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Monday, September 17, 2012

A Visit to San Guillermo Church

A visit to one of the oldest and sacred church in Central Luzon. The Church Of San Guillermo in Pampanga

San Guillermo Church located at Bacolor Pampanga is a Baroque style church built by Augustinian friars in 1576.  San Agustin Church of Paoay or known as Paoay Church is one of the best examples of Baroque Church.  Named after Bacolor’s patron saint, San Guillermo Church was half buried by lahar (volcanic mudflows)  in October 1995 due to heavy rains that was left in the slopes of the mountain after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991.

June 1991 when Mount Pinatubo erupted killing about 800 people and leave hundreds of thousand of people homeless. Considered as an active stratovolcano by geo speialist but unknown to most people where once was covered with beautiful and rich forest has now became the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century. I remembered that when I was little (in primary school) when my older brother and I are playing on streets when an ash begun to fall, we were in Caloocan that time and couldn't imagine that ashes from the Pinatubo Volcano would reached that far.

It was a tourist destination in Pampanga even before lahar tragedies because the church is considered as one of the oldest church in the Philippines.  But when this was became the location for taping of ABS CBN primetime, “May Bukas Pa” with Bro and Santino, tourist arrival skyrocketed. Suggests  you visit the San Guillermo  once travelling Pampanga to experience the sacredness of the place, give respect and contemplate, and hopefully donate to help for the repair and maintenance of the church.  

The Church fa├žade


A pathway to the church


The bell


The Museum

Galleries at the right wing which is used to be a convent now converted to a museum showcasing a collections of art and photos of the great Pinatubo eruption and the devastation caused by the massive lahar flows. The museum also features religious images from all over town that were spared from the lahar or volcanic mud flows.

San Guillermo Church

The Interiors, see how this was being renovated to maintain the grandeur that was once San Guillermo.


This is what remains in the interior of the church which can now be accessed through what were once the second floor windows,

San Guillermo Church 02


It is fascinating how San Guillermo Church has preserved its beauty during those years that it has experience disaster when it was  destroyed by earthquake in 1880 and sunken by lahar in 1995. This could be attributed to the townspeople of Bacolor who have exerted extra efforts to maintain their rich heritage.


A church with history that is truly Filipino, stories of faith and perseverance that was naturally embedded to each and one of us.