Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar (Imus City, Cavite)

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar was started by Fr. Nicolás Becerra (parish priest from 1821 to 1840) in 1825 using forced labor, the cathedral, belfry and the convent took more half a century to finish. On April 29, 1962, when Imus Diocese was erected, the convent became the bishop’s residence.

NHI Plaque

On November 13, 2006, the cathedral was designated as a Marked Structure (of Historical Significance) by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The cathedral’s Baroque facade

This 18th century church, located at the boundary of Bayan Luma and Bucandala, has three naves.  The cathedral is 61 m. (200 ft.) long, 40 m. (130 ft.) wide, 30 m. (100 ft.) high and has 27 m. (90 ft.) wide nave.

The 3-storey bell tower

Its imposing, two-level stone and brick Baroque facade, with its dark and subdued colors, has a segmental arch main entrance flanked by rectangular and semicircular arch windows and superpositioned flat columns in pairs. The pediment, with its statued niche, flows down into scrolls. Latin inscriptions accentuate the arches.

The cathedral interior

The three-storey square bell tower, on the church’s right, is topped by a dome. Inside are tall stained glass windows and a unique rendition of the Stations of the Cross using wooden carvings showing the hands of Christ.

The altar retablo

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar: Gen. Castaneda St., Brgy. IV-A, Imus City, Cavite. Tel: (046) 471-4839. Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar: October 12.

How to Get There: Imus City is located 44.7 kms. (a 1.5-hr. drive) from Manila and 24 kms. (a 45-min. drive) from Trece Martires City.

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Dasmarinas City, Cavite)

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was the site of a bloody battle where Spanish troops defeated Filipino troops led by Captain Placido Campos and Francisco Barzaga on February 25, 1897.  On December 17, 1944, during the Japanese occupation in World War II, many of the town’s residents were imprisoned here and 17 were executed and buried in a common grave.

NHI Plaque

During the Spanish era, the convent was once the seat of the civil government.  In 1986, it was designated as a Marked Historical Structure by the National Historical Institute.

The church’s Neo-Classical facade

The present church has a three-storey Neo-Classical facade with a portico covering the semicircular arched main entrance door of the church. The upper levels, flanked by flat pilasters, have semicircular arched windows, of various sizes, and a projecting statued niche.  The triangular pediment has a small circular window.  The church is 55 meters (180 feet) long, 24 meters (80 feet) wide and has a 16 meter (52 feet) wide nave.

One of the 4-storey bell towers

The façade is flanked on both sides by four-storey (the first two square and the upper two octagonal) bell towers with two old bells. The small bell has the inscription “Perez Dasmariñas año 1867 approx. 14 libras.

The church interior

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception: P. Campos Avenue. Tel: (046) 416 1295  and (046) 416-0797.  Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception: December 8.

How to Get There: Dasmariñas City is located 50.1 kilometers (a 1.5-hour drive) from Manila and 11.6 kilometers (a 30-minute drive) from Trece Martires City.

Church of St. Gregory the Great (Indang, Cavite)

Church of St. Gregory the Great

A huge part of this stone church, started during the term of Fr. Luis Morales (1672 to 1676), was finished on 1710. In 1869, its roof was replaced with galvanized iron (one of the first churches in Cavite to use such). During the Philippine revolution, the church was burned but it was restored under the auspices of Msgr. Mauro de Leon in 1953 and Fr. Cornelio Matanguihan in 1987.

Author’s Notes:

Its 3-level Baroque façade has a semicircular arched main entrance with portico, above which is a semicircular arched window with balustrade.  Both are flanked by semicircular arched statued niches, single superpositioned Tuscan columns and massive piers topped by urn-like finials. The triangular pediment has a semicircular arched statued niche at the tympanum.

The church’s Baroque-style facade

The 3-storey, octagonal bell tower, on the church’s left, has semicircular arched window openings with balustrades and is topped by a pointed roof.

The 3-storey bell tower

Inside are elegantly carved doors, impressive carvings on the choir loft balcony and elegant and impressive rose-colored trompe l’oil paintings (done during the 18th century) on its ceiling. The walls and pillars of the church also have several commemorative gravestones.

The church’s interior

The retablo has three levels of niches for images of saints, with the central niche reserved for the image of St. Gregory the Great, the town’s patron.

The main altar and retablo

At the right side of the altar is a painting of St. Michael and the Archangels. The church pulpit has the Jesuit monogram surmounted by the image of the Christ child, a sign of its being a parish under the Jesuits before the suppression of 1768.

Pulpit

The adjacent old convent has wide windows and wrought iron work along the sides.

Left side retablo

Right side retablo

Church of St. Gregory the Great: Brgy. Tres, Indang 4122, Cavite. Tel: (046) 415-0211. Feast of St. Gregory the Great: Second Sunday of May.

How to Get There: Indang is located 66 kms. from Manila, 12 kms. from Trece Martires City and 8.9 kms. from Mendez.

Bonifacio Trial Museum (Maragondon, Cavite)

This two-storey bahay-na-bato (stone house) was the site where Andres and Procopio Bonifacio were court martialed by a military court presided by Gen. Mariano Noriel from May 5 to 6, 1897. The court  found the two accused guilty of treason and recommended execution.

Bonifacio Trial Museum

Built by Teodorico Reyes in 1889, this house was formerly known as the Roderico Reyes House (which was the name of the former owner). The house now belongs to Mr. Jose Angeles.  In 1999, it was fully restored and declared as a National Heritage Site. Today, this stone, brick and wood ancestral house has been converted into a museum called the Museo ng Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio or Bonifacio Trial Museum. It was formally inaugurated on November 28, 2014.

The house has capiz sliding windows, ventanillas and calado woodwork on the eaves

The museum has five galleries.  Gallery 1 (Maypagasa) provides a short background on Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan; Gallery 2 (Pagsalubong) focuses on the conflict between the two Katipunan factions in Cavite, the Magdalo and Magdiwang; Gallery 3 (Pagdakip) narrates the events leading to Bonifacio’s arrest; Gallery 4 (Ang Paglilitis) re-enacts the Bonifacio brothers’ court martial through a light and sound presentation; and Gallery 5 (Kadakilaan) recounts the anguish of Bonifacio’s widow, Gregoria de Jesus, in learning of her husband’s death.

National Historical Institute (NHI) Plaque

The museum also has an audio-visual corner offering a brief documentary about the trial and death of Andres Bonifacio and an e-learning room for online lessons on the history of the Philippines. The shrine is administered and managed the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (formerly the National Historical Institute).

Philippine Historical Committee (PHC) Plaque

Bonifacio Trial Museum: Col. Crisostomo Riel St., Brgy. Poblacion 1-A, Maragondon, Cavite. Mobile number: (0917) 553-7375 (Mr. Melanio Guevarra – museum curator). E-mail: bonifaciotrialmuseum@gmail.com. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 8 AM – 5 PM. Admission is free.

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady (Maragondon, Cavite)

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady

The best preserved church complex in the province, the Church of the Assumption of our Lady was first built in 1618 by the Jesuits, established as a parish church in 1627 and enlarged from 1630-1633. In 1649, during the Spanish-Dutch War, the church was destroyed for fear of becoming a Dutch fort.

Massive buttresses at the side of the church

In 1650, the church was rebuilt by the Jesuits using wood. The renovation of the church, from wood to stone, was completed in 1714. On June 30, 2001, the church was listed by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure.

NHI Plaque

Much of the church’s unique, narrow but tall and not squatty façade (chastely ornamented with the pilasters tapering upwards), the lower portion of large convent and the old watchtower were built with irregular river stones from the Maragondon River (Pinagsanhan area), an indication of the early level of technology at that time, and layered with stucco.

The church’s facade

The ornate interior

The church’s ornate interior has intricately-carved, brightly polychromed retablos.  The main retablo is decorated with salomonica columns, foliage and angels with trumpets.

The main (at center) an two side retablos

It has an image of the Assumption of Mary in the main niche flanked by images of San Luis Gonzaga (Saint Aloysius Gonzaga) and a balding and somewhat rotund San Ignacio. The side retablos have lost their original statuary, with newer ones replacing those that had been lost.

The octagonal pulpit

At the right side of the nave  is a octagonal pulpit, also polychromed in red, blue, gold and green, with monograms of the names of Jesus and Mary decorating the panels whose borders are flanked by Salomonica columns. The bottom of the pulpit is decorated with swirling foliage that ends up in an inverted pineapple. Augustinian Recollects installed the unusual horseshoe-shaped communion rail with inlaid wood flooring of various colors.

Carved galleon at door

The ornate, antique door, leading from sanctuary to sacristy, is divided into boxes and has intricately carved galleons, castle turrets and sinuous flora of different shapes.

Carved sinuous flora

The huge, exposed main roof beams that crosses the nave, added by Secular priests,  are emblazoned with Biblical and commemorative captions. Over the nave are phrases in praise of Mary while those above the choir refer to singing as praise.

Exposed wooden roof beams

The quadrilateral, 5-storey bell tower, on the church’s left, has no clear divisions between the stories. It tapers upwards, ending with finials at the four corners, and is topped by a rounded roof.

The 5-storey bell tower

Near the church’s main entrance is a cross, dated 1712. The convent, built from 1666-1672, was where Bonifacio and his brother were imprisoned prior to their execution.  Bonifacio’s cell is now a pre-school classroom.  The older part of the convent, with its elegant staircase of stone and tile, is made of rubble while the newer part is cut stone brick.  A newer sacristy was added. The quadrangle formed by the church and convent is surrounded by the remains of an old defensive wall and a blockhouse.

The convent where the Bonifacio brothers were imprisoned

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady: Brgy. Poblacion 1-A, Maragonon, Cavite.  Tel: (046) 412-0784. Feast o the Assumption of Our Lady: August 14-15.

How to Get There: Maragondon is located 54 kms. from Manila and 25 kms. (a 40-min. drive) from Trece Martires City

Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Naic, Cavite)

Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was first constructed in the 1800s with wood and cogon grass. Six years after its initial construction, a kopa, a pair of cruets and ornamentation was added. In 1835, the construction of a new stone church was started by Don Pedro Florentino. Its bell tower was completed in 1892.

The church convent

After the Tejeros Convention of March 22, 1897, the the church convent was used as the headquarters of Andres Bonifacio and the Naic Conference was held there. In this conference, the old Tagalog letter of the flag was replaced by the “Sun of Liberty,” with two eyes, a nose and a mouth and its symbolic eight rays.

The church interior

Before World War II, the church was one of the tallest (about 5 storeys high) and the longest (almost 10 blocks long) churches in Cavite. In width, it was second to the Imus Cathedral. On November 17, 1996, it was made into a Diocesan Shrine.

The church’s Neo-Gothic facade

Author’s notes:

The church’s three-level Neo-Gothic façade, the only one of its kind in Cavite, has a pointed, lancet-like arched main entrance flanked by square pilasters and similarly pointed arched windows.

The 4-storey bell tower

The second level has three pointed arched windows while the triangular pediment, with inverted traceries below the eaves, has a circular window at the tympanum.  The central pilasters rise up to the pediment and end up in pinnacles, dividing the façade into 3 vertical sections. The sides of the church are reinforced by thick buttresses.

The thick buttresses

The 4-storey, square bell tower, on the church’s left, has alternating circular and pointed arched windows and is topped by a pyramidal roof.

The main altar

Its interior has 3 major and 2 minor Gothic-style altars with the Very Venerated Image of the Immaculate Concepcion, Patron Lady of Naic, in the main altar.

Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: Capt. Ciriaco Nazareno St., Poblacion, Naic 4110, Cavite. Tel: (046) 412-0456. Feast of the Immaculate Conception: December 8.

How to Get There: Naic is located 47 kms. from Manila, 13.3 kms. from Trece Martires City, 12.9 kms. from Maragondon and 12.8 kms. from Tanza.

Church of the Holy Cross (Tanza, Cavite)

Church of the Holy Cross

The Church of the Holy Cross (also called the Diocesan Shrine of St. Augustine), started in 1839, was destroyed 20 years later during a strong earthquake.

Plaque

The church was rebuilt in 1873 by Fr. Jose Trobat. On May 3, 1980, it was declared as a Marked Structure (of Historical Significance) by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The 3-level Baroque facade

Author’s notes:

Its 3-level Baroque façade has a semicircular arched main entrance with portico, above which is a square window, flanked by paired superpositioned flat pilasters and statued niches. The segmental pediment has a semicircular arched statued niche at the tympanum.

The 4-storey bell tower

The 4-storey bell tower, sitting on a square base, has semicircular arched openings on the upper octagonal storeys. It is topped by a dome with a campanile on top.

The church interior

Church of the Holy Cross: Tanza – Trece Martires Rd., Tanza 4108, Cavite. Tel: (046) 437-7086. Feast of St. Augustine: August 28

How to Get There: Tanza is located 33 kilometers from Manila, 12.7 kilometers from Trece Martires City, 3.7 kilometers from Rosario, 12.8 kilometers from Naic and 6 kilometers from Noveleta.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi (Gen. Trias, Cavite)

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

The Church of St. Francis of Assisi was first built in 1611 by Franciscan missionaries.  It was rebuilt in stone in 1769 by Doña Maria Josepha de Yrizzari Y Ursula, Countess of Lizarraga, repaired and enlarged in 1834 but was partially damaged during the July 18, 1880 earthquake.

Buttresses at the side of the church

The façade was rebuilt in 1881 and the church was beautified in 1885.  Its tiled roof was replaced with galvanized iron in 1892.  The church was repaired and enlarged again in 1893.

NHI Plaque

It was restored from 1989 to 1991 and was consecrated on June 22, 1991 by Bishop Felix P. Perez.  In 1992, the church was declared a historical structure by the National Historical Institute.

The convent (now the Museo de San Francisco de Malabon)

The convent was the site where the Banda Matanda (Old Band) practiced the Marcha Filipina before it was played in Kawit during the Declaration of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898.  It now houses the Museo de San Francisco de Malabon.

The bell tower

The church’s Earthquake Baroque façade has an unusual tassel-like frieze of plaster moldings of huge corbelled arches from whose ends emanate balusters terminated by boss-like ornament.  The lower level has a recessed semicircular arched main entrance (with jambs in receding planes) flanked by semicircular arch statued niches. Above the entrance is a pseudo-Gothic stained glass rose window.

The church interior

The pediment has a raking cornice decorated by traceries below the eaves. On the right is a hexagonal four-storey bell tower tapers upward with open fenestrations and balusters.   The church is 55 m. (180 ft.) long, 24 m. (80 ft.) wide and has an 18 m. (60 ft.) wide nave. It has an altar design similar to Silang Church.

Ceiling painting of the Pentecost

Inside is a ceiling with a painting depicting the Pentacost and a huge altar enshrining a replica of an image of Our Lady of Porta Vaga (the original is in Cavite City).

Image of Our Lady of Solitude of Porta Vaga

Church of St. Francis of Assisi: Gov. Ferrer, Sampalucan, Poblacion, 4107 Gen. Trias. Tel: (046) 437-7339. Feast of St. Francis of Assisi: October 4.

How to Get There: Gen. Trias is located 50.5 kms. (a 1.5-hr. drive) from Manila and 11.8 kms. (a 30-min. drive) from Trece Martires City.

Noveleta Tribunal (Cavite)

Noveleta Tribunal

The Noveleta Tribunal, the first municipal hall of the town, was where, on August 31, 1896, Noveleta-born Gen. Pascual Alvarez, under orders from his uncle Gen. Mariano Alvarez of the Sangguniang Magdiwang, killed the Guardia Civil Capt. Antonio Rebolledo within the hall of this building.

The narrow wooden stairway leading to the second floor

Lt. Francisco Naval, the adjutant of Capt. Rebolledo, was also killed. The rest of the Guardia Civil were disarmed and imprisoned. This incident further intensified the Cavite front of the Philippine Revolution. It was repaired on August 1998 during the term of Mayor Dionisio L. Torres.

Capiz windows and ventanillas

Author’s notes:

This historical, 2-storey building, with its narrow, centrally located wooden stairway leading to the second floor, has wooden columns, a balcony in front, a bank of sliding capiz windows with ventanillas, and calado (lace-style fretwork or latticework) on the soffit and roof eaves.

Philippine Historical Committee plaque

Noveleta Tribunal: Gen Antonio St. Poblacion, Noveleta, Cavite. Coordinates: 14°25’38″N 120°52’51″E.

How to Get There: Noveleta is located 27 kms. from Manila, 18.7 kms. from Trece Martires City, 6 kms. from Tanza and 3.5 kms. from Kawit.  The highway divides in this town, one branch going to Naic and Ternate and the other towards Cavite City. The Tribunal is situated just 10 m. from the Church of the Holy Cross. You can park your car in front of the church.

Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Kawit, Cavite)

Church of St. Mary Magdalene

The Church of St. Mary Magdalene was first built in wood in 1638 (the third oldest in Cavite) and the present stone church was built in 1737.  Its roof was destroyed during a typhoon in 1831. Located 800 m. from the Aguinaldo Shrine, this church was the baptismal site of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo (March 29, 1869).  His birth certificate is kept in glass cabinet on the left side of the altar.  The church was repaired in 1990.

The church’s Baroque-style facade

The church’s two-level Baroque façade, devoid of any flamboyant decorative elements, has a semicircular arch main entrance, topped by the seal of the church’s patroness represented by two capital letter M’s, flanked by superpositioned paired flat pilasters.  The second level has rectangular windows and a triangular pediment with a central niche with the statue of St. Mary Magdalene.

The 4-storey bell tower

On the church’s right is a four-storey bell tower, its first three storeys square and the fourth octagonal. It is capped by a metal dome which is topped by a weather vane. On the three upper levels are open arched fenestrations with ventanilla latticework below the sills.

The church’s interior

The church, with its cruciform plan, has a single nave whose sides have a total of 14 sets of windows, each with a small stained-glass depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross.

The main (at center) an 2 side retablos

Below are arch-shaped windows for air circulation. Each side of the main altar have a larger stained-glass windows, one depicting the Resurrection of Christ and the other the life of Jesus Christ at different stages of his life.

NHI Plaque

Church of St. Mary Magdalene: Tirona Highway, Poblacion, Kawit, Cavite. Tel: (046) 434-8395.  Feast of St. Mary Magdalene: July 22.

How to Get There: Kawit is located 25.3 kms. (a 1-hr. drive) from Manila and 22.1 kms. (a 45-min. drive) from Trece Martires City.