I have always been amazed with the great architectural designs of the different Churches throughout the world. I was even more amazed when my friends took me to this church, right after our Hot Air Balloon Festival trip. It has so much history which I would like to share with you.
San Guillermo Parish Church is named after San Guillermo, the patron saint of Bacolor, Pampanga. It was built in 1576 by Augustinian Friars. The original structure was destroyed by an earthquake in 1880 and was rebuilt in 1886 by Fr. Eugenio Alvarez. But due to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 and the mudslide due to a typhoon in 1995, it buried the church at half and the community surrounding it, as seen from the photo above (right).
When we first arrived at the church, I was puzzled to why the church was shorter compared to the ones I've been to and seen. When we entered, I didn't understand it right away until a member of the Church approached us and explained to us the history of this Church.
At first, you will really think that this is a small church especially when you find the ceiling was low. but if you learn the history and look at the details inside, you will realize how much part of the church was buried.
This is the window of the church and realizing it gave me chills. Usually, it's 6 meters high but as you can see from the picture above, it's almost buried; almost blocked. While the picture below shows the back part of the Church.
|The Bell Tower|
When we were exploring the place, we found this cemetery that was also buried with lahar. The graveyards were all buried so they provided a wall tombstone at the entrance to recognize those that lay here.
You can even see the top parts of the mausoleum. This was such a tragic scenery to look at. I really can't imagine how lahar also buried many households and infrastructures. I wonder how the residents of that place recovered from this devastating catastrophe but I'm sure that God guided them and continuously looks after them.
What can you say about this church?