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Camiling Parish Church

This is part of our Mt. Damas Traverse Circuit

One of the eight sunrays on the Philippine flag signifies the province of Tarlac because of its contribution in the country’s independence, so being in this place is a dream come true, but unfortunately my visit was not for a historical reason, but for a trekking event. After getting off the ordinary bus beside public plaza, we walked few meters going to Jollibee for our breakfast, but while on the way, Jeff, together with the others, were eating their breakfast, so instead of going to the fast food, we took our breakfast in that cafeteria near St. Michael The Archangel Parish Church or the Camiling Parish Church.

From afar, we this old church facade, so after breakfast while waiting for Sir Mike, I checked this old structure nearby. Aside from the unique appearance of the structure, I noticed the board with “BAWAL UMIHI DITO” in every corner. The people were also staring to me because I was just wearing short and a shirt, I was very simple that time, but anyways, I was looking for anything that contains the historical background of this structure, but I found nothing.

the FACADE . I went back to the cafeteria and asked the vendors in its history but unfortunately I didn’t get anything. I took photos beside the cafeteria, and when I get in, three gorgeous old ladies approached me. They instructed me where the perfect place to take photo is. So, I grabbed that opportunity and asked them about its history and their memories were great! They also told me to visit the new church beside the old church – which we did.


I went back to the cafeteria and asked the vendors in its history but unfortunately I didn’t get anything. I took photos beside the cafeteria, and when I get in, three gorgeous old ladies approached me. They instructed me where the perfect place to take photo is. So, I grabbed that opportunity and asked them about its history and their memories were great! They also told me to visit the new church beside the old church – which we did.


This historical building is the oldest church built in the province of Tarlac. It was built at around 18th century but was destroyed several times and was rebuilt in 1880s after the major earthquake. This church was the death place of General Pedro Pedroche and his soldiers killed by troops of Francisco Makabulos.


It has a 500 meter war tunnel underground constructed during the colonial era. Its exit point is going to a remote area near Camiling River and according to Wikipedia.com, it was used by the Japanese as hiding spot during the World War II.


Another church was constructed beside the old church with the help of the Cojuangcos and other private individuals. The designs of this newly constructed structure still have a colonial touch and still a result of an artistic mind. The old structure is now under construction, creating it as a museum that will showcase the history of the province and how the Catholicism spread. The design is still based on the appearance of the old structure decade ago.

the side view of the new church


At the back of the new church is the balete tree on the walls of the old church convent. The old church was burnt on April 13, 1997 (info given by the old ladies) and the facade, the thick side walls made of bricks is the only part which remains after the fire. The plants and the mosses hanging on the walls were the only living thing in this old structure.


 This red house made of bricks is the parish office which is situated at the left side of the new church.

MY COMMENT:
I know that this structure gave a huge contribution in the province few decades ago. Actually, the church and the convent were declared as a Historical Sites of National Historical Commission in 1994. Because of the fire, everything disappeared. NOW, the local government should do a necessary step for its repair and preservation. To NATIONAL HISTORICAL COMMISSION, your help would be a great asset in building a new house of Tarlac history for the next generation.

HOW TO GET HERE:
From Cubao, take a bus ride going to Camiling Market in Tarlac and there, you can ask the residents about this spot. People are great!

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