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Sunday, May 27, 2012


I was browsing through my travel photos again when I came across some pictures of Baler Church which is one of the travel attractions in Baler that I wanted to see.

Remember the movie Baler starring Jericho Rosales and Anne Curtis?Yeah, I watched that with my wife and a bunch of students from a public school from Mandaluyong sponsored by the Department of Education (Deped).The movie left a lasting impression in my mind especially because of the old church setting which I thought was very successful in depicting  the colonial era.

The movie tells of the Siege of Baler in the late 1890′s.

Baler Church
Baler Catholic Church in Sabang Aurora

Baler is a 3rd class Municipality in the province of Aurora located 230 kilometers northeast of Manila. It is fast becoming a tourist destination these days due to surfing which peak during the surfing season from September-February. My friends and I were there during the Holy Week, April 6-8.
I was surprised therefore to see that the church was renovated in such a way that it looks far from the one I have in my mind.I thought Baler Catholic Church is located in the outskirt and has maintained its hispanic era look.I was wrong.

It should have been possible as many old churches in the countryside were able to maintain their original  architecture despite countless renovations.

Baler Church was erected in 1611 by the Franciscans in Tibag which is known now as Sabang Baler Aurora.The church is dedicated to San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and is known as the site of the Siege of Baler which took place from 1898-1899 shortly following the end of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.

It was transferred to the administration of the Rekoletos in 1658 and back to the Franciscan in 1703.It was destroyed by the tsunami of 1723 which devastated the whole downtown of Baler.A stone church was then constructed.In 1878, a 54-man Spanish garrison took refuge here to defend the Spanish enclave of Baler but the Filipino uprising overwhelmed them.

It went back to the secular government in 1899 and was renovated  under the administration of Manuel L. Quezon and the Commonwealth government, transferred to the Carmelites  in 1939 and to the Seculars again in 1983.

The current church was built in 1939 but authentic original details may be seen inside, including the old bell, La Campana de Baler.


The church was unfortunately closed during our visit so we didn't get to peek inside it.Kinda weird coz even if we visited past lunchtime,it was a Sunday. We settled for photo opts in front of it instead.

If you are thinking of a holiday and are planning to travel soon.You might consider Baler.Aside from the Catholic Church and other historical landmarks like the Baler Museum which I will talk about in my next post, there is surfing for the adventurous as well as the Waterfalls in San Luis which nature lovers will definitely delight.I will also make a summary of our Baler getaway as soon as I finish going trough with the specific travel attractions.Cheers to more travels!!!!

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