San Guillermo Parish Church

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Bacolor Church
San Guillermo Parish Church
Facade of the San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor, Pampanga
Bacolor Church is located in Philippines
Bacolor Church
Bacolor Church
Republic of the Philippines
15°00′01″N 120°38′54″E / 15.000263°N 120.648273°E / 15.000263; 120.648273Coordinates: 15°00′01″N 120°38′54″E / 15.000263°N 120.648273°E / 15.000263; 120.648273
Location Bacolor, Pampanga
Country Philippines
Denomination Roman Catholic
Dedication San Guillermo
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Architectural type Church building
Archdiocese Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Fernando

San Guillermo Parish Church is named after San Guillermo, the patron saint of Bacolor, Pampanga, the Philippines, where the church is erected. The church was originally constructed by the Augustinian Friars in 1576 – also the town's founding – with Fr. Diego De Ochoa, OSA, as the town's first parish priest.having been installed as such two years after.

In 1880, the church was destroyed by an earthquake only to be rebuilt by Fr. Eugenio Alvarez in 1886. On September 3, 1995, lahar flow from the slopes of Mt. Pinatubo which erupted into world notice on June 15, 1991, buried the church at half its 12-m height prompting its more than 50,000 town residents to evacuate to safer grounds in resettlement areas.[1]


Bacolor is one of the oldest towns in the Philippines. The first church was constructed by the Augustinian friars in 1576 on the lot of Don Guillermo Manabat, a rich landlord believed to be the founder of Bacolor. An earthquake destroyed the edifice and a new church was erected by Fr. Manuel Diaz in 1897. It has a central nave and well-lighted transept with windows. The main retablo, side retablos and pulpit are gilded with golf leaf. The richness of the docoration of Bacolor church depicts advanced stage of baroque and rococo. In spite of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo which half-buried the church on October 1, 1995, the structure is still being used as place of worship. It was already a world renowned tourist destination prior to the lahar tragedies; now more tourists flock to the church which remaining features are being preserved and maintained.[2]


The Altar of San Guillermo Parish Church

The church boasts of having main retablo, side retablos and pulpit that are heavily gilded with gold leaves. The rich decorations of the church depict the Baroque style of architecture. Only half of the original facade of the church can be seen today due to the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 which half-buried the church. After the volcanic eruption, the town’s people painstakingly excavated the altar and the retablo and relocated it under the dome in order for the tall wooden retablo to fit. The retablos niches are filled with centuries- old statues which were saved from destruction of the lahar. The citizens of Bacolor take pride in their rich heritage which is why they carefully excavated the ornately carved main and side altars and restored in its immaculate condition. The church is already a world famous tourist destination prior to the lahar tragedies and present has remained being so.[3]

Museo de Bacolor[edit]

Part of the Church is the Recuerdos Sagrados de Bacolor (Sacred Memorabilia of Bacolor) or Museum.


This heritage church is part of the main venue for taping of ABS-CBN primetime show May Bukas Pa from February 2, 2009 to February 5, 2010 as their Monastery. The Production Group of May Bukas Pa was allowed by Fr.Jesus Manabat Jr. since the concept of the story is religious type and it was a big helped for the repair & maintenance of the whole church compound, since then lots of foreigner & local people are visiting the church because it was also aired in The Filipino Channel so the popularity of the place grows in different countries and most of them are excited to visit the church during taping days so they can see all the star cast and specially Santino.[4]