Naga City | Camarines Sur

Naga City in Camarines Sur is known as the “Queen City of Bicol”. It is also called “Heart of Bicol” due to its central location in the Bicol Peninsula and “Pilgrim City” as it is home to the largest Marian pilgrimage in Asia.

Established in 1575, the city then named Ciudad de Nueva Cáceres (New Cáceres City), earned its status as the third Spanish Royal City in the Spanish East Indies after Iloilo and Manila.

Tourists can visit the popular Mount Isarog, Malabsay and Nabontolan Falls, Naga City Ecological Park and numerous hot springs and resorts. Aside from the natural attractions, numerous churches and monasteries, and historical landmarks can also be found within the city.

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Naga Metroolitan Cathedral. Biggest church in Bicol Region which was built from 1816 to 1831
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Holy Rosary Minor Seminary. The center of ecclesiastical education of Bicol Region which was built in 1785.

 

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Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia. Built in 1985, the Basilica Minore was constructed as the new home of the miraculous image of the Patroness of Bicolandia.
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Ateneo de Naga University. The Jesuit university in Bicol.
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Unibersidad de Santa Isabel. The first college for women in the Orient.
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San Francisco Church. Established in 1578, it is the first church in the Bicol Region built by the Franciscan Friars.
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Quince Martires Monument. The monument was built to honor the 15 martyrs of Bicol during the Spanish Regime.

 

 

How to go to Naga, Camarines Sur?

From Manila, you can travel by land and take the 9-10 hours bus ride bound for Naga (Superlines, DLTBCo or PhilTranco). Naga is approximately 2 hours away from Daet in Camarines Norte and also 2 hours away from Legazpi City in Albay.

 

Featured Photo: Porta Mariae which was inaugurated on September 10, 2010 in celebration of the 300th year of devotion to the Virgin Mary.

 

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

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Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours: Asia’s Biggest Catholic Church | Taal, Batangas

The Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours or simply Taal Church is a Minor Basilica in the town of Taal, Batangas in the Philippines.  Hailed as one of Taal’s crowning jewels, the church is considered to be the largest in Asia. Its patron saint is St. Martin of Tours whose feast is celebrated every November 11.

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The altar of the basilica

Construction of the present neo-classic style church began in 1856 by Fr. Marcos Anton and was supervised by Spanish architect Luciano Oliver. It was completed in 1878 but was actually inaugurated prior its completion in 1865. The church is 88.6 metres long and 48 metres wide. It has three naves with a grand transept and an elegant facade. On December 8,1954, the church was declared as a Minor Basilica, the third in the Philippines to be given such honor. It was also declared a National Shrine by Presidential Decree No. 375 on January 16, 1974 by the National Historical institute.

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Inside the basilica which was designed by a Spanish architect Luciano Oliver
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One of two smaller naves of the basilica
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Beautiful crafted displays on the second floor of the basilica
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Reception area for visitors of the priest in charge
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A small pond within the basilica

At present, the church allows tourists to experience a panoramic view of the town that overlooks the Balayan Bay by climbing the church belfry.

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Way to the church belfry
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The bell of the baslica
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View of Taal town and the Balayan Bay at the belfry

History of Earlier Churches: Construction of the original Taal Church began in 1575 near the shores of Taal Lake in the town of San Nicolas. It was destroyed during a massive eruption of Taal Volcano in 1754 leading to the transfer of the town and the church to its present location. Construction of the new church began in 1755 but again damaged by a strong earthquake in 1852.

How to get to Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours? Read previous blog Travel Guide: Heritage Town of Taal | Batangas, Philippines

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For this particular trip, TheTravelad  would like to thank Taal Tourism headed by Ma’am Elizabeth Quinto for the guided tour around the heritage town. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery: Philippines’ Distinct Graveyard | Nagcarlan, Laguna

The Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is a national historical landmark located at Barangay Bambang, Nagcarlan, Laguna. It is the only underground cemetery of its kind in the Philippines. It was built in 1845 under the supervision of Franciscan priest, Fr. Vicente Velloc. Today, it is supervised by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

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At the gate of the underground cemetery

The circular baroque-style cemetery lies within a one hectare property. It is surrounded by octagonal stone walls made of red tiles with iron-wrought grills. Its chapel contains a statue of Santo Sepulcro and serves as a place for funeral mass. 15 feet below the chapel is an underground graveyard consisting of 36 tombs arranged in four walls. The crypt and chapel is connected by two flights of steps. The first nine steps lead to a Spanish inscription while the last six steps lead to the underground crypt.

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Inside the chapel where a statue of Santo Sepulcro can be seen
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The underground crypt

More Interesting Facts About Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

  • The cemetery’s underground crypt is exclusively for Spanish friars, prominent town citizens and members of elite Catholic families only.
  • It served as a meeting place of revolutionary leaders of the Katipunan in 1896. Pedro Paterno and Gen. Severino Taiño held a meeting at the cemetery where they planned the historic Pact of Biak-na-Bato in 1897.
  • It was a hideout for Filipino leaders during thePhilippine-American War and of guerillas in World War II.
  • Since its declaration as a National Historical Landmark by virtue of Presidential Decree no. 260, dated August 1, 1973, no more burials were allowed in the cemetery.
  • The oldest tomb at the cemetery is dated 1886.
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Apartment-type niches on the walls 

*Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is open from Tuesdays-Sundays at 8am-4pm.

How to go to Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery?

Via Sta. Cruz: From Cubao/Buendia/Alabang, ride a bus bound to Sta. Cruz. Get off at Sta. Cruz public market and ride a jeepney bound to Nagcarlan which his will pass by the underground cemetery.

Via San Pablo City: From Cubao/Buendia/Alabang, ride a bus bound to Lucena. Get off at San Pablo City junction and ride a jeepney/tricycle to the jeepney terminal of Nagcarlan/Liliw. Travel time approx 45mins.

Side Trip: SAN BARTOLOME APOSTOL PARISH CHURCH (also known as Nagcarlan Church)

After Nagcarlan was colonized in 1571 by Spanish conqueror Juan Salcedo, the town was founded in 1578. Five years later in 1583, Nagcarlan Church was first built made from light materials such as nipa and wood. The second church made of brick and stone was built in 1752 but partly destroyed by fire in 1781. The church was eventually reconstructed in 1845, the same year the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery was built.

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Facade of the baroque style Nagcarlan Church

*The San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church is located at the town proper of Nagcarlan. It is a kilometer away from the underground cemetery, less than a 10-minute jeepney ride.

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Kamay Ni Hesus Healing Church | Lucban, Quezon Province

Lucban, Quezon in the Philippines is not just known for its Pahiyas Festival, Longanisang Lucban and Pancit Habhab. Nowadays, it’s getting more popular as a pilgrimage site for Catholics to repent, give thanks and pray for healing at the shrine of Kamay Ni Hesus Healing Church.

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The 50 ft. tall  statue of the Risen Christ

The 5-hectare shrine of Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church was constructed on February 2002. It is located at Brgy. Tinamnan.  The shrine houses the Healing Church, Noah’s Ark, Sea of Galilee, Holy Family Park, Garden of Eden, Luklukan Ni Maria, Pastoral Center founded by the Healing Priest, Fr. Joey Faller and the Via Dolorosa Grotto which features the world’s third tallest Risen Christ statue standing at 50 feet high.

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The Healing Church
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Huge replica of Noah’s Ark
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Illustration of biblical characters Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden
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Sea of Galilee

Via Dolorosa Grotto Schedule:

Monday & Tuesday:  8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Thursday & Friday:   8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday: 7:00 AM-5:30 PM

Healing Church Mass Schedule:

Monday:   9:00 AM

Tuesday:   9:00AM

Wednesday: 9:30AM – Healing Mass

Thursday:  9:00AM

Friday:   9:00AM

Saturday:  9:30 AM – Healing Mass ; 5:00 PM – Anticipated Mass

Sunday:  7:30 AM ; 9:00 AM ; 10:30 AM ; 11:30 AM ;  2:30 PM – Healing Mass

How to get to Kamay Ni Hesus?

Regular commercial buses ply the Manila-Lucena route for three hours or the Manila-Sta. Cruz, Laguna route. From Lucena City or Sta. Cruz, Laguna, there are jeepneys and mini buses to that will take you to Lucban. There are bus terminals located along EDSA-Kamuning in Quezon City, Araneta Center in Cubao and Buendia-Taft Avenue.

Side Trip: SAN LUIS OBISPO DE TOLOSA PARISH CHURCH

The San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Parish Church commonly known as the Lucban Church is just few minutes away from Kamay Ni Hesus shrine. It is located at the very heart of Lucban in Barangay Poblacion. The church was first built in 1595 but was ruined in 1629. The second church was constructed between 1630 and 1640. Unfortunately it was seriously damaged by fire in 1733. The present church was completed in 1738.

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The baroque designed church with its three-storey facade.

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

St. Mary Magdalene Church | Kawit, Cavite

The St. Mary Magdalene Church of Kawit, also known as Kawit Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is located few minutes away from the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. The president of the First Philippine Republic, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was baptized in this church.

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Inside the old church of Kawit
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View of the ceiling near the altar

The construction of the present Kawit Church started in 1737.  The church is cruciform architecture with single nave. It is primarily made of bricks, stone and wood.  At the right side of the façade is a four-story bell tower. The sides of the church have a total of 14 sets of windows each with a small stained-glass depicting the fourteen Stations of the Cross. Below each window is another arc-shaped window for air circulation.

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Arc-shaped windows for ventilation of the church

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At the back door side of the church

During the Philippine-American War in 1898, the Kawit Church was almost destroyed by the bombardment of the Americans. The church was restored in 1990 by the citizens of Kawit. During the same year, it was marked as a Historical Structure of the Philippines by the National Historical Institute now known as the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

How to get to St. Mary Magdalene Church?

From Baclaran, take a bus bound to Cavite City which passes through the town of Kawit, Cavite, Travel time is nearly an hour. It is just few minutes away from the Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine. (Read previous blog about the shrine here.)

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph