Baroque Churches of the Philippines

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Baroque Churches of the Philippines
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Ph-mm-manila-intramuros-san agustin church (2014).JPG
Sta. Maria Church, Ilocos Sur.jpg
Paoay Church Ilocos Norte.jpg
Allan Jay Quesada- DSC 1354 Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva or Miag-ao Church, Ilo-ilo.JPG
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 677
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1993 (17th Session)

The Baroque Churches of the Philippines is the official designation to a collection of four Spanish-era churches in the Philippines, upon its inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2003. [1] They are also one of the most treasured in the Country.[2]

The collection is composed of the following:

These churches have been at the forefront of Philippine history, not just in furthering Christianity in the archipelago, but in serving as the political backbone of Spanish colonial rule, when Church and State were regarded as one. The unique architecture of the churches did not just reflect the adaptation of Spanish/Latin American architecture to the local environment (including the fusion with Chinese motifs), but also of the Church's political influence. These churches had been subject to attacks by local revolts and rebellions, hence, most had the appearance of a fortress, rather than just serving as mere religious structures. This is especially noteworthy in the case of Santa Maria Church, located on top of a hill, serving as a citadel during times of crisis. Miag-ao Church also withstood the occasional attacks of Muslims from the south. Further, the location of the Philippines along the Pacific Ring of Fire called for the emphasis on the buttresses and foundations of these churches, with some being seriously damaged, but eventually rebuilt after an earthquake.

The Philippines, a country with hundreds of historical churches, is promoted to be more active in the engagement of the National Government and concerned private and public entities to establish more UNESCO designated Church Heritage Sites in the Philippines to safeguard national treasures more effectively and to promote the country's booming tourism further.

The current official tentative sites for extension are the following:

Former tentative sites:


National Cultural Treasures[edit]

Aside from these five churches, another church which is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List is the Vigan Cathedral under the inscription Historic Town of Vigan. The Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has also designated the conservation and protection of more than 30 other Spanish-era churches to be of utmost importance. These were registered as National Cultural Treasures.

These churches were given priority status not just due to their historical value, but also based on the geographic representation of various regions across the nation:

The interior of the San Agustín Church in Intramuros (Manila).
  1. Parish Church of San Agustin in Bacong, Negros Oriental
  2. Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception in Balayan, Batangas
  3. Santiago Apostol Parish Church in Betis, Guagua, Pampanga
  4. Parish Church of Patrocinio de Maria in Boljoon, Cebu 2
  5. Parish Church of Saint Rose of Lima in Gamu, Isabela
  6. Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Calasiao, Pangasinan
  7. Parish Church of San Vicente de Ferrer in Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya
  8. Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception in Guiuan, Eastern Samar 1,2
  9. Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
  10. Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception in Jasaan, Misamis Oriental
  11. Parish Church of San Juan Bautista in Jimenez, Misamis Occidental
  12. Parish Church of San Isidro Labrador in Lazi, Siquijor 2
  13. Parish Church of San Pedro and San Pablo in Loboc, Bohol 1,2
  14. Parish Church of Santa Catalina de Alejandria in Luna, La Union
  15. Parish Church of San Carlos Borromeo in Mahatao, Batanes
  16. Parish Church of San Guillermo de Aquitania in Magsingal, Ilocos Sur
  17. Parish Church of San Gregorio Magno in Majayjay, Laguna
  18. Parish Church of the Assumption of Our Lady in Maragondon, Cavite 1
  19. Parish Church of San Andres in Masinloc, Zambales
  20. Parish Church of Santa Monica in Panay, Capiz
  21. Cathedral of San Jose in Romblon, Romblon
  22. Parish Church of San Joaquin in San Joaquin, Iloilo
  23. Parish Church of San Juan Bautista in Tabaco City, Albay
  24. Parish Church of San Ildefonso in Tanay, Rizal
  25. Parish Church of San Pablo in San Pablo, Isabela
  26. Basilica of St Michael the Archangel in Tayabas, Quezon
  27. Parish Church of Santa Catalina de Alejandria in Tayum, Abra
  28. Parish Church of San Matias in Tumauini, Isabela 2
  29. Parish Church of Santa Cruz in Maribojoc, Bohol
  30. Parish Church of San Andres Apostol in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte
  31. Camarin de la Virgen, Parish Church of Nuestra Sra. De los Desamparados in Sta. Ana, Manila
  32. Parish Church of Our Lady of the Gate (Eastern & Western Facades, Belfry and Baptistry) in Daraga, Albay
  33. Parish Church of Our Lady of Light in Loon, Bohol
  34. Parish Church of Santa Monica in Minalin, Pampanga
  35. Parish Church of San Nicolas de Tolentino in Dimiao, Bohol

Important Cultural Properties[edit]

  1. Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman, Quezon City

National Historical Landmarks[edit]

  1. Abucay Church Historical Landmark in Abucay, Bataan
  2. Barasoain Church Historical Landmark in Malolos, Bulacan
  3. Church of Baler Historical Landmark in Baler, Aurora
  4. Lubao Church Historical Landmark in Lubao, Pampanga
  5. Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman, Quezon City
  6. San Sebastian Church Historical Landmark (Quiapo, Manila)
  7. Calamba Church Historical Landmark in Calamba City, Laguna
  8. Church of Paete in Paete, Laguna
  9. Taal Church Historical Landmark in Taal, Batangas
  10. Cathedral of Boac Historical Landmark in Boac, Marinduque
  11. Quipayo Church Historical Landmark in Calabanga, Camarines Sur
  12. Barotac Nuevo Church, Convent and Cemetery Historical Landmark in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo
  13. Dumangas Church Historical Landmark in Dumangas, Iloilo
  14. Ermita Chapel Historical Landmark in Dumangas, Iloilo
  15. Jaro Belfry Historical Landmark in Jaro, Iloilo City
  16. Molo Church Historical Landmark in Molo, Iloilo City
  17. Baclayon Church Historical Landmark in Baclayon, Bohol 1
  18. Church and Convent of Santo Niño in Cebu City
  19. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion Historical Landmark in Argao, Cebu
  20. Church of San Guillermo de Aquitania Historical Landmark in Dalaguete, Cebu
  21. Church of the Most Holy Trinity Historical Landmark in Loay, Bohol
  22. Maasin Church in Maasin City, Southern Leyte

1 On August 15, 1993, these churches, along with the one in Baclayon, Bohol were nominated for World Heritage Site status as part of the Jesuit Churches of the Philippines.
2 On May 16, 2006, the NCCA nominated a new set of churches as part of the extension of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines World Heritage Site. With the inclusion of two churches from the Jesuit Churches nomination, these two proposals will likely be combined.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 14°35′24″N 120°58′12″E / 14.59000°N 120.97000°E / 14.59000; 120.97000