After our exhausting yet super rewarding adventure to the hidden falls of Malibic-libic, we decided to head downtown to grab some lunch. Interestingly, Bailen is a small and very quiet town and is one of the most isolated municipalities in Cavite. Despite this, the town still shares a great piece of history. On June 19, 1965, the town’s name was officially changed to General Emilio Aguinaldo in honor of the first Philippine president who died the year before. However, on September 3, 2012, the town’s name was reverted back to Bailen.
Located at the heart of this small town is a church dedicated under the patronage of Saint Joseph. It is very interesting to note that Bailen was once a Catholic parish before it became an independent municipality. It was founded by virtue of a decree issued on August 28, 1857 by Archbishop Fray Aranguren, OSA, of the Archdiocese of Manila. This separated the Barrios of Batas and Guyong-guyong from the town of Maragondon, naming the new Parish Bailen (coined from the Spanish word “bailar”, meaning “to dance”). However, pointing out the difficulty of the inhabitants in going to and from the town of Maragondon to transact Civil and Religious matters, especially during rainy season, a group of 45 prominent citizens of Barrio Batas address a petition to Spanish Governor General Fernando Norzagaray (1857-1860) to convert the barrio into a municipality.
Since Barrio Batas already has its own parish, the Governor General on August 2, 1858 approved the petition, making it the new municipality of Bailen with Pedro Lirio, leader of the petitioners as the first gobernadorcillo. On October 15, 1903, however, the Philippine Commission approved Act 947 annexing the Municipalities of Bailen and Mendez to the town of Alfonso for the reason that it’s limited finance did not permit it to continue as a separate municipality.
The Philippine Commission, for the second time in 1904, reorganized the entire province of Cavite reducing its 22 municipalities to 9 groups of towns. Bailen was annexed to Mendez. In 1915, with the complete restoration of peace and order in Cavite during the administration of Governor Antero S. Soriano (1912-1919), Bailen was reverted into an independent municipality.
However, in the early 1960’s the peace and order situation in the municipality deteriorated due to partisan politics. At this stage councilor Porfirio de Taza introduced a resolution changing the name Bailen to Gen. E. Aguinaldo, in honor of the first President of the Philippine Republic.
The parish of Bailen (Saint Joseph Pairsh) is situated in front of the plaza and just few walks away from the municipal hall. It was built in 1858 which makes it 163 old this year. The church recently underwent major restoration changing its former green facade to a brick-patterned one.
The facade comes with three large niches with a stained glass window on the center with an image depicting Saint Joseph.
A stained glass window on the center niche featuring Saint Joseph and the Holy Child Jesus (retained from its former facade)
Also retained from the previous facade is the statue of Saint Joseph and the Holy Child Jesus on the upper most niche
The entire complex is gated and once you entered the premises, you will be greeted by a beautiful and relaxing landscape. There’s a working water fountain nearby and a statue of Saint Joseph carrying the child Jesus.
A huge Acacia tree which was also believed to be more than a century old
The nave and altar of Saint Joseph Parish of Bailen
Beautifully ornate altars of Bailen Church
The main altar of Saint Joseph Parish features an image of the crucified Christ above the tabernacle. Prior to the restoration, the main altar features an image of the Risen Christ
The elevated altar of Bailen Church
The right side altar features the town’s patron saint ~ Saint Joseph and the Holy Child
The left side altar features a framed portrait of the Seven Archangels
Near the choir area you will spot several Marian images and saints on display. This one above is the image of “La Pieta”
Nuestra Señora dela O
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
Near the church’s rectory is a couple of well-preserved bell from the old Bailen Church
One of which was dated 1859, a year after the first Bailen church was founded.
The image of the Sacred heart of Jesus outside the church.
The church is celebrating its Feast day this month with the theme ” Debosyon kay San Jose sa ika-500 Taon ng Kristiyanismo: Gabay, Liwanag at Pag-asa ng Sambayanang Baileños sa Panahon ng Pandemya”
Here are the following activities of the church in line with the upcoming feast day.
Related Articles to Bailen
► The Hidden Malibic-Libic Falls of Bailen, Cavite
Other Churches Dedicated to Saint Joseph
►Saint Joseph Cathedral in Alaminos, Pangasinan
►Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Balanga, Bataan
►Saint Joseph the Worker Parish in Baguio
►Saint Joseph Parish / Las Piñas Bamboo Organ Church