Santa Maria Magdalena Parish of Magdalena, Laguna

After visiting the San Sebastian Parish in Lumban, our team headed to Magdalena, Laguna. The church was, of course, dedicated to their patron saint – Saint Mary Magdalene (Santa Maria Magdalena). This small town in Laguna started as a barrio formerly known as Ambling and was part of Majayjay. It was until 1819 when the residents of the Barrio made a petition to create a new town. The following year, a formal proclamation was made, making Ambling an independent town. Bearing the name of their beloved patron saint, the town first became known as “Magdalena de Ambling”

Along with the proclamation of the town is the establishment of a makeshift school, the municipal hall, and a small chapel dedicated to Maria Magdalena. The construction of the church started in 1829 where it was build with stones and bricks. The construction was completed in 1861. The construction of the concrete town hall and the church convent, on the other hand, began in 1871 and was completed in 1884.

We were welcomed by a very spacious plaza and landscape in front of the church. It is not really surprising why it became  a shooting venue by many films and tv series over the years. Santa Maria Magdalena Parish is bearing a Baroque style architecture and is notably highly elevated. It is mainly made of sandstone with an octagonal bell tower with square based on its left side and a convent to the other side.
Magdalena Church features a simple façade. The center of the main façade comes with a niche that enshrines the image of Saint Mary Magdalene. You can also see stained-glass windows on both sides featuring images that depict the life of Saint Mary Magdalene. There’s also a small rose window in the pediment with the image of the Holy Spirit. Beside the main door are historical markers.
The church is facing the town plaza and comes with a spacious landscape.
The interior of the church is equally unique and stunning. It comes with a distinctive latticework ceiling with off-white and brown color patterns. There is a series of hexagonal patterns with floral chandeliers hanging on them.20220326_144625t

The interior walls has the same finish as the exterior.
DSCF1564tThe church also has a pulpit
The church has one major retablo and 2 simple side altars.
The grand altar only has one center niche that enshrines the image of Saint Mary Magdalene. Located on both side are the images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary respectively. The tabernacle, on the other hand, is sitting in front of the main altar.
One of its side altars enshrines the image of Saint Joseph carrying young Jesus on his lap.
The other side altar enshrines the image of San Vicente Ferrer, the secondary Patron of the town.
The image of Santa Maria Magdalena of Laguna. To honor their patron, the town is celebrating its feast day every 22nd of July. The town also has another festival celebrated every month of January to honor the town’s foundation day. They recently launched a colorful festival known as Anihan sa Ambling
At the side of the church, you’ll see another image of Saint Mary Magdalene
They also have a room filled with various images and I came across this beautiful image of Mater Dolorosa
It is also interesting to note that the church is also historically significant. Located on one of its corners near the convent area is a small shrine dedicated to General Emilio Jacinto. During the Battle of Maimpis which took place on February 1898, General Emilio Jacinto led the Filipinos to attack the Spanish position in the area. It was, however, a failed attempt and Emilio was heavily wounded and captured by the Spanish. He was taken to Magdalena church before he was transported in Santa Cruz where he pretended as a Spanish spy to escape his incarceration. Today, with the help of the Veteranos de La Revolucion of Magdalena Laguna, a small shrine was established within the church. It can be seen on the same spot where he was dumped by the Spanish while he was heavily wounded. The blood stains can still be found in the shrine.

This post is part of my Laguna Pilgrimage series 2022: Feel free to check the rest of my entries here:

Also feel free to visit my articles about these Laguna churches

Places to visit in Laguna

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