Monday, December 26, 2016


Brgy. Taytay, Nagcarlan, Laguna, Philippines

Note: This is a part of my 2-day Pandin-Yambu twin-lake tour, Liliw shopping spree and food trip, attending holy mass at Liliw Church, overnight at Liliw Resort, religious visit to Nagcarlan Church and historic tour to Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.

Another centuries-old Baroque Catholic church in Laguna

Saint Bartholomew the Aposle Parish Church of Nagcarlan has its feast day celebrated every August 2. It is just five minutes drive away from the Liliw town. They are adjacent towns. From San Pablo City, we have to pass by first Nagcarlan town before Liliw. But this time, as we are travelling back to San Pablo City, we have to drop by in Nagcarlan to visit the church.

The long elevated approach of the church as viewed from its main door

Wikipedia provides a historical account of the church as follows: Nagcarlan was first colonized in 1571 by Juan de Salcedo, grandson of Miguel López de Legazpi.It was founded by Franciscan priest Father Juan de Plasencia and Diego Oropesa in 1578. The church of Nagcarlan was first built from light materials such as nipa and wood in 1583 under the chaplaincy of its first priest, Father Tomas de Miranda who also pioneered the cultivation of wheat in the country and was dedicated to Saint Bartholomew. During Father Cristobal Torres's term, a second church made of stone and bricks was built in 1752.The multicolored stones and bricks of the church are offered by people during its construction. The church was partially destroyed by fire in 1781. Immediate repair and reconstruction was done under the term of Father Anatacio de Argobejo and later by Father Fernando de la Puebla, who built the four storey brick bell tower. Further reconstruction using adobe and restoration (including elaborately designed tiles) in 1845 and addition of the choir loft on three strong arches was done under the supervision of Father Vicente Velloc. The Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery was built also in 1845 and the church rectory in 1850 under Father Velloc. In the 1990s, Monsignor Jose Barrion led a huge restoration project for the church.

The church belltower

Looking at the church's bell tower, its placement and structure is almost the same with the Liliw Church. The only difference is the latter has both red bricks and adobe for its materials and higher in structure.

The image of Our Lady of Lourdes

Facing the church, the image of Our Lady of Lourdes is erected outside its right wing. While in Liliw Church, the image of Our Lady of Fatima is located at the front right corner of the church.

The church's main door

It was around 10:00 A.M. when we arrived in the church and it was dark inside. Baptism was officiated by the Reverend Father Modelo N. Del Valle, the parish priest inside Sacristy Room on the left wing of the church. We waited for about 35 minutes. I can not just take pictures with a dim altar and interior.

The lighted church altar

I humbly requested from the parish priest that the altar and the whole of the church be lighted because I am taking pictures for my blog which he enthusiastically granted. He instructed a knights of the altar to do it. Unfortunately, those who just attended the baptism rights positioned themselves for the picture taking on the altar. I humbly told them that I was the one who requested the lights and that they should allow me to take pictures without them on the background. Fortunately, they allowed me with a smile.

The partially lighted church interior

For some information, I gathered some from the parish office. However, the staff there told me that they do not have an available copy of brochure. They handed me a copy of novena for Saint Bartholomew the Apostle.

While I was inside the church

Before leaving, I approached again the parish priest to thank him for the opportunity he has given me and the assisting knights of the altar. It was too hot outside then and we have to walk two blocks away to catch the jeepney to our next destination.

The corner where we catched the jeepney to our next destination

Carrying our travelling bags with some pasalubongs, vegetables and fruits, we headed to the point where we had to get a public utility jeepney bound for San Pablo City but we have to drop by again in the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery where I suppose was another 5-minute drive away from this church.

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