Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Church (Marikina)

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Coordinates: 14°22′30″N 121°32′46″E / 14.3750°N 121.546°E / 14.3750; 121.546

Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned
(Dambana ng Ina ng mga Walang Mag-Ampon)
OurLadyoftheAbandonedParishjf9827 04.JPG
Basic information
Location J.P. Rizal cor. V. Gomez Sts., Santa Elena, Marikina, Philippines
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Country Philippines
Year consecrated 1690
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Diocesan (Antipolo)
Leadership Rev. Msgr. Pedro C. Cañonero, Rector and Parish Priest
Architectural description
Architectural type Baroque Church
Architectural style Baroque
Completed 1572
Materials Adobe, Sand, gravel, cement, mortar and steel
OLA Parish Church, houses the Patroness of Marikina

The Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned (Spanish: Santuario y Parroquia del Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados; Tagalog: Dambana at Parokya ng Ina ng mga Walang Mag-Ampon) is a Roman Catholic church in Marikina, the Philippines. The church enshrines one of several images of the Virgin Mary venerated as miraculous, which has received Papal recognition.

The church itself is a testament of a religious controversy rooting back from Marikina's early history wherein both the Jesuits and Augustinians fought over the ecclesiastical control of the area. [1] The church is also known for featuring Metro Manila's Longest Holy Week Processions with around 70 floats as of 2017, and the third overall after the St Augustine Parish in the Town of Baliuag and the San Isidro Labrador Parish in the Town of Pulilan, both located in the province of Bulacan and featuring at least 110 floats.


Early years[edit]

An early photograph of the church.

Catholicism in what is now Marikina began when the settlement was again ceded to the Augustinians by the Jesuits. On March 10, 1687, Governor Gabriel Cruz Elasque ordered the transfer of Marikina to the oversight of the Augustinians and merged with the ministry of San Mateo. He instructed Don Juan Pimentel, the Mayor of Tondo, to vacate and demolish the visita of Jesús de la Peña as the Marikina River would flood the site during the rainy season. The visita could not accommodate the growing congregation, forcing the Austin friars to transfer operations across the Marikina to higher ground, where the much larger, present structure was built. The church was subsequently made an independent parish in 1690.

Original image[edit]

On October 23, 1791 the church was consecrated by the Archdiocese of Manila for the Virgin's said title so that it could not be used for any secular purpose. In 1898, during the Philippine–American War, the first image was burnt along with pertinent records of the devotion in Marikina. In 1902, a new image was created, and is the one presently venerated in the parish.


The church suffered major damages during the tumultuous years of the Philippine–American War in the early 1900s and the carillion was totally destroyed during the second world war. By 1957, OLA church was restored and refurbished by Father Silvestre dela Cruz of Archdiocese of Manila with the help from various religious and civic organisations.[2]

Episcopal coronation[edit]

The community initially approached the Apostolic Nuncio to petition for the Canonical Coronation of the image. The canonical coronation was not granted immediately due to lack of background research and testimonies about the miracles attributed to Our Lady. The nuncio endorsed the parish community to Bishop Crisostomo Yalung, Bishop of Antipolo, for the image of Our Lady to be honoured with an Episcopal Coronation. It was granted through a decree signed by Bishop Yalung, and performed on May 12, 2002.

Canonical coronation[edit]

By virtue of a Papal Bull granted by the Holy See through Pope Benedict XVI, the image was canonically crowned on October 23, 2005. Archbishop of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, in the name of the pope, finally crowned the image after a series of research and gathering of testimonies of miracles attributed to Our Lady of the Abandoned in Marikina.

Other places of patronage[edit]

Aside from Marikina, Our Lady of the Abandoned is patroness of the following places in the Philippines: Santa Ana, Manila, where another image of the Virgin is enshrined; Muntinlupa City; Mandaluyong City; Valencia, Negros Oriental; and Barangay Batiocan in Libungan, Cotabato.

Santa Ana district in Manila and Marikina City have the oldest traditions of venerating the image.

Although the church has had the Our Lady of the Abandoned as its patroness for centuries, feasts in its honour were not historically attested-to. Since 1990, people in Metro Manila and nearby provinces have made pilgrimages to the shrine.

Marikina honoured the image every second Sunday of May, but this was altered to May 12 until 2010, when the local observance was changed back to its original date.


Statues of the apostles are erected at the top of the pillars around the side of the church.

The church was first constructed from bamboo and leaves by the Augustinian friars in a place called Chorillo (present-day Barangka) on 1572. On 1687, the real construction began in its present location to stabilize an ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the area. Constructed in Baroque style, it is characterized by a heavily-fortified facade, large-scale ceiling paintings, a dramatic central projection of the facade, a round-style pediment for the bell-tower and the opulent blending of painting and architecture.

Parish priests[edit]

The following were the priests assigned to the parish based on the current existing records the parish can gather:

Name Years serving Present assignment
P. Jose Rodriguez (†) 1768 – 1806 Deceased
P. Jose Ma. Herrera (†) 1806 – 1852 Deceased
P. Vicente Reig (†) 1852 – 1864 Deceased
P. Jacinto Zamora (†) 1864 (Interim) Deceased
P. Jose Ma. Zamora (†) 1865 – 1899 Deceased
P. Patricio Calderon (†) 1900 – 1901 Deceased
P. Lorenzo Gregorio (†) 1904 Deceased
P. Vicente Estacio (†) 1904 Deceased
P. Ricardo Pulido (†) 1905 – 1917 Deceased
P. Jorge Capistrano (†) 1917 – 1932 Deceased
P. Luis Mojica (†) 1932 – 1941 Deceased
P. Pedro Hizon (†) 1941 Deceased
P. Pedro Hilario (†) 1941 Deceased
Fr. Conrado C. Arciaga (†) 1941 – 1951 Deceased
Fr. Gabino S. Baluyot (†) 1951 Deceased
Msgr. Hernando Godoy, HP (†) 1954 – 1956 Deceased
Fr. Silvestre dela Cruz (†) 1956 – 1959 Deceased
Msgr. Florentino C. Fuentes, HP (†) 1959 – 1963 Deceased
Fr. Gerardo Maximo (†) 1963 – 1965 Deceased
Msgr. Jose B. Cruz, PA (†) 1965 – 1986 Deceased
Msgr. Generoso A. Mediarito, PC 1986 – 1992 Immaculate Conception Parish, Concepcion, Marikina City
Msgr. Teodoro D. Perez, PA (†) 1992 – 2000 Deceased
Msgr. Arnel F. Lagarejos, PC, STD 2000 – 2006 St. John the Baptist Parish, Taytay, Rizal
Msgr. Mariano T. Balbago Jr., PC 2006 – 2007 St. Joseph Catholic Church, Beltsville, Maryland, USA (Archdiocese of Washington)
Francisco M. de León, D.D., MS 2006 – 2016 Bishop of Antipolo
Fr. Reynante U. Tolentino 2016 – 2017 Immaculate Conception Parish, National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Cathedral of Antipolo
Msgr. Pedro C. Cañonero from 2017 Parish Priest and Rector

Current parish priest[edit]

The then Auxiliary Bishop of Antipolo, Most Rev. Francisco M. de León, D.D., became parish priest and rector of the Shrine in the Diocese of Antipolo on September 8, 2007. After having been appointed Bishop of Antipolo by Pope Francis, Bishop de Leon then appointed Rev. Fr. Reynante U. Tolentino as the acting Parish Priest and Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned. On March 6, 2017, Rev. Msgr. Pedro C. Cañonero took over as the Shrine Rector and Parish Priest.

Shrine rectors[edit]

On August 5, 2007, feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, the Bishop of Antipolo, Gabriel V. Reyes, D.D., consecrated the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Abandoned as a Diocesan Shrine in honor of Our Lady under the title of Maria, Inang Mapag-Ampon ng Marikina, Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados. On September 8, 2007, a little more than a month after the dedication of the church as a shrine, Bishop Francisco de Leon, who had been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Auxiliary Bishop of Antipolo, was assigned by the Bishop of Antipolo as Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Abandoned. Msgr. Mariano Balbago Jr. relinquished the title of parish priest, but was appointed Rector and Parish Administrator, assisting Bishop de Leon in his duties. Upon the departure of Msgr. Balbago from the shrine and parish, Bishop de León was also appointed Rector by the Bishop of Antipolo, but this time assisted by vice rector and parish administrator Fr. Reynante U. Tolentino.

Name Years serving Assignment
Msgr. Mariano T. Balbago Jr., PC 2007 – 2009 Rector and Parish Administrator
Francisco M. de Leon, D.D., MS 2009 – 2016 Rector and Parish Priest
Fr. Reynante U. Tolentino 2016 – 2017 Acting Parish Priest and Rector
Msgr. Pedro C. Cañonero from 2017 Parish Priest and Rector

Assisting in the Pastoral Team of the parish are as follows:

  • Fr. Alejandro L. Pestano, DMD - Parochial Vicar
  • Fr. Sherwin A. Aquino - Guest Parochial Vicar



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Buenconsejo, Maria Lourdes (April 2013). Marikina 1630. Marikina City Library. 
  2. ^ Buenconsejo, Maria Lourdes (April 2013). Marikina 1630. Marikina City Library. 

External links[edit]