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Bataan: Morong Church

Located in the town of Morong in the province of Bataan, Morong Church is one of the several Spanish-era churches in the province.

Not to be confused with the similarly named church in the province of Rizal, Morong Church is also known and called as Our Lady of the Pillar Church. Built during the Spanish colonial era centuries ago, the church is actually one of the oldest in the province. It was said that it was made from the coral stones taken from the nearby seas near the town.  
Church facade
The church as seen from the plaza in front of it.
Speaking about being one of the oldest in the province (Abucay Church is the oldest in Bataan), in my opinion, Morong Church actually looks older than the other churches that I have seen and visited in the province during our Visita Iglesia this year. It is due to the fact that compared to the churches in Hermosa and Orani, the facade of Morong Church looks way older because it seems untouched and rarely renovated.
The bell tower
The image of Our Lady in the church facade
My tita checking out the wall marker near the entrance of the church

However, like the two churches that I have visited, the interior of Morong Church is already modernized which now contradicts with the century-old feel of its exterior. Despite this, Morong Church is still a must visit for those who admire historical architecture due to its unique (and some say quirky) facade. 
Close up of the altar

Baptismal font

Speaking of its lichen-covered "unique and quirky" facade, it is broad, squat, and not very tall compared to the churches in Bataan. However, I have discovered through my researches that this was actually a typical design for churches built near the seas. This design actually doubles up the purpose of the church. Aside from being a religious sanctuary, it also becomes a fort in case of pirate raids or local rebellions. 

The church interior
Church interior as seen from the altar

What I like about Morong Church, aside from the architectural design and its religious nature is its close proximity to the resorts and the sea. Not that I prioritize pleasure over its religious nature, but looking at it from a "religious" backpacker's perspective, it benefits those who want the go out of town on weekends but does not want to miss mass. 

Overall, Morong Church is a great choice to be the last church to visit during your Visita Iglesia in Bataan during the Holy Week. After praying the Stations of the Cross, you can immediately go to the beach afterwards. 

Getting there:

From Cubao, ride a bus going to Olongapo. From there, ride a jeepney going to Sta. Rita and tell the driver to drop you off the main gate of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). Once there, ride the mini-bus or jeepney going to the poblacion of Morong. You can then walk or ride a tricycle going to Morong Church.

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