We’re back with our Bataan Pilgrimage Tour series. After visiting the oldest church in Bataan, The Abucay Church (Check : Abucay Church), we headed to our fifth destination, the Saint Peter of Verona Parish in Hermosa, Bataan. We were warmly welcomed by their parishioners and they even shared us a brief history about their parish. Much like the early churches we visited, Saint Peter of Verona is also considered as one of the oldest churches in the province and also shares a huge historical significance.
The town which was formerly known as Llana Hermosa was established by the Dominican Priests in 1756. It was the same year it became an independent missionary center with Saint Peter of Verona as their patron saint. The story behind the selection of the town’s patron saint is even more engaging. The church which was established in 1717 (marking its 300th anniversary this year) and according to history, the people of Hermosa found a broken boat near the river and inside the boat was the image of Saint Peter Martyr of Verona, a 13th Century Catholic priest. Since then, many miraculous events were attributed to the image.
The facade of Saint Peter of Verona Parish features a baroque style with stained glass window on the center depicting the image of the patron saint. There’s also an image of Saint Joseph and Mary on both sides while the belfry can be found on the top most portion of the facade similar to Pilar Church (Check Pilar Church). The materials used for exterior and interior finish were said to be old adobe walls.
Remember that particular feature I told you when we visited the Balanga Cathedral? (Check : Balanga Cathedral) Well, it seems like Saint Peter of Verona Parish has the same feature for their facade.
The image of Saint Joseph on the facade of Saint Peter of Verona Parish
The intricately detailed dome
The Nave! The interior of the church is even more stunning! The splendor of the ornaments inside the church illuminates the whole of Hermosa.
The retablo mayor features three layers adorned with intricately detailed ornaments and variations of saints. The top most layer is the Crucifix and underneath is the original image of Saint Peter of Vereno with carved images depicting the “Finding of the Image” and “Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr” on both sides. The lower most layer features the images of Saint Joseph the worker, Immaculate Heart of Mary, San Pedro Luis, and Saint Dominic.
The main altar features the original image found by the residents near the river. The image is mounted on the piece of wood taken from the original broken boat where the image was found.
The said that the altar was renovated by Mr Willy Layug. The image on the left depicts the scenes where the statue of Saint Peter was found. The one on the right depicts Saint Peter’s assassination. The feast day of the town by the way is on May 3rd and it is considered as one of the most celebrated feasts in the province of Bataan.
Another thing we’ve noticed during our visit are the bats on the ceiling. It’s quite scary and fascinating at the same time.
How to Get to Hermosa Bataan
►Hermosa lies on the northern portion of the province of Bataan about 100 kilometers from Manila. It can be reached within two hours by land from Manila. If you are a commuter, you can take buses bound to Bataan through Bataan Transit or Genesis Buses. You can drop off to Balanga and from there, you can ride a jeep that is bound to Hermosa.
►For Private cars ~ Via Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX): From Manila, take the North Luzon Expressway and go straight through the Dau Exit. Take the Spur/NLEX interchange located between the Dau and Sta. Ines Exits of NLEX and proceed to the SCTEX Clark Logistics Toll Plaza. After the bridge, follow the loop of the ramp towards Subic Bay. Take the Dinalupihan Exit and turn right towards Hermosa.
Where To Stay in Bataan?
There are many cheap and affordable hotels to stay in Bataan which are near to Mt Samat Shrine or other nearby tourist Destination. The Plaza Hotel in Balanga is a perfect choice or if you are looking for a luxurious staycation, you might consider booking rooms in Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar in Bagac. You can check out list of affordable and cheap hotels in Bataan in TravelBook and see which rooms suits your budget and taste!
After Saint Peter of Verona Parish in Hermosa, we went to our sixth destination and apparently the last one in Bataan. We were supposed to visit the church in Samal but the road was not passable by that time so we had to pick a church nearby. More details about this on my next #BataanPilgrimageTour entry.
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In case You missed, here are the rest of my Bataan Pilgrimage Tour series
► San Miguel Arcangel Parish / Orion Church – Orion, Bataan
► Our Lady of the Pillar Church / Pilar Church – Pilar, Bataan
► Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral of Saint Joseph / Balanga Cathedral – Balanga, Bataan
► Santo Domingo De Guzman Church / Abucay Church – Abucay Bataan
► Saint Peter of Verona Parish – Hermosa, Bataan
► Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish / Orani Church – Orani, Bataan
► Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes – Bacolor, Pampanga