Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Visit to Nuestra Señora de los Angeles Church in Santa Maria, Laguna

* the facade of the Santa Maria Church

* the welcome arc to the parish church

* the church door with its ornate design

A brief respite in the tasks for an immersion activity I participated in just recently (the details of which I shall be sharing here soon) gave us a chance to visit the church in the town of Santa Maria in Laguna – the Nuestra Señora de los Angeles.

Nestled in the center of this quiet town, the church has a long history worthy of narration. From the details found on the marker just outside the church, its origins date back much earlier, when the town of Santa Maria itself was founded. The town was officially called Santa Maria de Caboan 1602 but was later called San Miguel until the year 1613, the same year that a church was built by Reverend Geronimo Vasquez. Reverend Antonio de la Llave was the town’s first designated minister.

* a walk through the aisle

* Christ
* an empty altar
* the church altar

* old church walls?

The church of 1613, however, was destroyed by during the Chinese uprising in 1639 [another point worth pursuing: the reason/s behind the said uprising]. Another church was built in 1669 but was destroyed by an earthquake in 1880. Eleven years later, Reverend Leopoldo Arellano set to rebuild the church. Unfortunately, that church was again destroyed by an earthquake which happened on August 20, 1937.

* the church bell tower

* another altar just below the bell tower
* open grounds outside the church

Since the marker was installed in 1939, two years after the mention of the 1937, it is safe to assume that what we saw during our visit was the church of the 1930s. A visual inspection of the church’s facade revealed cracks near the bell tower. Perhaps the seeming fragile nature of the church compelled its caretakers to proceed with the reconstructions of the place. We saw renovations getting done there, particularly in the altar area. I think I did see what could be the remains of the old church walls just behind the altar.

Just standing outside the church grounds would give you that rural feel, something that is really inviting for someone who needs a temporary rest from works and ‘busyness.’ Although I expected to see many old houses, I contented myself in finding a few notable houses and structures which I shall be sharing here soon.

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