My whole thought is with my deceased father while writing this blog even before starting.  His birthday is approaching and I decided to share about one of his sermons before he allows us to leave the house whenever we’ll be going out to somewhere new. He was the one who taught us that if we went to a new place, we should always try our best to pay a visit to church first before wandering somewhere else. He always says, “It is more blissful to pay respect and pray to the church before praising the beauty of the city/place”.

When I was young, I am hard headed and I always want to see the end of every line before following every rule. If you say don’t do this, do not expect to just follow the “don’t do” rule, I have to know the reason why I am not allowed to do anything so I always test it first. Haha, you know where that attitude brought me? Sometimes, I consider it as being vigilant and wise but it always has an effect of being a brat in the eye of every parent. But anyways, that’s living guilt of a daughter to a father that left so soon.

This is for you Papa, I am now raising my own child and now I know how hard it is to grow a child like me, for as I am seeing myself with my daughter. The way she stands for herself whenever I tried to stop her from doing what she thinks is right. It has a lot of good reasons that I should be proud that my daughter knows how to stand for herself, somehow it pains me to remember that we did not have the chance of sitting together and talks about the future that the path that my daughter will be going to embark. It could have been the best father-and-daughter chat.

As a daughter, I would love to share this blog with my father. I have always been an obedient child to every rule you had given with us, from there until now, I always follow your advices, I just had to know if it will suit me and I want to know what will happen if I will not follow you. Hehe…

As I’ve learned from my father, wherever I go, I tried to visit a church, chapel or congregation before I roam around the place which I am visiting everywhere I go. I was commissioned to be a part-time Medical Representative at my friend’s Pharmaceutical Company. I was designated in Laguna and Batangas area.

Here are the churches that I had the chance to visit:

San Sebastian Parish Church

The San Sebastian Parish Church, informally known as Lumban Church, is the only Roman Catholic Church in Lumban, Laguna, Philippines. The church has a three-story facade. To its right is a square based three level octagonal bell tower with the statue of San Sebastian, its patron saint on top.

I find it very elegant and prominent among the other cultural buildings nearby. I feel like I am in the street of Prague. Inside is not as fabulous as the other churches where I had visited but I felt the solemnity when I knelt and prayed before leaving.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church
Also known as Pagsanjan Church, designated as the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Pablo, is the only Roman Catholic Church in Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines, and the oldest church in the Philippines under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is home to the patroness of Pagsanjan, Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose image was a gift from Mexico.

The facade of Pagsanjan church is a three-level early Renaissance styled facade with a semicircular arched main entrance, choir loft window, and a three-story bell tower. A side chapel near the altar houses an image of San Juan Diego, a replica of the tilma of the Our Lady of Guadalupe and a stone relic from Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City in 1531, the site of the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The chapel is also a mini-museum containing liturgical vestments of Pagsanjeño priests.

Within the church of Pagsanjan, two images of the town patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe, can be found. The original image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was donated by Father Agustin when the parish was first established. The image was given to him as a gift from rich and pious Mexican families; it was installed at the main altar on December 12, 1688.  However, the original image was destroyed during the American and Filipino military bombings of 1945. In 1958, Mexican Catholics contributed a life-sized image of Our Lady of Guadalupe sculpted by Ramon Barretto of Toluca, which can be seen in the church today. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe placed on the main altar was sculpted by Maximo Vicente of Manila.

Saint Gregory the Great Parish Church

The San Gregorio Magno Parish (Filipino: Simbahan ng Parokya ni San Gregorio Magno; Spanish: Iglesia Parroquial de San Gregorio Magno), also known as Majayjay Church and St. Gregory the Great Parish Church, is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines located in the municipality of Majayjay in Laguna. It is recognized by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure (Level 1)

The Romanesque church of Majayjay is 60 metres (200 ft) long, 17 metres (56 ft) wide and 16.5 metres (54 ft) meters high. Its façade has three levels, each level scaled proportionally and topped by a triangular pediment with a circular window. The central nave consists of a huge wooden door of the main portal, choir loft windows, and saint’s niche. The interior contains a retablo mayor and four other minor retablos with intricate designs. The floor is tiled with azulejo and the walls have been preserved with some alterations. The five-storey square bell tower with a conical roof and ballustrated windows on each polygonal level is connected to the langit-langitan, a cat-walk above the ceiling which leads to the crossing over the transept.[1] The belfry has arched windows each with a bell trimmed with finials and a large antique bell on top. It also has a large side door on the right side of the church.

The view from outside was breathtaking but more with the inside, the altar was huge and speaks thousands of history. There were a group of students that were actually shooting a film when we visited, we did not had the chance to explore the whole vicinity.

Saint John the Baptist Parish Church

also known as Liliw Church or Lilio Church, is one of the Roman Catholic churches in Liliw, Laguna, Philippines. Its feast is celebrated every August 29 known as the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. The church is known for its red-bricked façade and baroque style architecture. It has a huge picturesque patio. I even took a lot of photos before entering the church. Few meters away from the church are the famous Liliw Footwear shops. A lot of bargaining was happening upon our visit.

Iglesia Filipina Independiente

The Philippine Independent Church (Spanish: Iglesia Filipina Independiente; Tagalog: Malayang Simbahan ng Pilipinas; Latin: Libera Ecclesia Philippina; colloquially called the Aglipayan Church, IFI and PIC) is an independent Christian denomination in the form of a national church in the Philippines. Its schism from the Roman Catholic Church was proclaimed in 1902 by the members of the Unión Obrera Democrática Filipina, due to the alleged mistreatment of the Filipinos by Spanish priests and the execution of José Rizal during Spanish colonial rule. An Aglipayan church located in Santa Cruz, Laguna.

A small and quiet church with a very simple architecture.

Cathedral Parish of Saint Paul the First Hermit,

also known as the San Pablo Cathedral, is the episcopal see of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Pablo located in San Pablo, Laguna, Philippines. Its titular is St. Paul the First Hermit and its feast are celebrated every January 15. The Diocese is headed by Bishop Buenaventura M. Famadico

It was under renovation when we visited this church. It was simple compared to the other churches in Laguna but it was the most crowded church on that day. There were lots of devotees praying considering it was noon time and weekdays.

Our Lady of Most Holy Rosary Church

Situated along the busy street of J.Belen in Rosario Batangas. I could not say that I will allow my daughter to come to this church alone, my concern is the location. I, myself struggled a little because we came from the other side of the road. We had to stop and wait until the vehicle stop before we cross. And capturing the whole image of the church in the photo was also struggle. But, that is not the priority of visiting the church but communicating with our Father God.

Roman Catholic of Archdiocese of Lipa

Is an archdiocese in the Philippines comprising the civil province of Batangas and with its cathedral located in the city of Lipa. First created in 1910 from the Archdiocese of Manila, the diocese was elevated into its present status in 1972. It is a huge church but unfortunately, we don’t have much time so I just took a few clicks went inside and pray then left. I would like to come back to this church.

We differ in a lot of ways; each of us has unique ways of showing our respect to our parents and love to our creator. This is my way of honoring my father and remembering all the good values that he taught us. Talking about religion is an endless discussion, so let’s avoid this topic; instead, let’s just elevate it to showing our love and gratitude to our creator.

Godspeed!