The Churches of the Cordilleras

It was during the Holy Week Holidays of 2007 when I and my best friend visited the Cordillera towns of Banaue, Kiangan, Bontoc, Sagada and Baguio. Here are 4 churches which we were able to visit.

Baguio Cathedral

When I first saw the church on my first trip to Baguio as a child, I immediately liked it, probably because it is colored pink (now you know, where this all came from *wink*).But as time passes by and I grew a little wiser, I have come to appreciate it not for its “pinkness” but for the architectural wonders it have and for the serenity it projects amidst the fast development of the surrounding areas.

Baguio Cathedral full name is Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral. It is located at the Cathedral Loop in Session Rood. It is one of Baguio City’s most famous and most photographed landmark.

The twin towered church with its rose windows was built by the CICM missionaries and was inaugurated on the Feast of Christ the King in 1900. Aside from being a romantic place for couples who wed in the church, the facade hosts to history’s brave men and women, being the peaceful sanctuary of the remains of the bombing victims of World War II.

This is the main altar of the Baguio Cathedral.

The Cathedral’s choir loft.

St. Joseph’s Church, Kiangan

It is built in 1910, making it the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Ifugao. The Church boasts of its baroque architectural and half sphere foundation making it earthquake proof.

The dome inside St. Joseph’s Church

One part of the Church’s interior

UCCP Church, Kiangan

United Church of Christ in the Philippines. American missionary Myrtle M. Metzger, planted the seed of Protestantism in Ifugao and founded the nearby Ifugao Academy in 1926.


 St. Mary the Virgin Parish, Sagada

It is an Anglican Church located at the Episcopalian Mission Compound and was consecrated on December 8, 1921. A Tourist Guide to the Notable Philippine Churches described it as “foreign architectural design fused with indigenous motifs.”

The Church’s side facade

The Parish’s wheel

The Parish Center near the Church


5 thoughts on “The Churches of the Cordilleras

  1. sartenada says:

    Hi. When I saw the title of Your post, I was interested to see what photo You did take. Soon I understood that that there is difference between Cordilleras and Cordillera. I flew over Cordillera from Buenos Aires to Santiago de Chile. So now understand that Your photos are from Cordilleras not from Cordillera.

    Nice church photos. There was only one inside photo, what a pity, otherwise lovely photos.

    • joann says:

      Hi! Thanks for dropping by. The Cordilleras I am referring to is the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. Cordillera is a Spanish term for mountain or mountain ranges. The towns I have mentioned in this post were towns from the Mountain Province (Sagada and Bontoc) and Ifugao (Banaue and Kiangan) Provinces in the Philippines. Meanwhile Baguio City is the regional center of the Cordillera Administrative Region which is land locked and the home of a number of Filipino Indigenous Communities like the Igorots and the Ifugao people among others.

      I only have a sole photo of the St. Joseph Church because I visited the church during Good Friday. It is a Filipino tradition that the church altar was covered in violet cloth after the Maundy Thursday mass until the Easter Vigil Mass of Saturday. This is the reason why I haven’t taken any altar picture of the other 3 churches, since it was mainly covered by cloth.

  2. Randele A. Arcilla says:

    Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is she became as the “Lily of the Mohawks” was found as a first American Indian saint of the Roman Catholic Church and became as a patron saint of Cordilleras, Northern Luzon and Thomasites in the Philippines.

    The National Shrine of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha became soon was located in Session Road, Baguio City, Philippines.

  3. Randele A. Arcilla says:

    Who that the first Cordilleran woman martyrs of the Roman Catholic Church is became as the process of beautification and before canonization as a saint and she became as a “Lily of the Cordilleras” and became as a parton saint of Cordilleras, Northern Luzon, Filipino youth, Thomasites, Catechumens, Altar Girls and Overseas Filipino Workers.

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