Month: December 2019

The Invasion of Crazies, Stars and Bunnies (Part 2) – Beautiful Sunday

The Invasion of Crazies, Stars and Bunnies (Part 2) – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to the second part of our holiday special. I have taken you on a trip to see one of the celebrations in our country during this season. A parade that showcases our culture and creativity of our students. A […]

The Invasion of Crazies, Stars and Bunnies – Beautiful Sunday

The Invasion of Crazies, Stars and Bunnies – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 It is the holiday season and vacation starts now. As Christmas is almost here let me share with you a part of the celebration near our area here in the Philippines. Today I will take you with me to see a […]

Take Me to Church “Daraga Church” – Beautiful Sunday

Take Me to Church “Daraga Church” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

You have joined the tour across this region in the Philippines. Driving to reach a coastal village, exploring a local market, a close encounter with a deer herd and visiting a ruin destroyed by a volcano.  All journeys come to an end and today’s episode will be closing our Bicol series adventure. The best way to close this series is by giving thanks and visiting an ancient church in Daraga, Albay. Join me on this final episode of our adventure in this region.

Daraga Church



Join in the tour and see our previous adventures in the region.

Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

Part 2 Balatan Public Market

Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort

Part 4 Discovering Life by the Road

Part 5 Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 6 A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 7 A Charming Mountainside Food Shack

Part 8 The Antlers of Ocampo

Part 9 Nabua Church

Part 10 Divine Mercy Monastery

Part 11 Road to the Ruins

Part 12 The Cagsawa Ruins

Part 13 The Japanese Tunnel of Ligñon Hill


From the nature park that we visited in Lignon Hills, it would take you around 10 minutes to reach the church.

As we reached the site, I was astounded by the ancient church. A structure painted in white and has been fading in some parts. This has given the church a character worthy to be declared as a National Treasure.


The original name of the church is Nuestra Senora de la Porteria Parish Church also known as Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church. It was built in 1772 by the Franciscans and completed in 1773.

When we arrived there was a wedding being held and I was worried I won’t be able to get some shots inside. Fortunately, the wedding was over and they were just getting ready to leave.

The style of architecture of the church is Baroque and is constructed  with volcanic rocks. The white color is because of the lime that was coated as protection from the elements.

The spiral columns are also unique as only a few churches have them in our country.


The lime coating has heavily faded on the side of the church.

From this view, it looks like a church scarred by the elements and almost seems to look abandoned.


A statue of a Saint guards on top of the entrance on the side of the church.

The four-level bell tower has an octagonal shape. This tower also features carved images of Saints.


Every part of the church is like an artwork. This is one of the reasons why I very much love church architecture. It may not have elaborate stained glass windows but the walls and columns are magnificent.


It’s time to come inside and see what beauty awaits.

The interior is simply painted in white and humbly welcomes everyone. Sometimes beauty is found in simplicity.


The confession box is found on the right side upon entering the church.

The baptismal room looks like not much changes have been done. If feels very ancient in all its glory.

During WW2 in 1945, the church was damaged during military bombardment. It was renovated that evolved the design to Gothic and Mexican Baroque.

This is the original position of the altar which was returned in 1991. Until now renovations are still made to preserve the structure.


From the side door of the church, you could see the towering Mayon volcano. With the summit hidden by the clouds still, it echoes its rage that threatened the region in the past centuries.


At this time there were a few people silently praying and I had to be extra quiet to not disturb them.


Next, I checked the left side of the church. Here is where statues of Saints are being displayed.

With the statues being lined up,  this area almost looks like a museum.

Our country is heavily influenced by the Spanish and you could see the dominance of Catholicism in our country.

Among these are various representations of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Statues appear to be Franciscan missionary saints. There are no names on the statues to determine the stories behind their sainthood.

Jesus sitting on a throne is a representation that I do not often see in the churches that I have visited.

A wooden statue of the crucified Christ. Could be a relic that survived through the years.

There are also paintings displayed in the hallway and were created by local artists. This reminded me of San Agustin Church that has an impressive collection of religious artwork.

If you love religious art feel free to visit the museum on the links below

Art of Religion

Art of Religion – Act II

The artwork below represents history and religion. Created by local artists in 2013 by Santiago, Alavrin op, Rudy Olaso and J Delos Santos.


The local villagers fleeing to safety as Mayon volcano erupts, spewing lava and ash.

You can see below how the locals help build the church. Building the church using volcanic rocks without modern-day equipment and all manual labor.

In this section, the restoration process is displayed along with old photos of the church.

Near the exit of the long hallway where the statues are displayed, candles and souvenirs are sold. The candles are color-coded depending upon your need.

Green – The color of life and pray for a better life.

Violet – The color atonement. Prayer for our sins

Pink – The color of happiness. Pray for the good health and happiness of others.

Blue – The color of majesty. Pray for those who have passed and in remembrance.

Red – The color of love. Pray to offer our love

Orange – Prayer to live a long life

Yellow – The color of peace. Prayer for peace and harmony.



As I headed out the entrance, I sighed as I knew that it was time to go. I barely spent around 30 minutes in the church and felt it was not enough. I feel very fortunate to have a chance to visit one of the country’s National Cultural Treasure. The church is one of the best churches I have visited in our country. The walls and columns outside is like a canvass made from volcanic rocks. Artwork intricately carved on the walls that emanates memories from the past. These walls I will never forget, the walls that witnessed an eruption and survived throughout the years.

This concludes our Bicol region series only here in the Philippines. To all those who joined the tour. Thank you very much and I appreciate the support. If ever you plan to visit the region do consider the places we have visited as the trip will be worth it.

Hope to see you again and as the holiday season approaches. I will try to share with you the spirit of the holiday in our country. Have a very #beautifulsunday everyone and enjoy life.


See the churches we have visited during our travels in the Philippines.

Nabua Church

San Jose Church

Majayjay Church

Lilio Church

Calamba Church
St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church

Paete Church

Manila Cathedral

San Agustin Church

Immaculate Heart Convent

Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral

St. Mary Magdalene Church

Divine Mercy Monastery



Daraga Church

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.149873 lat 123.712116 long Daraga Church d3scr)


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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

and Sigma 50 mm

The Japanese Tunnel of Ligñon Hill – Beautiful Sunday

The Japanese Tunnel of Ligñon Hill – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Hello again as we continue with the tour in the Bicol region in the Philippines. Last time we visited the Ruins of Cagsawa in which we had a chance to explore the ruins of the old church. For our next destination […]

The Cagsawa Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

The Cagsawa Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 In our last episode, we reached the ruins that are very popular in the Bicol region. We first had lunch before exploring the place and had a very interesting dessert that is hot and cold. We had very good feedback from […]