You can say that Batangas is a complete package. It offers a great number of beautiful beaches you can explore every summer. The Papaya Island Cove and the Loren Island are few of my favorites. If you are looking for an adventure, Batangas is the home of some popular mountains for both professional and beginner hikers. There’s Mount Talamitam, Mount Batulao, and Gulugod Baboy to start your hiking journey. The province is also the home of some majestic churches, including the Taal Basilica which is considered as the largest Catholic church in Asia.
We have a long list of churches in Batangas that are not just majestic in architecture but also come with huge historical significance. There’s the San Sebastian Cathedral in Lipa, Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay in Taal, Immaculate Conception Church in Balayan, and more. Of course, we cannot forget the majestic Monte Maria Shrine in Batangas City that houses a 315 ft Statue of Mary. If you are looking for a serene place, there is also the Calaruega Eco Park.
Last year, while my friends and I were on our way to Calatagan Beach, we managed to drop by in a small yet fascinating church in Calatagan. Nestled in the heart of Calatagan Batangas, Santo Domingo de Silos Parish stands as a testament to the rich history, cultural heritage, and architectural prowess of the region. Unlike Taal Basilica, the church is relatively small and new. It was built in 1913 which marked its 110-year anniversary this year.
The town of Calatagan is probably more popularly known for its Peninsula. With its near white sand beaches, the town has become a popular tourist destination. The town was formerly part of the parish of Inmaculada Conception in Balayan. In September of 1913, then Bishop Msgr. Jose Petrelli decided to separate it from the mother parish because of distance. The new parish of Calatagan adopted St. Dominic of Silos, an 11th century Benedictine monk, as its patron saint and celebrates its town fiesta on April 30.
The private chapel of the Hacienda Calatagan, which was owned by the Roxas de Ayala family, was donated to the parish and after the addition of some improvements served as its Parish Church.
Architecture-wise, Calatagan Church may not be as grand as the Taal Basilica but you will absolutely appreciate the serenity of its location.
The church size is notably small but well-ornate. At the center of its facade, you’ll find an oval-shaped niche that enshrines the statue of Santo Domingo de Silos.
There’s also a concrete crucifix outside the church.
The interior is equally simple, adorned with black-and-white floor tiles, white wooden ceiling and a simple altar.
The church doesn’t come with retablos. It highlights the crucified Christ at the center above the tabernacle. On both sides, you’ll find the paintings of the Divine Mercy and Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Santo Domingo de Silos
A statue of Saint Francis of Sales
The Calatagan Church’s endurance through various historical periods underscores the resilience of both the structure and the community it serves. It stands as a symbol of the enduring faith and spirit of the Filipino people, who have weathered the storms of history with grace and determination.
For travelers, history enthusiasts, and those seeking spiritual solace, a visit to the Calatagan Church is a must. As you step onto its hallowed grounds, you are transported back in time, gaining a deeper appreciation for the convergence of culture, religion, and architecture that defines the Philippines’ story. The church’s proximity to the picturesque shores of Calatagan adds to the experience, making it a complete sensory journey.