The Philippines is one of two predominantly Roman Catholic nations in Asia (the other being East Timor), and is the third largest Catholic country in the world.
It’s the top Christian country in Asia, and the fifth largest in the world.
Over a span of centuries, grand places of worship have been built all over the country. Here are some of the most beautiful churches we’ve seen in the Philippines.
1. St. John the Baptist Parish ChurchLiliw, Laguna
More known for its thriving shoe industry, Liliw also has the St. John the Baptist Church quietly hidden in one of its quaint streets. Perched regally on top of a small hill, the first Church of Liliw was built in 1605 and has survived many natural tragedies, like fire and earthquakes.
The church is a must-see when visiting this famous Laguna town. Easily recognizable because of its striking facade, it is built from a combination of bright red bricks and the traditional adobe. Praying in this church, with its quiet and verdant surroundings, becomes a meditative experience.
How To Get To St. John the Baptist Parish Church:
From Manila, ride a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna. At the Sta. Cruz jeepney terminal, ride a Majayjay-bound jeepney. Then hop on another jeepney towards Liliw. Travel time is approximately 3 hours.
Another options is to ride a bus bound for Lucena/Bicol from Manila. You can then alight at San Pablo Medical and take a jeepney towards San Pablo town proper. Ride a jeepney bound for Liliw at the terminal adjacent to San Pablo Church. Travel time using this route is also approximately 3 hours.
2. Saints Peter and Paul Parish ChurchCalasiao, Pangasinan
Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church, also known as Calasiao Church, is one of the largest and most preserved churches in the province of Pangasinan. Constructed and completed between the 17th and 19th centuries, the church has a Baroque style architecture and was declared as a National Cultural Treasure in 2001 by the National Museum of the Philippines.
Interestingly, this church is one of several houses of worship in the country that has two patrons: Saints Peter and Paul.
How To Get To Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church:
Different bus lines such as Victory Liner Inc. have daily trips to Lingayen, Pangasinan via NLEX. Remind the conductor/driver to drop you off at the town of Calasiao. Travel time is approximately 5 hours.
3. Cathedral of Our Lady of The Most Holy RosaryDipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte
Dressed in a creamy yellow, this cathedral stands proud at the heart of Dipolog City, the capital of Zamboanga del Norte. The cathedral’s doorway is accentuated with several arches, emphasizing its massive exterior. Do not be fooled though, this recently-built church is a reconstruction of the old.
The original church was built in the late 1800s but has undergone a number of transformations. Though lovely this new church is, the old one could have been retained through careful thought and planning.
How To Get To The Cathedral of Our Lady of The Most Holy Rosary:
The fastest way to reach this beautiful church is via a plane ride from Manila (MNL) to Dipolog Airport (DPL) which takes about an hour and a half. From the airport, hail a tricycle to take you to the church which is located in the downtown area.
4. Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church Miagao, Iloilo
This church was once referred to as Miagao Fortress Church as it was built to protect the locals from frequent Muslim raids in the early days. Its intricately-designed facade alone is a beauty to look at.
Miagao Church is one of the four churches in the Philippines with the prestige of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was granted this title on December 1993 under the category Baroque Churches in the Philippines.
How To Get To Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church:
The easiest way to reach Miagao is via the Iloilo International Airport (ILO) which is about an hour’s flight from Manila (MNL).
From the terminal located in the market, which locals call “Super,” take a jeepney bound for Miagao. You can also reach Miagao by jeep from the town of Molo or from the Mohoton terminal in Arevalo District.
5. The Church of St. Mary the VirginSagada, Mt. Province
Built by American missionaries in the early 1900s, this simple stone church is one of Sagada’s most popular attractions. Surrounded by emerald environs and constantly kissed by cool winds, this charming Episcopalian Church is popular for its rose-colored stained glass windows.
Admire the church and other nearby places of the interest like the century-old bell and cemetery, while holding a hot cup of Sagada coffee.
How To Get To The Church of St. Mary the Virgin:
Sagada can be reached by a number of ways but the most common route is via the City of Pines, Baguio.
From Manila, ride overnight buses plying the 5 hour-ride to Baguio City. Once in Baguio, hail a cab to take you to Dangwa Terminal. Catch the first non-airconditioned bus leaving for Sagada at promptly 6:30 AM for only ₱220. The trip lasts about six hours.