|Baroque Romansque architecture|
It took a decade to build Miagao church, also known as Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church. The construction began in 1787 under the supervision of Fray Francisco M. Gonzales O.S.A. and completed in 1797.
The bas-relief facade features a large coconut tree that symbolizes as the "tree of life" in which St. Christopher is carrying the Child Jesus on his shoulders. I read that the Spanish missionaries selected this because for them, it embodies their mission to spread Christianity to other countries. The carvings also showed the traditions and life of Miagao residents.
The church was destroyed during the 1898 Revolution, damaged by fire in 1910, badly damaged by earthquake in 1948. It was subsequently rebuilt and the restoration work began in 1960 and ended in 1962.
The church and its belfries or watchtowers served as fortress against raids by the Moros.
That's why it is sometimes referred to as Miagao Fortress church since it sinks six meters deep into the ground with stone walls one-and-a-half meters thick and buttress thrice thicker in size for defensive purpose.
Last summer I went for a tour around Ilocos Sur and Norte, when I saw Miagao church I remembered the Paoay church in Ilocos Norte. I told Mr. Noel, a lay minister/care taker of the church that Miagao church looks like San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. He answered that just like the church in Paoay, Miagao church is also one of the Baroque churches in the Philippines.
The church was declared as part of the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE "Baroque churches of the Philippines" in 1993.
The Baroque architecture can be seen only in four churches in the Philippines, the other two are San Agustin church in Manila and Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria in Ilocos Sur.
|colorful collection bag -- ILIKE :)|
The Miagao church was declared a national shrine by Presidential Decree No. 260 of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Ilocos Sur Representative Imelda Marcos, Ferdinand's widow was said that she presented a painting of the Miagao church to the late Pope John Paul II making her an instrument of the church popularity.
Mr. Noel opened the baptistery and allowed us to make a prayer-wish. *goosebumps*
Mother Mary image in Filipinia made of pure wood.
According to Mr. Noel during the building of the church, the locals were asked to bring block of stones and eggs as their contribution. An egg yolk was used as binder.
The white part is the "Apog" that is one of the original parts of the church since it was built.
Mr. Noel borrowed one of our cameras and repeatedly taking photos of Mother Mary. Then he showed us the photos and pointed out the Sacred Heart, Holy Trinity and angels images on the wall. *goose bumps*
Scan the following five photos.
|(c) Chingky Quijano|
Feel free to comment if you were able to see the images.
|with Mr. Noel, a lay minister/care taker of the church|
dated June 04 2012