Liliw Church

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Our group reached the charming town of Liliw in the early evening. I beg your indulgences for the limits of my camera in capturing the beautiful red brick church of Liliw. This is my second time to visit the church and in both instances it’s all a short one, which I suppose means that I have to come back for the third time (in broad daylight) and enjoy the splendor of the church and the beauty of the town.


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The church of St. John the Baptist or the Church of Liliw is a red brick hilltop church. The Church of Lilio (Liliw) was originally under the ecclesiastical administration of the town of Nagcalang (present day Nagcarlan) until 1605. It was first made in wood in the 1620s and was rebuilt in stone in the years 1643-1646. The church was partially destroyed during the July 18, 1880 earthquake. The church and the convent were reconstructed in1885 but partially burned on April 6, 1898.

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The church has three levels Baroque façade with semi-circular arched main entrance. The red bricks are unevenly cut blocks in the main entrance and when you look up, you can see the bas relief of Jesus Christ’s baptism. The bell tower is three storey high covered by a dome and topped with a tower.

Inside the church, you will notice that the interior have red brick walls, mahogany and red brick ceiling, and I have noticed that the church still retains its old floors. It’s altar is also one of the most beautiful I have seen.

Inside the church, you will notice that the interior have red brick walls, mahogany and red brick ceiling, and I have noticed that the church still retains its old floors. It’s altar is also one of the most beautiful I have seen.

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Here are morning photographs of the church from Travel bookph (picture number 1), (pictures numbers 2 and 3) and from (for picture number 4)

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Paete Church

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The town of Paete was founded by Father Juan de Plasencia in 1580. The town’s church under the patronship of St. James the Great was built in stone in 1646, together with its convent. Like most of Philippine churches, it has its share of damages caused by fire or earthquake. The Church of Paete has undergone several renovations notably in 1717, 1840 and 1880. The church was rebuilt in 1884 under the administration of Father Pedro Gallano, but this late 19th century church was badly damaged by the earthquake of August 20, 1937. The church was renovated sometime in 1980 and was declared as a national historical site in 1981.

The church has a lavish and enormous Renaissance façade and considered to be the “most florid of Laguna churches.” It has floral motifs, arched main entrance and windows and the façade has a bas-relief of St. James defeating the Moors. The bell tower is Muslim inspired tower with terrace and a pointed dome.

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Inside the church is a treat. The floor still has its original baked tiles. The town of Paete is famous and celebrated for its skilled sculptors. The church takes pride of this talent as can be seen in the niches of the main altar and on the Stations of the Cross. The five golden retablos are made by local artist Bartolome Balatino. Please note that the main altar and the statutes were draped in purple because it was Maundy Thursday when I visited.

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I was also fascinated with the two paintings of St. Christopher. The first painting was presumably dated in the 1780 by an unknown artist. In this painting, the Saint was dark skinned with naked torso. According to stories, the Spanish friars did not like the sword with sea lion hilt, because it gave an impression that the saint was a pirate. On the other hand, the second painting was made by a Paeteño Bartolome Dans in the 19th century. In this painting, the saint was featured in European clothes during the 16th century. Other paintings made by Bartolome Dans include Purgatorio and Langit, Lupa and Impierno.

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Here’s the side facade of the church with the mountain view.

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Pakil Church

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The town of Pakil traces its ancestry from the families of Maitan and Panumbalihan and Silayan Maginto and Potongan. Many settlers transferred to the town because of the numerous pirate attacks in the sea. The town’s name is derived from the name Paquil, who is believed to be one of the leaders from Borneo. The name was changed eventually to Pakil in 1927. A brief history of the town can be seen in the church’s second floor hallway.

The Parish of St. Peter of Alcantara or the Pakil Church traces its origin from the settlement organized by Father (later will be Saint) Pedro Bautista in 1588. St. Pedro Bautista is a Franciscan priest which was eventually martyred in Japan in 1595.

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The Church was first made of wood and nipa under the administration of Father Francisco Barajas in 1676. The church was placed under the patronship of St. Peter of Alcantara, after the town of Pakil separated from the town of Paete. The church was reconstructed in stone by Father Fernando Jaro in 1732. Subsequently, the church has been renovated and reconstructed after it was damaged by fire or earthquake. Renovation from 1732 to 1881 includes the addition of the bell tower, galvanized roof, ceiling and the altar was remodeled. The church was badly damaged during the August 20, 1937earthquake and it was repaired by Father Federico Pines. Father Joseph Regan changed the altar to marble and was consecrated by Bishop Olaila in 1959.

The church also underwent extensive repairs from 1997 to 2003. In October 19, 2006 on the 330th foundation anniversary of the parish church, the Diocese of San Pablo declared the church as the Diocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora Delos Dolores de Turumba.

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The church has a Baroque façade. The Spanish coat of arms can be seen above the entrance door of the church. You will also notice that even the bell tower is also heavily decorated. Since the church’s first parish priests were Franciscans, most of the designs and plans of the church are in accordance with the Franciscan tradition— crosses, angels and shields among others.

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The main retablado or the main altar has fourteen icons which are enclosed in an elaborate carved niche. The dome above the main altar has a painted mural which depicts Christ’s life. The wall beside the pulpit is adorned by a huge painting Judicium Finale(Final Judgment), depicting heaven and hell. It was painted in the 19th century by Paete native Jose Dans. The side altar which features the crucifixion is said to be a graphic depiction of the crucified Christ with the sorrowful Mother Mary and St. John. However, when I visited, the crucified Christ was not on the cross, I assume, it was not there, since its Maundy Thursday.

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Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows)

The Church of Pakil also serves as the shrine of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, the Virgin of Turumba since 1788. The miraculous image of the Our Lady of Sorrows was found floating in the riverbank of Pakil. Local stories will tell us that the original 9×11 oil painting of the image of Our Lady of Sorrows cannot be removed when it was wash ashore on top of a stone. The people of Pakil sang and danced, and miraculously, the image was removed from the stone and was brought in the Church. Fate will have it, because on the day of its festive transfer to the church, it coincides with the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows which is September 15. The said procession was the very first Turumba.

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The Turumba Festival is held every second Tuesday or Wednesday after Holy Week or on October 19. It is the country’s longest celebrated festival.

On the church’s second floor, the original image of the Virgin of Turumba was enshrined in a chapel. You can also find the Virgin of Turumba’s clothes and accessories which are in glass cases.


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Watching the Avengers


Finally, after days of putting off the trip to the nearest cinema for all the valid and flimsy excuses, my brother and I finally caught the movie The Avengers. I enjoyed the movie with its action packed sequences and the amazing visual graphics and uber high-tech gadgets. Of course not to forget that I am so crushing on Iron Man (aka Robert Downey, Jr) since I was still in high school (since the last century) and of course, Captain America (aka Chris Evans) is one of my so called eye candy, which left me torn between Iron Man and Captain America. Haha! And yes, I remembered these pictures taken by my Dad during our last Christmas shopping trip in 2010. It always made me smile knowing that I have an equally kulit father who even suggested that I pose with Thor, of course, I only want a picture with Iron Man. And after snapping these photos from his phone, some of the shoppers followed the suit. Haha! And yes, I am convincing anyone who will listen that it is indeed Robert Downey in that costume. 🙂 Happy Thursday everyone!