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Cavite: Tanza Church

Located in Tanza in the province of Cavite, Tanza Church was one of the few Spanish churches built in the mid-19th century during the era of the Spanish colonization.

Officially called Holy Cross Parish Church, Diocesan Shrine of Saint Augustine, Tanza Church was built only in 1839 when the townspeople of Tanza (formerly Santa Cruz de Malabon) decided to have their own parish church. The late establishment of a parish was due to the successive transfer of the then pueblo to two different religious orders. Due to this fact, the religious needs of the townspeople were directed and dependent to the parish of the neighboring towns.
Check out the clock
Church facade

There were plenty of requests for a church to be built in Santa Cruz de Malabon. It was on August 29, 1780, that an independent parish was established. The parish was officially named the Parroquia de Santa Cruz. The building of the church, however, proved to be very challenging. It took more than 37 years for it to be finished. The main reason behind this is that most of the people of Tanza were burdened by poverty. Aside from that the town was also frequently attacked by bandits.
Historical Marker of Tanza Church

It was only on the latter half of the 19th century that the poor town of Tanza rose up economically and politically. With this, the infrastructure of the church was improved a lot. Sadly, only a few decades later, the church was damaged by an earthquake sometime in the late, the 1850s. It was eventually repaired and the church complex was further improved.
Church facade during our visit last Holy Week

Tanza Church became an important part of the Philippine Revolutionary history when Emilio Aguinaldo and Mariano Trias took their oaths as President and Vice President of the Philippine Revolutionary Government in the church convent on March 23, 1897.
Church interior
Church retabolo

Today, the church stands as it was a century ago despite the surrounding lands around it moving on and succumbed to change brought by the new colonial masters and also by the changing times. Change might have already affected the structures around the church but one thing remained the same- the devotion and faith of the people of Tanza.
Saint's room/ baptismal room
Some of the displays outside the museum

Check out the old bells

One of the old bells

A replica of Tata Usteng
Steps going up to the mini-museum. Sadly it was closed when I visited.

I got the chance to visit Tanza Church during my side trip before our company outing. Since our outing was also in Tanza, I decided to go around the nearby towns and visit historical structures and sites in the neighboring towns and cities. One of the last stops during my side trip was Tanza Church. What I like about the church was its historical feel. Despite numerous renovations and repairs, the church interior was virtually untouched, unlike several Spanish-era churches that I know. Overall, the church is a place to visit if you're on a Visita Iglesia in the province of Cavite.

Getting there:

From the Southwest Integrated Provincial Bus Terminal in Coastal Mall, Paranaque, ride a San AgustinTrans bus going to Nasugbu. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Sta. Cruz Road in Tanza. Once there you may choose to walk or ride a tricycle going to Tanza Church.

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