We’re back to our Bataan Pilgrimage Tour series! After visiting the stunning church of Saint Peter Of Verona in Hermosa Bataan, we headed to our last destination in Bataan. We were supposed to visit the church in Samal but the roads were under construction and our 16 huge buses can’t seem to pass through so our organizers had to choose another parish somewhere nearby to complete our Visita Iglesia. Anyway, our next destination is possibly one of the most celebrated churches in Bataan, the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Orani or simply known as the Orani Church.
The Orani Church (dedicated to the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary) became an independent parish in 1714. The original structure was actually founded in the 1600s in which the chapel was initially made from poor materials like nipa leaves, molave wood and bamboo. The chapel was reconstructed in 1724 and was made bigger with stronger materials like adobe and stone. The church underwent major reconstruction after being utterly damaged in 1852 earthquake and it was also caught on fire in 1870. Much like any other old churches in the country, The Orani Church played a crucial role during the Spanish colonization and Filipino-American war. During the Second World War , the church was used by Japanese as a garrison. The church underwent a series of rehabilitation while the current church was last repaired and improved in 2002 where the “Museo ng Mahal na Birheng Maria” was added to the convent.
The church now has a mixture of both old and new architecture but they said that the original design of the facade was retained but in a different finishing material.
Much like what we have seen in Orion Church (Check : Orion Church), you will spot a statue of Saints outside the church. I also noticed thick buttresses on the outer walls. The church also has four portals which are named as Gate of Heaven, Gaint of Saints, Gate of Angels and Gate of Paradise.
Intricately detailed carvings on the main door
This one depicts the image of the miraculous Lady of Orani, the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary!
The nave and altar of Orani church
The stunning and intricately detailed retablo mayor of Orani Church. The miraculous image of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary can be found on top of the tabernacle but since it was Holy Week, the image was temporarily covered.
The balustered dome of Orani
Outside the church , you’ll find this old bell along with a historical marker. They called it as the “Batingaw ng Orani” (Bell of Orani). The historic bell of Orani was presented to the public and installed in front of the church on June 7, 1998. It is a symbol of the undying, truthful and timeless faith of the people of Orani to the Lord. The heritage bells were dedicated and first used during the tenure of Parish Priests Fathers Juan José de Acuña and Esteban de Sta. María in 1806.
How to Get to Orani
►If you are coming from Manila, Genesis Buses and Bataan Transit have terminals in Avenida Cubao and Pasay. They have routes directly to Orani. Just make sure to look for a bus with signboard “Balanga-Orani”. The church is already located on the town proper.
Where To Stay in Bataan?
There are many cheap and affordable hotels to stay in Bataan which are near to Mt Samat Shrine or other nearby tourist Destination. The Plaza Hotel in Balanga is a perfect choice or if you are looking for a luxurious staycation, you might consider booking rooms in Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar in Bagac. You can check out list of affordable and cheap hotels in Bataan in TravelBook and see which rooms suits your budget and taste!
The church of Samal supposed to be our last destination in Bataan but like I said, the roads were under construction so we had to find a church nearby. The organizer took us in Pampanga , the neighbor province of Bataan. We went to the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Bacolor, Pampanga. More about this church on my next and last #BataanPilgrimageTour entry.
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In Case you missed, here are the rest of my Bataan Pilgrimage Tour entries
► San Miguel Arcangel Parish / Orion Church – Orion, Bataan
► Our Lady of the Pillar Church / Pilar Church – Pilar, Bataan
► Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral of Saint Joseph / Balanga Cathedral – Balanga, Bataan
► Santo Domingo De Guzman Church / Abucay Church – Abucay Bataan
► Saint Peter of Verona Parish – Hermosa, Bataan
► Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish / Orani Church – Orani, Bataan
► Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes – Bacolor, Pampanga