The fourth Church on our list is the oldest church in Bataan, the Abucay Church! After visiting the Balanga Cathedral and marveling that Spanish-inspired town plaza, we went to Abucay, Bataan to visit the church dedicated to Saint Dominic of Guzman or simply known as the Abucay Church. The church of Abucay has a very huge historical significance. Built in 1588 by the Dominican Missionary Friars, the church is considered as the oldest in Bataan and one of the oldest churches in the country.
The church was founded by Father Geronimo de Belen in the early 1600s after the establishment of the Dominican mission in Abucay on June 10, 1588. The 400 year old church has witnessed a lot and underwent many challenges as well. When Dutch Naval Forces invaded Manila, hundreds of Kapampangan , Priests and Spanish Officials were brutally massacred in the church complex. The church was also utterly damaged by an earthquake in 1852.
Interestingly, the church also houses one of the earliest printing presses in the Philippines, established in 1608 by Father Francisco Blancas de San Jose, O.P. and Tomas Pinpin who used the facility to print books in Spanish and Tagalog. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to witness it by the time we went there. Tomas Pinpin is a name that we used to encounter in our history textbooks is Recognized as the first Filipino printer.
Just by looking at its facade, you can clearly tell how old the church is. The two-level facade of the church is described as of Renaissance style. The second level of the facade is composed of three stained glass windows with images depicting an image of the patron saint with the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary on both sides while the upper most level of the facade features a statue of Santo Domingo De Guzman.
One of the Stained Glass windows featuring the image of Santo Domingo De Guzman
Santo Domingo De Guzman
On the right side of the church is the the five-tiered bell tower
Some intricate detailed carvings on the surface of the main doors of Abucay Church
The nave and the choir loft
The Main Altar
Near the main entrance is a small room encloses this relic from Saint Dominic
How to get to Abucay , Bataan
►Abucay is just 4 kilometers away from the town of Balanga so you can still used the same directions we shared from my previous entry. Genesis Buses and Bataan Transit Buses (both have terminals in Cubao and Pasay) can take you directly to the town proper of Balanga. From there, you can either take a jeep or a trike that can take you to Abucay Church. You can also have a cutting trip by taking buses bound to Dau Pampanga. From there, you can ride UV Express that takes you directly to Balanga. (if you have better suggestion, feel free to comment the details below)
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!
The fifth church on our list is the Saint Peter of Verona Parish in Hermosa, Bataan and I will share more details about this church in 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