Cavite: Dasmariñas Church

Dasmariñas Church has been the symbol of success and even failure for its devotees. Throughout time, the church stood witness to countless bloody engagements that almost wiped out the population of its townsfolk.

Dasmariñas Church
Ironically the town's name Dasmariñas came from the name of an ill-fated Spanish governor-general. Gomez Perez Dasmariñas who served as the Governor-General of the Philippines from 1590 until his murder in 1593.
The history of the church
The church was built sometime between 1866 until 1867, when the town of Dasmariñas was founded by the Recollect Fatehers. The church is also called Immaculate Conception Church. During the Spanish times, the convent of the church was the seat of the civil government. 

Church altar
Unlike the other Spanish era churches that either crumbled to the wrath of nature or succumbed to the destructiveness of war, Dasmariñas Church withstood all those calamities. The church, however stood witness to the horrors of war throughout Philippine history. 

Beautifully carved doors
The church watched silently as half the population of town were wiped out after the bloody Battle of Perez Dasmariñas in 1897. The church was the only thing that was left standing after the battle, as everything else was burnt to the ground.

Church interior
The church again witnessed as Filipino forces retook the town a year after. Though Filipinos resettled back after the battle, they once again up in arms as they face a new enemy -the Americans.

Beautifully stained windows
Although the town was not fully rebuilt, the ensuing battles flattened what remained of the town of Dasmariñas to the ground, sparing the only old church.Years later, in 1917, the town now recovered from the damage done by war, regained its long sought recognition as a separate municipality from Imus.
Golden images portraying the stations of the cross are decorated inside the church

Sadly the church would again be part of another cruel episode in the history of the Philippines. During World War II, the church was used as a garrison by the invading Japanese forces. The old church became the town's torture and execution site. Hundreds of townsmen died on its Holy ground. 
A view of the church from the side
Another Visita Iglesia with the family

When I visited Dasmariñas Church during our annual Visita Iglesia, I have in mind the historical background of the church and observed the people passing by me. The happy faces of the locals and pilgrims proved that the tragic past of the town and of the old church was probably forgotten. The place really moved on so they say. As I knelt down on one of the old pews, I whispered a silent prayer that included a wish. That wish, if you might ask, simply is for this country to be spared from any more war and act of cruelty.


Getting there:


From Manila, board a bus that is heading for Tagaytay, Mendez, or Nasugbu. These buses pass by the town of Dasmariñas. You could tell the conductor to drop you in front of the church.
bus fare: P60-80


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Comments

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