the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress in 1937, the bell was brought to Manila for viewing of the attendees.
San Jacinto De Polonia Church

The facade of the church is also the most individualized among those listed here. While still retaining some of the characteristic red-brick theme, the structure looked more like a hodgepodge of design – yellow accents, white marble lines. It is quite a sight. 

San Jacinto de Polonia Church
Cagayan Valley Rd, Camalaniugan, Cagayan

What's the most beautiful church you've ever been in?

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