The Philippines is a predominantly Christian country. In fact, the religion dates back to 500 years ago. This allowed for some of the most beautiful churches that hold so much history as they boast of grandeur and charm.
These churches have become tourist destinations in their own right. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel plans have been halted until we are truly sure that there is no threat of the deadly virus anymore. (Read: Catholic Church to Implement Contact Tracing in Parishes)
While we await that moment, here’s a list of five of the most beautiful churches in the country that you could add to your list of places to visit.
Sacred Heart Chapel and Tower, Balete, Batangas
If you are looking for some rest and recreation after the pandemic, the Marian Orchard Pilgrimage Site is perfect for you. This spiritual oasis in Batangas is a 5-hectare land filled with religious monuments, lush greeneries, and flowers that bloom almost all year round. The church is a simple structure but the surrounding area makes up for the whole retreat experience. (Read: Travel Guidelines: 3 Things You Need to Know)
Daraga Church, Daraga, Albay
The Mayon Volcano is truly a sight to behold. And its timeless beauty can also be seen from the Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church, also known as Daraga Church. Built in 1772 with walls infused with volcanic rocks, this Church has become a popular destination among the faithful and tourists for its beautiful design and architecture. Its white facade—embellished with sculpted saints and other religious ornaments—also adds to the charm and grandeur of the church.
Manila Cathedral, Intramuros, Manila
The Manila Cathedral is a church that boasts of epic history and grandeur. In fact, it is touted as the “Mother of all Churches, Cathedrals, and Basilicas of the Philippines.” Not only that, the Manila Cathedral is also the only church in the country that was elevated into a Cathedral status in 1581—after the country was separated from the Archdiocese of Mexico and became a new diocese on its own. (Read: Blessed Sacrament Found Intact As Fire Razes Santo Niño Church in Manila)
Mt. Carmel Chapel, Basco, Batanes
It is not grandeur that makes Mt. Carmel Chapel in Batanes stand out—it’s the simplistic charm that has entranced tourists and locals through the years. The stone-made chapel has a thickly overgrown entranceway and is modeled after the Ivatan houses. Established in 2008, the church also has a wonderful 360° view, sitting on top of a verdant hill that rolls down into the sea.
Callao Cave Chapel, Peñablanca, Cagayan
Nature truly has run its course in Callao Cave Chapel. It’s a unique experience when you decide to visit this church. While pews and a platform have been erected inside the cavern, the altar is under a round hole that projects a beam of light from the outside. And aside from the religious statues one sees in churches, you will be surrounded by rock formations while you pray. (Read: Oldest Church In Mindanao Reopens After Two-Year Renovation)