Sunday, March 6, 2011

Revisiting Candelaria’s St. Peter the Baptist Church

* a semi-side-view of the façade of St. Peter the Baptist Church; the general features resemble those of the church found in Ibaan, Batangas

Christmas vacation is long gone and the summer break looks back at us, enticing us to enjoy the coming months of sultry days and lots of opportunities to enjoy ourselves (read: beaches, beaches, and beaches). But the Christmas break did not just pass by without us enjoying it. The province of Quezon has been our target of exploration during the cold December days. And it was only fitting to revisit the town of Candelaria, the town which sparked my passion for Spanish period houses (see my musing about those houses here).

I have earlier visited St. Peter the Baptist Church after a short visit to San Juan, Batangas (see the entry here) but I was not able to fully see the interior as a mass was being held at that time. The inside is unsurprisingly modern for the façade is already a recent construction too.

Two key places that I took note of was the Baptistery (I remember entering into an argument whether the proper word was baptistery or baptistry) and the outer patio found just adjacent to the church hall.

* the baptistery inside the St. Peter the Baptist Church

* a depiction of Jesus with two of his disciples found on an outer patio in St. Peter the Baptist Church

At the foot of the baptistery is a date inscription: April 15, 1960. Although it was not cleared whether it was the date when it was constructed, it seemed to me that it is the obvious thing to assume. A marker on the wall is more informative. The said baptistery was blessed by The Most Rev. Emilio Z. Marquez D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Lucena on January 31, 2009. It might be important to note also that the parish priest at that time was Msgr. Carlos Pedro A. Herrera, E.V.

The patio I was alluding to (which to me was more of a court) contains a small area for a sculpture depicting Jesus and two of his disciples as they catch fishes. There is also a small bookshop on the other side. The place made an impression to me because it was the place where an Emralino met his death, former Candelaria Mayor David Emralino. I have just gone through my saved files about him and a news article said that he was gunned down near the guard house found as one enter the said patio.

* a photograph of Bishop Alfredo Ma. Obviar found within the patio of the church

Finally, let me share here some information about a revered church servant in Quezon which I got from inside the church. His name was Bishop Alfredo Ma. Obviar (1889-1978). He was a clergy from Lipa and became eventually the first bishop of the Diocese of Lucena (where the St. Peter the Baptist Church is also a part). He was also the founder of the Missionary Catechist of St. Therese.

During my first revisit to Candelaria, I was quite puzzled not to see those big houses that I saw when we first went there. I was still not able to track them again but I did see some huge houses in the area just behind the church. That would be the topic of my next entry.

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