After visiting the Saint Peter the Martytr Parish in Sual, (Check: Saint Peter the Martyr Parish in Sual, Pangasinan) we headed to our next destination. We were greeted by a very old church in Bugallon. The parish is dedicated under the patronage of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is also known as the Salasa Church which is based on the town’s old name.
Salasa church was founded in 1714. Salasa as a town was founded between 1714-1747 by Fr Antonio Perez. In 1937, the church was opened under the Capuchin monks with Our Lady of Lourdes as their Patron. However, due to the Great Flood of 1953 caused by the overflowing of Agno River, the church suffered massive damages. Its roof, images, benches, liturgical objects were transferred to its present site in the barangay of Salasa except the two side altars and the Saint Andrew the Apostle statue at the façade, which remained at its location in the poblacion.
The facade of the church is an evident that Salasa Church managed to withstand the test of time. The church went through a series of renovation. It also has a unique bellfry.
The central nave of Salasa Church. The wooden ceiling of the church is supported by thin yellow pillars.
A closer look of the main altar. The center niche features the image of Our Lady of Lourdes with St Bernadette. The upper niche features the crucified Christ while Saint Joseph and Saint Andrew the Apostle can be seen on the lower sides.
Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette
While I was explore the outer part of the church, i was guided by a man and encouraged me to check some ruins. I’m not really sure what is the history behind this bell but this is probably one of the old bells from the old Salasa Church prior to its major reconstruction.
Just few meters away from where the bell is displayed are the ruins. Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough details about it but it is seemingly part of the old convent which is located adjacently to the church.
The current convent located adjacent to the church. You can also find a very spacious area outside the church where you can see life-sized replicas depicting the fourteen stations of the cross.
The very unique belfry of Salasa Church.
I’m not sure if it is still functional though but you can clearly tell how much the structure managed to withstand the test of time.
It is also interesting to know that the church is currently aiming for another major restoration project. This includes the reconstruction of the belfry and a drastic change to its facade and renovation of its convent. The estimated cost for this renovation is 10 Million Pesos. For those who are willing to help, you can visit the parish office for further inquiries.