Metropolitan Cathedral of Tuguegarao

  • Location: Tuguegarao, Cagayan
  • Completed:
  • Architect:
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  • Status: Centuries-old brick convento totally demolished and replaced by ugly hollow-block multi-purpose hall and commercial stalls.

This was a sad story for the town of Sasmuan. Although what is visible here are the changes to the church, what people don’t see is the drama behind the unceremonious removal of the remains of prominent citizens of the town that used to be interred at the left wall of the church. Since the current church is a totally new structure (only the facade and belfry was spared), the wall housing the remains was demolished as well. Among those interred there was the town hero, Don Monico Mercado. Without informing the families, the parish priest collected all the bones, including Mercado’s, and threw them into a common grave! When the family found out, it was too late. Obviously, identifying which was Don Monico’s was close to impossible.

Let’s not forget as well the fact that the priest built an oversized dome on top of the church which looks more like a flying saucer especially when it is lit in the evenings. Please take note that the parts painted white are the original features of the church and the concrete ones are those added.

Church of Santa Lucia

  • Location: Sasmuan, Pampanga
  • Completed:
  • Architect: Augustinians
  • Style:
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  • Significance: The old town church of Sasmuan, Pampanga, it is one of the few, if not the only church in the country where the single belfry is sandwiched in between the church and the convento.
  • Status: Renovated in 2003 under Fr. Ted Valencia, Parish Priest

The exterior of the Tiwi Church was very-well preserved until recently. The present municipal building built in 1919 had already been renovated by Mayor Naomi Corral in 1990. And now the church.

It was currently undergoing “uglification” when the HCS visited in June. The adobe facade was being plastered with a layer of cement (see the belfry at the top of the facade) with accompanying fake lines. An oversized portico in front of the church was also being constructed, one which would completely ruin the facade. This despite the fact that the Bicol Heritage Program at Aquinas University had already talked to the bishop who agreed that no more old churches would be defaced. Construction was already halted a month before but the parish priest was just too stubborn.

Church of San Lorenzo

  • Location: Tiwi, Albay
  • Completed: 1829
  • Architect: Franciscans
  • Style:
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  • Significance: Old town church of Tiwi, Albay
  • Status: Renovated in June 2006 by Fr. Jun Barquez, Parish Priest