Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Marvel That is the Tayabas Basilica, Tayabas, Quezon

 * Tayabas Basilica façade 

 * Pransis in a pose

 * the church interior;
the cluster of people on the bottom part are visitors too

This is a totally unplanned trip. Actually a side trip. Passing by the town of Tayabas in the province of Quezon, one cannot help but notice the towering church. Especially for someone who has spent the last few years looking into churches and finding what is/are old and/or what is/are historically significant in them.
 * pulpit!

 * beyond the glass is part of the original floor
of the basilica and maintained the parishioners

 * posing against the light

Right after a real planned tour in the neighboring town, it was decided to stop over the town of Tayabas. This town is still reminiscent of the Spanish era way of settling houses and town establishments. I like the way the narrow streets are still maintained. Add to that the general sloping terrain of the place. And add still to that the fact they one can still see old houses in this place. Truly, it is a joy that there are still many places in the country left untouched by the horrors of the Japanese Occupation and of World War II.


* interior views

Tayabas Basilica: The Origins

Found on one of the high places in town (much like in Taal, Batangas) is the town church. Named after the archangel Saint Michael (San Miguel Arkanghel), the Tayabas church traces its origins to the year 1585. At this time, the budding church was still made of bamboo, palm, and anahaw materials. Repairs were then made to it after five years. A more sturdy church was built in 1600 only to be destroyed by an earthquake in 1743. Reconstruction and widening was done the year after. By 1856, the transept and the cupola (the dome) were added. By 1894 its roof was changed to galvanized iron sheets. More of a reconstruction and repair story but still it is nice to know the origins of the church.

 * interior views

“Ang simbahang ito ay isa sa pinakamagandang simbahan sa Pilipinas,” says the NHI (now NHCP) marker. A bold statement, yes, but it has all the bearings of truth. Upon entering you’ll be met by a high-ceiling interior complete with a variety of colors and paintings. Our visit was done during its repair period where the wooden ceilings are being removed, most likely for repairs. I do hope that they make good use of the wood. They can make that as a souvenir item (which I thought could be possible, but unfortunately; I was not able to get a wood slab).

 * entrance to the museum

 * St. John Bosco Academy seen as you enter the church grounds

The inside is full of side altars (again reminds me of the Taal Basilica) where the designs is a mixture of Christian and non-Christian themes. That is curious but if they maintained the church all those years, perhaps those designs can be traced back to the one/s who put them there. And before I forgot, the church building was spearheaded by the tireless Franciscan friars.


* outside views with an additional pose

Tayabas Basilica At Present

Today the church stands close to a school and close the town plaza where small stores thrive. The place is generally peaceful and it would be great to spend a day or two in town. (Hopefully that would be possible in the future.) The Basilica’s liturgical services are as follows (as of March 2013):

Daily Masses
Monday – Saturday (6:00 am)
Wednesday (5:00 pm)
Saturday, Anticipated Mass (6:00 pm)

Sunday Masses
5:00 am [?], 8:00 am, 9:30 am, 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm

Wedding Schedule
Wednesday and Saturday (8:00 am, 9:30 am)

Confession Schedule
Monday to Saturday right after the 6:00 am mass

Sick Call
any time (just go to the office)

  * Casa de Comunidad de Tayabas (Community House of Tayabas?) in repairs

* ruins of what could have been an elegant, white house

[How to go to Tayabas, Quezon: From Manila one can board a bus bound for Lucena City, Quezon, specifically to the Grand Terminal. Buses can be found along EDSA or along Taft Avenue near the Gil Puyat LRT Station. Drop off at the Grand Terminal and board the jeepney bound for Lucban or Kamay ni Hesus. The jeepney will pass through the town of Tayabas. Alternatively you can drop off at Gulang-Gulang or the Diversion Road in Lucena and wait for any passing jeepneys bound for Lucban. Fare may range from 15-20 pesos.]

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