Important Cultural Property
is “a cultural property that possesses “exceptional cultural, artistic and/or historical significance”, whereas the
National Cultural Treasure
pertains to “a unique cultural property found locally, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to the country and nation.”
As I roam the provinces of Philippines thru my
, I take priority on visiting at least one
national cultural treasure
, mostly heritage churches scattered in the archipelago. It is like finding a hidden treasure in every corner of our country! The list is currently updated in
The Philippine Registry of Cultural Property
, abbreviated as
a national registry of the Philippine Government.
National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines: Built Heritage Declarations (Tangible-Immovable) as of March 2020 Metro Manila
• Las Piñas Bamboo Organ: Las Piñas Bamboo Organ
• Camarin de la Virgen: Camarin de da Virgen
• Manila Metropolitan Theater: Metropolitan Theater Historical Landmark
• Bonifacio Monument: Bonifacio National Monument
Minor Basilica of San Sebastian of Quiapo – Designed by Genaro Palacios. The structural metal of which this church is uniquely built was manufactured in Belgium and erected here by Belgian engineers. The church was solemnly blessed August 16, 1891. Earlier churches built on this site by Recollect friars since 1611 were destroyed by earthquake in 1859, 1863 and 1880.
• Arch of the Centuries, Main Building, Central Seminary Building, Open Spaces, Baybayin Documents of the University of Santo Tomas, University of Santo Tomas Historical Landmark
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila – The new Santo Domingo church was built in the Art Deco combined with Spanish Modern style, which was unlike the Baroque churches built during Spanish period. The church employed the latest technique in reinforced-concrete building. The Mission-style architecture includes Romanesque and Gothic designs that accommodate more space. In the nave of the church there are eight colorful murals by National Artist Carlos Francisco depicting the life and times of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, the Spaniard who founded the Order of Preachers. Curved windows of the church frame masterful stained-glass designs by Galo Ocampo whose bases show different ecclesiastical seals. It is the largest church in Metro Manila and one of the biggest churches in Asia.
Jose Rizal National Monument – It is the original site where national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896. The original title is Motto Stella, Latin for “guiding star”. The monument consists of a standing bronze sculpture of Rizal, with an obelisk, set on a stone base within which his remains are interred. A plaque on the pedestal’s front reads: “To the memory of José Rizal, patriot and martyr, executed on Bagumbayan Field December Thirtieth 1896. This monument is dedicated by the people of the Philippine Islands.”
Paco Park (Cementerio Municipal De Manila y Capilla de San Pancracio) – Completed shortly previous to the cholera epidemic of 1820. Nine of the niches were donated by the City of Manila in grateful acknowledgment of the services of the Dominicans to the victoms of cholera.
The mausoleum of Governor General Ramon Solano y Lladeral is inside the mortuary chapel. The remains of the Filipino leader, Dr. José Rizal y Mercado, were interred here from December 30, 1896 to December 29, 1912.
Chapel of Saint Pancratius of La Loma – The La Loma Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Manila with an area of slightly less than 54 hectares (130 acres). It was opened in 1884 and was originally known as Cementerio de Binondo (Binondo Cemetery) as the area was then under the jurisdiction of Santa Cruz during the Spanish Colonial Period. It served as the funerary chapel of the cemetery since its opening in 1884 up to 1962 when the church services were transferred to the newly built St. Pancratius Church near the cemetery’s entrance; used as a fort by Filipino fighters during the Philippine-American War of 1899 to 1902; became a cursillo retreat house in the 70’s to 90’s; currently padlocked, abandoned and referred as “ Lumang Simbahan“. The Fortifications of Manila at Intramuros and Fort San Antonio Abad – Intramuros, particularly the Fort Santiago, was designated as a National Historical Landmark in 1951. The fortifications of Intramuros, collectively called “Fortifications of Manila”, were declared as National Cultural Treasures, by the National Museum of the Philippines, owing to its architectural, scientific and archaeological significance.
Santa Ana Site Museum
Carlos IV Monument
Isabel II Monument
Simon de Anda Monument
Legaspi and Urdaneta Monument
Paoay Church – Parish founded by Augustinian missionaries, 1593. Cornerstone of church laid, 1704; of convent, 1707; of tower, 1793. Used before completion and kept in repair by the people under the joint auspices of the Church and the town officials. Inauguration ceremonies, 28 February 1896. Church damaged by earthquake, 1706 and 1927. Tower used as observation post by Katipuneros during the Revolution, by Guerrilleros during the Japanese Occupation.
Parish Church Complex of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion of Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur – The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria. Ilocos Sur sits on a hill surrounded by a defensive wall, unlike other town churches in the country which conform to the Spanish tradition of placing them on the central plaza.
Unusual also are the sitting of the convent: parallel to the facade of the church and that of the separate bell tower (characteristic of a Philippine-Hispanic architecture) at the midpoint of the nave wall. This was dictated With a hill on which it is located.
The brick church follows the standard Philippine layout, with a monumental facade masking a straight roof-llne covering a long rectangular building. It is alleged to be built on a solid raft as a precaution against earthquakle damage. The walls devoid of ornament but have delicately carved side entrances and strong buttresses.
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse Historical Landmark – The Cape Bojeador Lighthouse or the Burgos Lighthouse is the highest elevated Spanish Colonial era lighthouse in the country. It stands at 66 feet or 20 meters high and is an octagonal stone tower. It was first lit on March 30, 1892. Today, its light marks the northwestern-most point in Luzon and it serves as a welcoming beacon for international ships entering the Philippine archipelago from the northern side and guides them safely away from the rocky coast.
Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul of Calasiao – The Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church or the Calasiao Church is a Baroque church located in Poblacion West, Calasiao, Pangasinan. It is declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. Calasiao’s prioririty status is due to its geographic representation of various regions across the nation, being one of the largest churches in Pangasinan. The prized original retablos (and a classic altar) is ornately decorated with statues of saints. The Baroque-style carved, the painted ceilings and the magnificent overall exterior are preserved for centuries. The intricate sculpture has tone of the Renaissance age’s undying European Art as demonstrated by the majesty of its ceiling or dome, walls and the altar from the aisle near the main door.
Parish Church of Saint Andrew of Bacarra – Bacarra Church was originally founded by the Augustinians and dedicated it to St. Andrew. It is known for its centuries-old and domeless leaning bell tower.
The Bacarra church is famous for its centuries-old, domeless or “beheaded” belfry known as Torre ti Bacarra. The structure stands three stories and 50 metres (160 ft) high. The original bell tower, which is detached from the main church building and made of coral bricks, was erected in 1828. However, periodic earthquakes from 1931 to 1971 caused the dome to start leaning. The entire dome was toppled by the 1983 Luzon earthquake, Restoration was ongoing as I visited last January 2020.
Parish Church of Santa Catalina de Alejandria of Luna – The century-old church of St. Catherine in Luna houses the miraculous image of Our Lady of Namacpacan, patroness of Ilocano travelers. The striking simplicity of the façade is played up by the slight décor on the iron grill window, the Augustinian emblem on the triangular pediment, the Corintian single and couple clumns on the first level and the rectangular pilasters supporting the pediment. The rose window and the recessed arched main door are the the only curved designs of the sharp-edged facade. Segmental arched windows ot he belltower further accentuate the simplicity of the facade. Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag – The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag is located on top of a hill in the town of Manaoag, Pangasinan. It enshrines the ivory image of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag. It serves as one of the major pilgrimage sites in the country. It was officially declared a Basilica on February 17, 2015.
Parish Church of San Guillermo de Aquitania of Magsingal
Mestizo Section, House of Father Jose Burgos and Leona Florentino – Mestizo Section The Mestizo District, or Kasanglayan (‘where the Chinese live’), is a grid of streets hemmed in between Plaza Burgos and Liberation Blvd and bisected by the beautifully preserved Crisologo Street. Vigan is famous for its historic townscape, an architechtural blend of Asian, Latin, American and European influences.
La Union Watchtower – This round structure built along the shore during the Spanish time was used as lookout point for impending attacks by pirates. Watchtowers of Ilocos Norte: Belfry of San Guillermo Cathedral in Laoag – The famous “Sinking Bell Tower” sinks into the ground at a rate of an inch a year. It has survived several minor earthquakes since its construction, causing scholars to label it an Earthquake Baroque style structure. The tower, built presumably after the 1707 earthquake, has a foundation of 90 metres (300 ft). It is made of locally manufactured bricks joined by molasses and juice of sablot leaves mixed with lime and sand, and reinforced with four massive columns on each corner and a winding stairway leading to the belfry. It used to have a large clock on the tower’s western face.
Watchtowers of Ilocos Norte (6) – Badoc in Barangay Lingasay, Currimao in Barangay Poblacion Uno, Currimao in Barangay Torre, Belfry of San Guillermo Cathedral in Laoag, Bacarra in Barangay Natba, Pasuquin in Barangay Puyupuyan
Watchtowers of Ilocos Sur (4) – Santiago in Barangay Sabangan, San Esteban in Barangay Bateria, Narvacan in Barangay Sulvec, Belfry of San Agustin Church
Ayusan-Paoa Bridge (Puente de Paoa)
Ifugao Rice Terraces – The Ifugao Rice Terraces cover an area of nearly 400 square kilometers. The stone-walled terraces of Ifugao are the highest, best built, and most extensive in the world. The Banaue people represent the oldest native folk; those of central Ifugao are the typical carriers of the terrace culture; and those of the Kiangan district are the latest comers into the region. Dubbed as the eight wonder of the world, the Ifugao Rice Terraces are ancient terraces that were carved into the mountains by the ancestors of the Ifugao. Shown here is the Banaue Rice Terraces. Parish Church of Santa Catalina de Alejandria of Tayum – The church is predominantly Baroque in style. The curved pediment ends smoothly into two large volutes which seat beside two, large, urn-like finials. The pediment is surmounted by a huge, knob-like finial. To the right of the façade stands the four-tiered bell tower with its rectangular base and octagonal upper levels. The church of Tayum, unlike the majority of Spanish-era churches in the country, was founded and built by Secular priests to Christianize the native group Tinguians in the region during the 19th century.
• Stone Agricultural Calendars of Dap-ay Guiday
Parish Church of San Matias of Tumauini – The church walls are made entirely of brick. The façade is a magnificent display of the use ornamented brick laid out in characteristic design. Customized bricks were numbered, and placed customized to fit the walls. The interior of the church, similar to the façade is veneered with ornamented bricks. The upper half of the interior wall is laid with ornately designed brick blocks. The bell tower of the church is cylindrical. The complex is fenced with brick walls, which is also ornamented like the rest of the church. The convent, located at the Gospel side of the church is now in ruins. Parish Church of San Vicente Ferrer and Dampol Bridge of Dupax Del Sur – The façade is described as a reflection of that of Tuguegarao Cathedral, only less in ornamentation and lower in height. To the left of the façade is the four-level, unplastered, rectangular bell tower. Two focal points inside the church are the pillars supporting the choir loft. The two, white-washed pillars are embellished with reliefs of cherubs, shells, florals and arabesques. Similar motifs can also be found on the baptistery. The original main altarpiece and pulpit are still intact but the heads of the images in the altarpiece are believed to be replicas of the ivory ones stolen over the course of the church’s history. The Dampol Arc Bridge, built in 1818 by Spanish Fray Francisco Rocamora is an important historical and cultural landmark in Dupax del Sur. Built in 1818 by Fray Francisco Rocamora OP, the single arched brick bridge spans the Abanatan Creek.
• Mahatao Church: Parish Church of San Carlos Borromeo of Mahatao
• Malaueg Church: Parish Church of San Raimundo de Peñafort of Malaueg
Parish Church of San Andres Apostol of Masinloc – The façade of the church is predominantly a semi gothic style with Neo-classic features. The front is divided into the triangular pediment, two horizontal sections and three vertical ones with an extended left portion forming the bell tower. It features saints’ niches on the first level, rectangular windows on the second and an elaborately carved niche of the town’s patron saint and carving of geometric shapes and medallions on the pediment. Triglyphs decorate the architrave between the second level and the pediment, giving the church a classical appearance. The belfry is designed like a circular templete surmounted with a lantern and a cross.
Parish Church of Santa Monica of Minalin – The four-century old Minalin Parish in Barangay San Nicolas is one of the first 20 missions put up by the Augustinians when they came to the Philippines. The church’s design includes motifs reflective of pre-Hispanic culture. The spires decorating the bell towers depict a Moorish architecture, hinting of the old Islamic faith of early Minaleños. The most notable and striking architectural feature of the church is its retablo-like façade. The lavishly floral decorations of the main entrance and the windows above it. The floral décor is evocative of early folk altars. The two hexagonal towers are solidly built. The four bells dated between 1850 and 1877, are dedicated to Saint Augustine and Saint Monica. The church-convent complex is enclosed by a low stone atrium with four capillas posas, a rarity in the Philippines.
Parish Church of Saint James the Apostle of Betis – The unique design of Betis Church reflects the integration of Spanish and Latin American architecture to indigenous architecture, including elements of Oriental style during the Spanish colonial era. The church was also designed to withstand earthquakes that occur often in the region. This unique architectural style became known as Earthquake Baroque. The main attraction of the church is the original ceiling mural done by the famous painter Simón Flores (1839–1904). Not to be missed are his original painting of the Holy Family, the artesian well (dug in the 1800s) in the patio – the first well in the country to be so situated, and the rare betis tree nearby donated by sociologist Randy David, a native of the town. CALABARZON
Minor Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel of Tayabas – The church at Tayabas is generally considered to be Baroque architecture. The unusual three-storey arrangement of the facade includes has an entrance flanked by two niches in Mudejar style. One of the most beautiful, largest and with longest aisle old churches in the Philippines. The church is the largest in the province of Quezon; and is built in the shape of a key. Locals often refer to the church as Susi ng Tayabas (“The Key of Tayabas”). The church’s 103-metre (338-foot) aisle also has the longest nave among Spanish colonial era churches in the Philippines
Parish Church of Immaculate Conception of Balayan – The construction was supervised by Filipino Seculars during the Spanish Colonial Period.
Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption of Maragondon – Maragondon is unique among Jesuit churches for its proportion. The façade is narrow but tall, not squatty as in other churches. To the left of the façade is the taller bell tower with no clear divisions between the stories. In contrast to the simplicity of its façade is the ornate door, divided into boxes, with floral designs of different shapes and ships and castles carved on it. Both in and out, the church fabric made of river stones are covered with a layer of paletada (stucco). A cross, dated 1712, is found near the church’s main entrance. There are remains of an old defensive wall and a blockhouse that surrounds the quadrangle formed by the church and convent.
Parish Church of San Gregorio Magno of Majayjay – The Romanesque church of Majayjay is 60 metres (200 ft) long, 17 metres (56 ft) wide and 16.5 metres (54 ft) meters high. Its façade has three levels, each level scaled proportionally and topped by a triangular pediment with a circular window. The interior contains a retablo mayor and four other minor retablos with intricate designs. The five-storey square belltower with a conical roof and ballustrated windows on each polygonal level is connected to the langit-langitan, a cat-walk above the ceiling which leads to the crossing over the transept. The belfry has arched windows each with a bell trimmed with finials and a large antique bell on top.
Parish Church of San Ildefonso de Toledo of Tanay – One of the most historical spots in the town is the Tanay Church built in the 17th century. The construction of the stone church was completed in 1680. The Church is a mixture of Philippine colonial design and with some integration of baroque in the facade which has two layers of columns. It has five altars with rococo designs. The main altar is silver-plated. The 14 Stations of the Cross inside the church is considered as one of the most beautiful Stations of the Cross in Asia. The carvings are depicted to have Malay features as evidenced by the brown skin of the natives and their squat figures, all of which are believed to have created by native Tanay artists. Some distinct depictions are borrowed from the native culture such as the “Tambuli” made of carabao and the bolo instead of the typical Roman sword. The carvings are encased in large glass windows across each side of the church. Parish Church of Our Lady of Candelaria of Silang – The church is known for its Spanish colonial architectural style and the rococo-influenced retablos. The retablos of Silang falls under the baroque style and is built from 1643 to 1663. It has three retablo, one retablo mayor or main altar and two side altars or colaterales in each side of the transepts which are mirror images of each other. Instead of fluted Corinthian column separating the retablo sections, garlanded Corinthians and salomonicas are used. The same local styles are also used in the main altar like fruits and flowers including decorative motifs of foliage, angel heads, acanthus crenelations, cartouches and empty rectangle. Silang Church’s retablos speaks of Filipinos’ creativity and indominable spirit in using indigenous and local elements in a supposedly colonial art.
Tayabas Historic Bridges: Tayabas Historic Bridges
Petroglyphs of the Rock-shelter: Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs
Pila Archaeological Site
• Romblon Church: Cathedral of Saint Joseph of Romblon
• Petroglyphs in the Caves of the Tao’t Bato Area: Tau’t Batu Petroglyphs
• Twin Forts of Romblon: Twin Forts of Romblon ( Fuerza de San Antonio and Fuerza de Santiago)
Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist of Tabaco – The church is built out of dark volcanic soil and stones found in the area. One unusual characteristic of the church is the presence of mason’s marks on stones used for the construction of the church building, a rare feature in the Philippines. Its unusual floor plan contains compartments for which there is currently no explanation. It is known for its beautiful and bell tower embedded with rococo designs.
Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria of Daraga – The church is known for its Churrigueresque architectural style in its façade, a fine example of Baroque architecture. The façade and its walls are made out of volcanic rocks, which are rich in the area. The current white façade is the result of a coating of lime for protection from deterioration. It is one of the few churches in the country that has four spiral columns known as Solomonic columns or salomónicas. Another characteristic of the façade, which is unique to the church, is the absence of either vertical columns or horizontal cornices. Engraved on the façade and the adjacent belfry are statues of saints, mostly Franciscans, and rare religious seals such as the coats of arms of the Franciscan order, the Pope’s tiara with the keys, and the five wounds or stigmata of St. Francis which survived the Second World War.
Cagsawa Ruins – The spiritual administration of Cagsawa from 1587 to 1595 was under the parish of Camalig an early church was burned, 25 July 1636. By the Dutch who ransacked the towns bordering Legaspi Bay. This church build after 1724 by Fray Francisco Blanco O.F.M. was buried by rocks and lava during the eruption of Mayon Volcano, 1 February 1814. The Authorities of Cagsawa meeting at Ligao, 6 July 1814 decided to incorporate their town as part of Daraga. The first sentenary of the destruction off the church was commemorated 1 February 1914 with a huge pilgrimage to the ruins where high mass was celebrated. Cagsawa considered symbolic of the dangers of living in close proximity with Mt. Mayon, as it is situated roughly 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) away from the volcano. Western Visayas
Parish Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva of Miagao – Construction of this church began in 1787 while Fray Francisco M. Gonzales, O.S.A. was Parish Priest of this town and Domingo Libo-on was Gobernadorcillo. The Church was completed in 1797. It served as fortress against Muslim raiders. The church’s over-all architectural style falls under the Baroque Romanesque architectural style. Its ochre color is due to the materials used in constructing the church: adobe, egg, coral and limestone. The façade of Miagao church consists of an ornately decorated bas-relief in the middle of two huge watchtower belfries on each side. The bas-relief is a mixed influence of Medieval Spanish, Chinese, Muslim and local traditions and elements, a unique characteristic of the church façade. The two huge unequal belltowers directly attached to the main churchserve as watchtowers to defend the town against invasion of Moros. It has two different designs since it was commissioned by two different priests.
Parish Church of San Joaquin, Iloilo – The main church in town, a Roman Catholic parish was constructed in 1859 and completed in 1869 by Spanish friar Tomas Santaren, of the Augustinian Order. The church is unique among those in the Philippines for its large pediment featuring a military scene, the Spanish victory over the Moors in the Battle of Tetuan. The National Historical Institute listed the church as a National Cultural Treasure.
Roman Catholic Cemetery (Camposanto) – The San Joaquin Cemetery is located along the main highway in San Joaquin Town. The construction of San Joaquin Cemetery was commenced by Fray Mariano Vamba, the last Augustinian parish priest of the town in 1892. A statue of Jesus with his arms outstretched stands on top of a baroque style gate, and on each side of Christ, two columns with angelic figures are poised as guards. In addition, sculpted heads of two cherubs and a skull representing death marks the entrance of the cemetery. Twenty stone steps after entering the gate and you will be greeted by the Baroque designed mortuary chapel standing on the center. Parish Church of Santa Monica of Pan-ay – Pan-ay, originally called Bamban, was established in 1572. The first church, constructed in 1774 by Fr. Miguel Murguia, was heavily damaged by typhoon in 1875. The present church was constructed in 1884 under the direction of Fr. Jose Beloso who commissioned Don Juan Reina to cast a bell for the church from seventy sacks of coins donated by the townspeople. This bell, the biggest in the Philippines, measures seven feet in diameter, five feet in height, and weighs 10,400 kilograms.
• Santa Barbara Church: Parish Church of Santa Barbara and Convent
• Bohol Watchtowers: Maribojoc;
; Pamilican; Loay; Bililihan
Dauis watchtower – The Dauis watchtower was built Fray Santiago del Corazon de Jesus, probably in 1774, based on the inscribed date found below the order’s emblem located above the entrance. Rather short, the top affords a good view of the sea and it guarded Dauis from Muslim slave raiders that ravaged the Visayas that time. Unlike the bigger watchtowers that were mostly built in the 19th century, this one is slender, more like a church belltower, a sloping first level and topped with a roof with fancy woodwork, the only one of its kind in the Philippines. It is crowned by a wind vane. The entrance has the same facing side with the current church and atop it is the order’s emblem.
Panglao watchtower – The Panglao watchtower was built in 1851. The 5-storey hexagonal tower is reputedly the tallest of its kind in the Philippines but suffers from neglect. “A stone watchtower stands guard over the edge of the sea, a short distance behind the church. Reputedly Bohol’s tallest, the ponderous structure bears the year 1851 inside its lowest chamber. Its hexagonal plan is rare in the Philippines”.
Parish Church of Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary of Baclayon – Baclayon was founded by the Jesuit priest Juan de Torres and Gabriel Sánchez in 1596, and became the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol. It was elevated as a parish in 1717 and the present coral stone church was completed in 1737. The church, built out of coral stones, is a cross shaped (cruciform) church with its juncture or crossing surmounted by a pyramidal wall.
Parish Church of San Isidro Labrador of Lazi – The church, also known for its huge convent, was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. Lazi (formerly Tigbawan) became an independent parish from Siquijor on August 8, 1857. The present stone church was built in 1884 by Filipino artisans followed by the bell tower in the following year. The construction of the convent was made with coral stones and hardwood, commenced in 1887 and completed in 1891. Both the church and the convent were done under the direction of Recollect priest Father Toribio Sánchez
Parish Church of San Pedro and San Pablo of Loboc – In May 1597, Fr. Juan de Torres, S.J., established the mission of Loboc, which was canonically established as a parish dedicated to San Pedro Apostol[.] In 1602, the present church, built on foundations of the early church which was destroyed by the fire, was started in 1670 and completed in 1734. The convent annexed to the church in a three-storey structure, was the central residence of the Jesuit Missions. In 1768, the Recollects were assigned the former missions in Bohol; they built the octagonal bell tower separate from the main church structure. Sometime in 1858, Fray Aquilino Bon, O.A.R., built the portico in front of the church façade and the octagional mortuary chapel at the gospel flank of the church.
Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption of Dauis – Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Church or Dauis Church is located in the third oldest parish in Bohol. The church has an electric character with its mixture of Revival styles in architecture. Its facade is Neo-classic with its pediment and layout of fenestrations; the side windows and belltower spire is Neo-Gothic but its interior is planned in the format of early Christian Basilicas. Its distinct electric character hints on its 19th century vintage when the revival styles were very much in vogue. An interesting feature in the church is the presence of an old but active well near the altar’s communion rail. The Basílica Menor del Santo Niño de Cebú (Minor Basilica of the Holy Child of Cebú), commonly known as the Santo Niño Basilica, is a minor basilica in Cebu City in the Philippines that was founded in the 1565 by Fray Andrés de Urdaneta, O.S.A. and Fray Diego de Herrera, O.S.A.. The oldest Roman Catholic church in the country, it is built on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebú was found during the expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi. When Pope Paul VI made the church a basilica on April 1, 1965, he declared it to be “the symbol of the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines.” The present building, which was completed from 1739–1740, has been designated by the Holy See as the “Mother and Head of all Churches in the Philippines” ( Mater et Caput… Omnium Ecclesiarum Insularum Philippinarum). The basilica was declared a National Cultural Treasure on April 14, 2021.
• Loon Church: Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de La Luz of Loon
• Boljoon Church: Parish Church of Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria of Boljoon
• Bacong Church: Parish of Saint Augustine of Hippo of Bacong
• Dimiao Church: Parish Church of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Dimiao Complex and Ermita Ruins
• Maribojoc Church: Parish Church of the Santa Cruz of Maribojoc
• Loay Church: Parish Church of the Holy Trinity of Loay
• Cortes Church: Parish Church of Santo Niño of Cortes
• Guiuan Church: Parish Church of Immaculate Conception of Guiuan
• Capul Church: Parish Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola of Capul
Relief Map of Mindanao – While in exile in Dapitan in 1892, Dr. Jose Rizal, National Hero, designed the plaza of Dapitan with the assistance of Fr. Francisco Paula de Sanchez. The original plaza had a kiosk with five radiating promenades and lights fueled by coconut oil encased in glass. In the plaza and in front of the church of St. Joseph, Dr. Jose Rizal and Fr. Sanchez with the help of alumni and then current students of the Parochial School of Dapitan built a relief map of Mindanao. Declared a National Cultural Treasure in June 20, 2005.
Fort Pilar – Fort Pilar was founded as the southern outpost of Spanish Domain under the supervision of Melchor de Vera in 1635. Since then, it has a significant history beginning with an attack by the Dutch in 1646. Later, in 1663, the troops stationed at this fort abandoned their post to help other troops against the Chinese pirates who invaded Intramuros. Though a part of the fort was destroyed by the King of Bulig, Dalisi and his 3,000 Moros in 1720, it still saw the end of the Spanish Colonial Period. In 1889, the Americans under General J.C. Bates took over the administration of the fort but it was subsequently seized by the Japanese during World War II. In 1946, administration of the fort was eventually turned over to the Philippines. At present, Fort Pilar functions as a National Museum Branch housing several galleries on Fauna, Archaeology and Ethnography of the region.
Northern Mindanao Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist of Jimenez – The church is predominantly Baroque in architecture with features reminiscent of the Renaissance style. The church façade, contrary to other Roman Catholic churches of the same era, is devoid of a pediment. It features a portico with three semicircular arched entrances lined on top with a parapet. The rectangular mass of the portico is crowned by three pedimented saints’ niches. Behind the façade is the nave wall with its simple, gabled roof and windows. To the left of the church stands the rectangular, three-tiered bell tower topped with finials, a domed roof and a lantern. The clock mechanism is still intact.
• Jasaan Church: Parish Church of Immaculate Conception of Jasaan
Archaeological Sites in Camiguin Island: Old Bonbon Church Complex Ruins, Sunken Cemetery, Guinsiliban Moro Watchtower – Sometimes called the Old Church Ruins, the Guiob Church Ruins was what was left from the old church of the island’s Spanish era capital called Cotta Bato. It was constructed in the 16th century but it met its destruction a century later. On May 13, 1871, the capital’s peace was rattled by an intense trembling of the ground brought about by the rumbling of a nearby volcano, Mt. Vulcan. The earthquake shook the town mercilessly until houses and other structures were down to rubble. But that wasn’t the end of it. That evening, Mt. Vulcan unleashed its most devastating power when it erupted and destroyed what was left of the town.
Sunken Cemetery – Sunken Cemetery of Catarman – an ancient cemetery which sank beneath the sea due to a volcanic eruption. During the volcanic birth of Mt. Vulcan lasting from 1871 to about 1875, some areas in the town of Bonbon subsided, sinking the cemetery of the town to below sea level. The place is commemorated by a huge cross erected in 1982.
Guinsiliban Moro Watchtower – The Moro Watch Tower lies at the beach of the municipality of Guinsiliban. The tower is very old and was used as a watchtower to warn the inhabitants of the coming of Muslim marauders that often come to inflict them with much damage. The tower lies a few meters from the coastline and near to the Guinsiliban pier. Caraga Region
• Balangays of Butuan:
Archaeological and Anthropological Sites/ Reservations, National Museum
• Karim Ul-Makhdum Mosque: Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque Historical Landmark:
National Historical Landmark, NHCP
• Kawayan Torogan: Torogan House