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Wednesday, December 31

Short Glimpse Inside the Small Baler Church

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Baler Catholic Church (Baler, Aurora)

One of the distinct structures built during the Spanish colonial times is the church. The church is believed to be the center of settlement and if you will visit most of the towns built during this era, you will get to see a church most likely in the middle of the downtown. Baler in Aurora is not an exception, with its small Baler Catholic Church in the middle of this capital town of Aurora.

Part 5 of Baler-Aurora Trip: An Exotic Adventure

Facade of Baler Church
The church was proclaimed as one of the historical landmarks of the Philippines by the National Historical Institute in 2000. In 1611, the first Church of Baler was constructed by the first parish priest during that time. It wasn’t made of stone; instead it was made out of bamboo shacks and nipa. Almost a hundred years after in 1700, the church was upgraded by using stone and bricks put together using lime and honey. When a giant tsunami (Tromba Marina) devastated the town of Baler, washing out the church and some lives too, the people moved the church to where it is located now.

The church was rebuilt and was entirely complete in 1798. As the history goes on, in this particular town of Aurora happened the famous ‘Siege of Baler’. The Siege of Baler happened from 1898 to 1899, or almost a year. The story tells us that when Spain already sold the country to then United States, there were some rebel Spanish soldiers who were not in favor of such and thus seized and occupied the Church of Baler until they lost resources and finally gave up. It was the last Spanish stronghold in the Philippines. Watching the “Baler” movie will get you a good picturesque historical view of the town in the old times.

Inside Church of Baler
So from Quezon Ancestral House just across the church, we headed to Baler Church and spent a few minutes to speak some prayers inside. It is really that small as compared to other old churches in the country. Although it’s an old church, because of its restoration, Baler Church fairly looks modern now. The church used some very pale green color, just right. Inside were basic altars and chandeliers.
This small church in Baler

Inside the Church of Baler

After exploring inside (a good weather the next day), we decided to call it a day and head for Sabang Beach where our transient rooms (Jamjen’s) are located. But before that, the tricycle drivers brought us to their market and we bought some pork slices to be grilled for the night.

Siege of the Church of Baler marker

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