My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108


Come with me today and let's visit another historical church in the Philippines. Also known as Saint John the Baptist Parish Church, it is also the oldest church in Calamba, Laguna. It is also recognized as a National historical landmark in our country. A beautiful quiet morning in a solemn place, take a stroll with me as I take you around this architectural beauty.



Calamba Church

The church was established by Friars in 1779. A stone church was built in 1859, but in 1945 during World War II it was destroyed. No records were indicated when the church was reconstructed, but suggests that it has undergone numerous reconstructions. Earthquake is a common natural disaster that has affected a lot of Spanish colonial churches in our country. It has not been recorded if this church was affected by earthquakes.

The front of the church takes you back thru time as you look at the stone walls. I could imagine the church goers during the 1800's, people dressed up in old clothing, carriages and everything lit up by candles. A lot of the materials here are no longer the original materials from the 1800's since it was destroyed during the war, but still it shows the Baroque style from the past.

One of the stained glass windows depicts San Lorenzo Ruiz who is the first Filipino saint. Martyred when he was executed in Japan in the 17th century.

On the right side. just in front of the church is a garden called Gethsemane named after the garden in Jerusalem where Jesus prayed. People also come here to pray in this peaceful garden. Here there is also a well called the Well of Repentance. I am not quite sure how they use the well, but I think it is also like a wishing well. In this case, I think it's for repentance.

The main entrance that leads to the church. The peach colored door is not as elaborate as some of the churches we have visited because every church has it's own character.

The holy water font as we see in all Roman Catholic churches is composed of two golden angels with wings spread open. Looks like newly painted it perfectly matches the interiors of the church.

There are only a few people here today and the front area has been closed for cleaning. I would have loved to take a closer look at the retablo where the saints are housed.

I have also noticed that a lot of churches has upgraded with large monitors on the side for those at the back to be able to watch the mass closer.

Some people are praying and taking photos must be taken very quietly. I always take notice of people praying and I am always very careful not to disturb them. I set my camera on silent as a click could echo within these walls.

I found a way to sneak on the side and found an open window, where I was able to take closer photos of the retablo.

The church was declared as a National historical site as this is the church where our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was baptized.

Here his baptismal records were stored, but the original copy was burned in 1862 in a church fire. A transcript of the baptismal records is on display on the walls of the church.

An image of Saint Josemaria Escriva who started the institution called Opus Dei. It teaches that everyone is called to holiness and leading an ordinary life is a path to sanctity.

Artworks also decorate the walls of the church. No descriptions are indicated to tell us the story behind this painting and the only clue that we have is the signature of the artist, "Marzon Alviar 4/1000". I would have loved to investigate more about this artwork, but often it is very hard to find someone to ask about artifacts in churches.

There are several stained glass windows that grace this church and a lot is very hard to access in order to get a good shot. This one is one of the two which are in front of the church with the image of St. Dominic.

This is Saint San Lorenzo Ruiz which we took a photo earlier up front.


This section is the place where our National hero Dr. Jose Rizal was baptized. I am not sure though if the artifacts here are still the original ones that were used in the past.

The spiral steps that leads to the second floor of the church. Unfortunately, the way up is blocked and is probably off limits to the public.

It's time for us to leave and let's go out and see the side of the church.

The way to the side of the church greets you with this old tree which has witnessed a lot throughout history. It still stands as a silent witness that whispers memories from the past.

As in my previous post about churches there is a support called "buttress" which is added as support to be able to withstand earthquakes. Here the buttress are not present which could indicate that this area in the country may not have been strongly plagued by earthquakes.

The back part of the church has a circular design which almost resembles a fortress. If it had some embrasures or openings on top of the walls, I would definitely look like a fortress. Although some churches has been used as a garrison during times of war, this church had not history of such.

The side entrance of the church looks very old as you could see a lot of growing moss and plant growth.


Here the candle prayer area is located. Light up a candle and pray for a soul or whatever that may burden you.

Upon coming closer, I was surprised with the quantity of melted candles. The ones we have visited in the past does not have as much. Here the different colors has created quite a fascinating colorful mess out of it all.

Different candles and each one lit with a personal prayer behind it. The candles burned out, but the remnants still remains as a testament to a lot of people's faith a belief.


A colorful terrain and would continue to pile up as more people visit to pray.


At the back entrance, the church schedule is posted. I didn't know that they held masses everyday. As I mentioned before, I am not a Roman Catholic but I have much respect for every religion. And my fascination for it's artifacts, architecture and history runs deep.



Every trip comes to an end and I hope you enjoyed this short stroll with me in this historic place. Another addition to the churches we have visited. We are hoping to visit more churches across the country if given the time and means. Our country is rich with old Spanish colonial structures and I would love to see them all in the future. I hope you do join me again as I share more about our country's culture.

Until then have an amazing morning or evening everyone.

Visit some of the old churches we have visited in our country.

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



Saint John the Baptist Parish Church (Calamba)

Opus Dei


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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 and Sigma 50 mm







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