Take Me to Church "Calamba Church" - Beautiful Sunday

in archisteem •  10 months ago  (edited)

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108


Come with me today and let's visit another historical church in the Philippines. Also known as Saint John the Baptist Parish Church, it is also the oldest church in Calamba, Laguna. It is also recognized as a National historical landmark in our country. A beautiful quiet morning in a solemn place, take a stroll with me as I take you around this architectural beauty.



Calamba Church

The church was established by Friars in 1779. A stone church was built in 1859, but in 1945 during World War II it was destroyed. No records were indicated when the church was reconstructed, but suggests that it has undergone numerous reconstructions. Earthquake is a common natural disaster that has affected a lot of Spanish colonial churches in our country. It has not been recorded if this church was affected by earthquakes.

The front of the church takes you back thru time as you look at the stone walls. I could imagine the church goers during the 1800's, people dressed up in old clothing, carriages and everything lit up by candles. A lot of the materials here are no longer the original materials from the 1800's since it was destroyed during the war, but still it shows the Baroque style from the past.

One of the stained glass windows depicts San Lorenzo Ruiz who is the first Filipino saint. Martyred when he was executed in Japan in the 17th century.

On the right side. just in front of the church is a garden called Gethsemane named after the garden in Jerusalem where Jesus prayed. People also come here to pray in this peaceful garden. Here there is also a well called the Well of Repentance. I am not quite sure how they use the well, but I think it is also like a wishing well. In this case, I think it's for repentance.

The main entrance that leads to the church. The peach colored door is not as elaborate as some of the churches we have visited because every church has it's own character.

The holy water font as we see in all Roman Catholic churches is composed of two golden angels with wings spread open. Looks like newly painted it perfectly matches the interiors of the church.

There are only a few people here today and the front area has been closed for cleaning. I would have loved to take a closer look at the retablo where the saints are housed.

I have also noticed that a lot of churches has upgraded with large monitors on the side for those at the back to be able to watch the mass closer.

Some people are praying and taking photos must be taken very quietly. I always take notice of people praying and I am always very careful not to disturb them. I set my camera on silent as a click could echo within these walls.

I found a way to sneak on the side and found an open window, where I was able to take closer photos of the retablo.

The church was declared as a National historical site as this is the church where our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was baptized.

Here his baptismal records were stored, but the original copy was burned in 1862 in a church fire. A transcript of the baptismal records is on display on the walls of the church.

An image of Saint Josemaria Escriva who started the institution called Opus Dei. It teaches that everyone is called to holiness and leading an ordinary life is a path to sanctity.

Artworks also decorate the walls of the church. No descriptions are indicated to tell us the story behind this painting and the only clue that we have is the signature of the artist, "Marzon Alviar 4/1000". I would have loved to investigate more about this artwork, but often it is very hard to find someone to ask about artifacts in churches.

There are several stained glass windows that grace this church and a lot is very hard to access in order to get a good shot. This one is one of the two which are in front of the church with the image of St. Dominic.

This is Saint San Lorenzo Ruiz which we took a photo earlier up front.


This section is the place where our National hero Dr. Jose Rizal was baptized. I am not sure though if the artifacts here are still the original ones that were used in the past.

The spiral steps that leads to the second floor of the church. Unfortunately, the way up is blocked and is probably off limits to the public.

It's time for us to leave and let's go out and see the side of the church.

The way to the side of the church greets you with this old tree which has witnessed a lot throughout history. It still stands as a silent witness that whispers memories from the past.

As in my previous post about churches there is a support called "buttress" which is added as support to be able to withstand earthquakes. Here the buttress are not present which could indicate that this area in the country may not have been strongly plagued by earthquakes.

The back part of the church has a circular design which almost resembles a fortress. If it had some embrasures or openings on top of the walls, I would definitely look like a fortress. Although some churches has been used as a garrison during times of war, this church had not history of such.

The side entrance of the church looks very old as you could see a lot of growing moss and plant growth.


Here the candle prayer area is located. Light up a candle and pray for a soul or whatever that may burden you.

Upon coming closer, I was surprised with the quantity of melted candles. The ones we have visited in the past does not have as much. Here the different colors has created quite a fascinating colorful mess out of it all.

Different candles and each one lit with a personal prayer behind it. The candles burned out, but the remnants still remains as a testament to a lot of people's faith a belief.


A colorful terrain and would continue to pile up as more people visit to pray.


At the back entrance, the church schedule is posted. I didn't know that they held masses everyday. As I mentioned before, I am not a Roman Catholic but I have much respect for every religion. And my fascination for it's artifacts, architecture and history runs deep.



Every trip comes to an end and I hope you enjoyed this short stroll with me in this historic place. Another addition to the churches we have visited. We are hoping to visit more churches across the country if given the time and means. Our country is rich with old Spanish colonial structures and I would love to see them all in the future. I hope you do join me again as I share more about our country's culture.

Until then have an amazing morning or evening everyone.

Visit some of the old churches we have visited in our country.

St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church

Paete Church

Manila Cathedral

San Agustin Church

Immaculate Heart Convent

Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral

St. Mary Magdalene Church



Saint John the Baptist Parish Church (Calamba)

Opus Dei


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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 and Sigma 50 mm







Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://watersnake101.vornix.blog/2018/12/09/take-me-to-church-calamba-church-beautiful-sunday/

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Dear @watersnake101,

Thank you for the submission for our project – 1001 Places to Remember. Hooray, your story is now listed in our project publication, you can check through our progressive report either from our @fundition project page or @archisteem account. We will be sorting out the seasonal shortlist authors and make an announcement soon for the seasonal reward.

Stay tuned and Steem on!

Sincerely from,

@archisteem and team

Thank you for the walk through. The statues especially really stand out.

You are most welcome. Thanks for joining me in this humble stroll.

Heya, just swinging by to let you know you're being featured in our Daily Travel Digest!

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Hi watersnake101,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

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Thank you for the amazing support and also my thanks to the curator.

Looks pretty quite but I can imagine loads of people during the mass. Especially coming Christmas.

This December the most popular is the early morning mass. Lots of people flock to the church around 4am to 5. We call it Simbang Gabi. Thanks @ace108

  ·  10 months ago (edited)

You're welcome.
Wow.... 4am is very early.

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@watersnake101 wonderful architecture

I am glad you liked it. I'm crazy about religious architecture.

I am in love with your captures broo

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What a wonderful project you are doing. I am not catholic either, but I do visit, enter, and explore their churches when I get a chance. They always provide a restful and inspiring stop during my travels.

You did a great job of finding the nooks and crannies and getting some of the story here. Now I would like to know about the hero of your country I have never heard of before.

I have never seen anything like that candle mountain. This is so moving to me. It has to build up too high and need to be cleaned out every so often. I wonder how regularly that would happen.

I love the peaceful aura that emanates from a church especially the really old ones. The stones, walls and stained glass all tells stories from the past. I could spend the whole afternoon in a church and my wife often would need to pull me away as I often get taken over by my camera lol. I'm glad you liked it and I hope you could also check my old post of the churches here if interested.
About our national hero he fought the Spanish with the pen thru his writing which showed the oppression of our countrymen. It is for another topic for another time and I have a lot of photos about him and his works. I would share it one of these days.
Thank you very much for taking interest in my content and our culture. Very much appreciated.

I will get to your other posts and look forward to you history lesson. The best thing about steemit for me is the chance to see other places and learn about cultures. I cannot get to all the spots I want to go, so I am very happy to see them through you.

Glad to have shared. Same here I would also like to see and visit other places but we could only visit places within our means. Steemit is a great window to give us a glimpse of places, real people and life.

Ganda nman nito..

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Hey bro thanks for dropping by. I need to go visit more churches soon as it is like a drug to me.

This is truly an amazing place, thanks for the tour @watersnake101!

Hey thanks for dropping by. I am very anxious to visit another church hopefully.

Will wait for your next post!

You just seem to find fabulous stained glass everywhere! And that candle wax is rather amazing. I've never seen anything quite like it! Great photos!

Hey @melinda010100 my friend. You know me know crazy I am about them lol. I just wish I got closer to the altar as they had more there up in front. The section was closed for cleaning unfortunately. Hope everything is well. Classes for the kids are almost over and I would also have a long vacation finally lol.

Do you have plans for how you are going to spend do our vacation time?

Oh yea my wife is already planning since we have a new/old van lol. Heading for the beach as I have surely missed it. There is a beautiful island, not crowded and no electricity that we want to visit but don't have the budget for it. Well I guess we will settle for the public resorts for now.

Wow, that is a stunning piece of architecture. Hopefully since it has been made a landmark it will be there for people to enjoy for many many years to come. Looks like there are many wonderful spots to sit in prayer and reflection. Thank you for sharing so we could enjoy the beauty and a moment of serenity, as well!

The garden looks like a very good spot as it was very shady and the air was cool. The gate was locked though so I was not able to explore the garden. Thanks for checking. Cheers!

Thank you for taking the time to share with us. Absoulutely BeautyFull @watersnake101 I can imagine the feeling of praying there - very powerfull <333 Much Love!

Old churches emanates a feeling that is hard to explain. A feeling of peace and with a little excitement. Standing in a place that stood for centuries is quite an experience.

Let me tell you the way you narrate your visit to that church is very rewarding.

You moved me completely to the site. Something I wanted to comment. if we put in context in the area where people put their candles. all that structure formed full of colors are the requests of many people. are your requests to God. how much feeling and faith accumulated over time in one place.

It does not matter if the church is a reconstruction, I believe the essence is the same. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Well said all those prayers from a lot of people can be seen in the piles of different colors. I just wonder when the first drop of the candle took place. What prayers has been said, lots of stories and request all complied in the prayer candle area. This is my eight church to visit in my country and if you love churches you could check out the links to other amazing churches that I left. All very old and beautiful each with their own character. I hope it could spark your interest.

Yes, as the years go by I have started to like new things. Architecture is one of them. I'm also about to shoot some pictures of a church here in Venezuela. It is a replica of the San Pedro basicila. is awesome. but my internet connection is bad enough to post right now...

I will be reviewing your other posts. My aunt is with me now and I am telling her about your experience in churches and now she wants to see them all.

I will look forward to your church photos. I would love to see what churches looks like there in Venezuela.

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This could be a holiday brochure I live the pictur of the led glass and the interior. I think if I were There I would visit and feel it for myself

Yes I hope you could visit our country someday. I am glad you liked it. Thanks.

Can we try to get steemit raised than i can come and visit

Man I really should make a blog on Vornix or others already. Haha.

I've never been there so thanks for sharing! That colorful candle pile makes me want to clean 'em all up but of course I might take pictures of them instead too. Lol.

It's so old maybe there are ghosts there. Whoa. Now I know where Jose Rizal was baptized!

Just right beside it is the house of Jose Rizal. Too bad it was closed that day. True there are some old churches that have some history of apparitions. Not sure if this old place has one too.