Obando Church

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Obando Church
(San Pascual de Baylon Parish Church) (Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion of Salambao)
Basic information
Location Obando, Bulacan, Philippines
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Year consecrated 1754
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Parish Church, Diocesan Shrine
Status active
Architectural description

The Obando Church,[1][2] also known as the San Pascual de Baylon Parish Church, is a Roman Catholic church located in the municipality of Obando in the province of Bulacan, Philippines. Founded by Franciscan missionaries, under the Spanish flag, it is the venue of the three-day Obando Fertility Rites held annually in honor of three patron saints, namely: St. Pascual Baylon, St. Claire of Assisi and Our Lady of Salambao,[3] a celebration that was mentioned by Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero, in the pages of his Spanish-language novel, the Noli Me Tangere (in Chapter 6: Captain Tiago). During the month of May, parishioners and other devotees perform the three-day Obando Dance (formerly known as the Kasilonawan, now locally called Sayaw sa Obando, literally "the dance in Obando") inside the church, followed by a street procession.[4]


Its façade had been described as similar to that of the church of Marilao, Bulacan. The edifice is composed of windows and flat columns, and has a pediment with a niche and two round windows at the sides. The façade is also flanked by an octagonal belltower.[1] Connected to its structure is the Colegio de San Pascual Baylon, a private school managed by the parish. The altar of the church is believed to be gilded with silver.[4]


The Obando Church was built by the Franciscan Order, headed by Rev. P. Manuel de Olivencia, the first curate of Obando, on April 29, 1754. The church was destroyed by joint Filipino and American ground troops during World War II in 1945, but was later rebuilt through the efforts of Rev. Fr. Marcos C. Punzal[2][5] with the help of local Obandeño parishioners.[3] Other parish priests who also managed the Obando Church since the 1900s include: Rev. Fr. Juan Dilag, Rev. Fr. Padre Exequiel Morelos, Rev. Fr. Ricardo Pulido, Rev. Msgr. Rome R. Fernandez, Rev. Fr. Marcelo K. Sanchez, Rev. Fr. Danilo G. delos Reyes, and Rev. Fr. Avelino A. Sampana.[2] It was Rev. Fr. Rome Fernandez, with the assistance from the Cultural Commission of Obando, who revived the celebration of the Obando Fertility Rites or the Obando Dance in 1972. This was after a prohibition of the practice was imposed by an archbishop of Manila after World War II.[6]

Current status[edit]

The Church of Obando has been declared as the "Diocesan Shrine" of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion of Salambao (the long name for the Our Lady of Salambao) by the Catholic Church. The church is connected to several barangay chapels in Obando, Bulacan, namely: the chapels of Barangays Panghulo, Catanghalan, Pag-asa, Paliwas, San Pascual, Hulo, Mahabang-Lawa (or Lawa), Tawiran, Wawang-Pulo, Liputan, and Ubihan. Two former chapels that now have parochial church statuses include the Santa Cruz Parish in Barangay Paco and the Parish of Nuestra Señora de Salambao (the Parish of Our Lady of Salambao) of Barangay Binuangan. Both are still within the political boundaries of present-day Obando, Bulacan. Thus, there are now three parishes in Obando, Bulacan, each with their own parochial churches: those of Barangays Paco and Binuangan, in addition to the Parish of San Pascual Baylon (the Obando Church). At present, these parishes are jointly managed by three parish priests and one parochial vicar. The current parish priests are Rev. Fr. Avelino Sampana (Obando Church parish), Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Villacorta (Paco parish), Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Zuñiga (Binuangan parish), and Rev. Fr. Irvin Hizon (parochial vicar for the Obando Church parish).[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Visita Iglesia, the Old Churches of Bulacan Part 2 of 2. Simbahan: Philippine Heritage Churches and Related Structures,17 March 2008
  2. ^ a b c d "Kasaysayan ng Simbahan ng Obando." (History of the Obando Church), Obando, Bayang Pinagpala! (Obando, Blessed Town!), Pamahalaang Bayan ng Obando (Local Government of Obando), 2006/2007
  3. ^ a b Obando Church, Religious, Things to Do and see in Bulacan, Bulacan, WowPhilippines.com
  4. ^ a b Philippines Obando Church Interior, Obando, Bulacan, ca. early 1900s, Teleguam.net
  5. ^ The correct spelling of Rev. Fr. Marcos C. Punzal's surname is Punzal with a small letter a, as opposed to Punzol with an o from other available sources. The correct spelling can be found at the Obando, Bayang Pinagpala! book which is also listed and used as a reference on this page.
  6. ^ "New Zest," Obando: Legend of a Dance, Geocities.com

External links[edit]