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Batangas: Calaca Church

Located at the Poblacion of Calaca in the province of Batangas, Calaca Church is one of the Spanish colonial era churches of the province.

Also known as St. Raphael the Archangel Parish Church, Calaca Church was said to be founded in 1836 which was a year after the establishment of the town of Calaca. The church was built from the collective sacrifices and efforts of the townspeople of the town. It was said that the men and women of Calaca gathered the materials needed to build the church from the town of Balayan. Using their bancas or small riverboats, they hauled the sand, stone, wood, adobe, and limestone and brought them to Calaca via the Pansipit River. Those materials would then be hauled by the locals to the site where the church would be constructed. 
St. Raphael the Archangel Parish Church

Calaca Church facade
The Apostolic Penitentiary posted outside the church during our visit
The milestone marker outside the church

The church was completed in 1861 and dedicated to San Raphael the Archangel who is known as the patron of the sick, particularly those afflicted with eye problems. He is also the patron of the healers, doctors, lovers, and travelers. Legend has it that San Raphael visited the town disguised as a small boy during a strong typhoon. It was said that he miraculously stopped a giant storm surge from devastating the town simply by waving his hands to the sea as if telling it to calm down. 
Church interior
Calaca Church retablo

Church dome painting
The pulpit and the side retablo

The side retablo on the left

Calaca Church underwent several major rehabilitation and restoration works. First was in 1972 when film producer Augusto Bernarte sponsored its roof replacement. Then in 2010, its facade underwent an impressive restoration work sponsored bu Sem-Calaca Power Corp and DMCI Inc. 
Who wouldn't want to walk down this aisle?
Side chapel/saints room

My family and I got the chance to visit this historic church during our 2019 Visita Iglesia. It was the second church that we visited during our annual pilgrimage. There only a handful of pilgrims during that time which gave me the opportunity to admire and take photos of the different parts of the church. What I like most about the church is its somewhat classically designed facade and its stout bell tower which seems to give it a unique look. 
Visita Iglesia 2019 Church #2

Overall, Calaca Church should be included in your list of churches to visit if you're doing a Visita Iglesia on the southern side of Batangas. 

Getting there:
From Manila, ride a bus bound for Lemery, Batangas. Travel time is around 3 hours and costs around P150 - P220. From there, ride a jeepney going to the town of Calaca. 

Ratings:

Pilgrims
Cleanliness
Overall rating

Comments

  1. oh wow, what a beautiful church with amazing architecture. Would love to visit one day

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    Replies
    1. Please do visit Calaca Church when you're in the Philippines Prabashi.

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  2. I haven't been to this side of Batangas but I heard there are tons of churches out there. The Calaca Church's facade looks grand and the interior is stunningly beautiful. It reminds me of the church that I've seen in France. My family and I haven't tried doing our Visita Iglesia outside of Manila but hopefully next year to convince them to travel to Batangas and visit St. Raphael Church. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    ps: Seriously though, I suddenly feel like a foreigner in my own country. Haha!

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    Replies
    1. I would love to see your own list of churches next holy week. =)
      I bet your article about it would be very informative.

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  3. Wow, almost two centuries old. Nothing beats ancient architecture filled with history. Seems to be a beautiful place.

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    Replies
    1. That's true. That's why I love historical architecture. =)

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  4. Not religious myself but I would love to visit this church. It looks so cool!

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  5. I love old churches. This one is so beautiful. I love that the church work hard to perserve as much original work as possible.
    -Kaye

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    Replies
    1. Same here. I love old structures. That's why I also love Japan.

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  6. Really stunning photos! Its almost like I was there :)

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  7. Touring old churches is always such a fascinating experience. Thank you for taking us with you!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for joining my virtual tour of Calaca Church Rudy.

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  8. Cool guide!
    very informational and good pics! thanks for sharing!

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  9. After reading Dan Brown novels I'm into Churches to know their architecture and history! This one is really beautiful. Liked the art!

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    Replies
    1. Wow that's a unique way to be inspired to know about churches. Hehehe

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  10. I’d love to visit the church. Looks nice

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  11. This church looks totally beautiful and peaceful than ordinary churches! Lovely photos!

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  12. I can't imagine how long it must have took for them to build such a beautiful church in those days.

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    Replies
    1. It took them years to build stone churches back then. Imagine how many generations of workers toiled to build this church.

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  13. The architecture is astounding. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. The church looks so peaceful. Historical buildings are always awe-inspiring.

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  15. I love visiting old churches when I travel this has lovely history indeed

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    Replies
    1. Same here Anosa. I love visiting historical structures whenever I travel.

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  16. Wow, so much history behind this church!

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