CAMARINES SUR | San Francisco Church in Naga City | Lakad Pilipinas

San Francisco Church Naga

Next on my blitzkrieg list of churches to visit on my last day in Bicol was the region’s oldest church. Fronting a tree-laden plaza and sporting an unpainted neo-classical looking exterior, one would really not think the San Francisco Church to be older than the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, nor even the oldest in the whole of Bicol.

San Francisco Church Naga

The church really doesn’t look old. Its exterior, although rough-looking in its weathered concrete facade, has none of the decay that is usually found on old cathedrals.

I love bare concrete facades.  In my opinion, it looks purer, has more character, and looks more honest than painted ones, which most of the time looks plasticky and fake (if you’re not convinced, google Tadao Ando’s work in Japan). I fervently hope the church remains in its unpainted state.

San Francisco Church Naga

Its inside however, has already been coated with paint, making it look very new. Painted crisp white and embellished with wood trimmings, you’d be hard pressed to see any of its colorful history by looking at it.

And one of the things this church has is rich history.

San Francisco Church Naga

According to its historical marker, it was erected in 1578. Initially built of bamboo, and later reconstructed into a brick structure in the middle of the 17th century. The church was almost totally obliterated during the Second World War and remained in ruins ‘til its reincarnation in 1957, which is currently what we now see.

A small portion of the original brick church can still be seen though on a cylindrical tower off the right side of the grounds where St. Francis of Assisi’s sculpture is located.

San Francisco Church Naga

San Francisco Church has also had its share of the revolution during the country’s Spanish era.

Its parish house has been the site of interrogations and tortures during the September 1896 general arrest by the Spaniards. The church itself became a refuge for the people as the Filipinos rose against their oppressor a few days after the arrests, which then led to the surrender of the local Spanish forces.

I would have loved to photograph the church’s altar (which is usually the custom in photographing churches) but there was an ongoing mass. My time in Naga was ticking and I have to move on to the next church on the list.

San Francisco Church Naga

 

Click to view location on Google Maps

San Francisco Church
Address: Penafrancia Avenue, Naga City
Contact Number: (054) 473-7570
Website: Click Here
Daily Mass Schedule: 6:00am Bikol | 12:15pm English | 5:30pm English 
Sunday Mass Schedule: 6am Bikol | 7am Bikol | 8am English | 9am Tagalog | 10am English | 11am Bikol
12:15pm English | 3pm Bikol | 4pm Bikol | 5pm Bikol | 6pm Bikol | 7pm English | 8pm English




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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

15 comments:

  1. Grabe! Sir christian. You're are truly amazing. Your photos are really an inspiration for us neophytes in photography.

    Sana maturuan mo ako. Hehe. :)

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  2. loving your love affair with churches.. ganda nila..^^

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  3. I've seen old churches & castles here, & they are beautiful, pero iba pa rin ang dating ng mga old churches natin. I agree with you, I prefer old buildings bare rather than painted, showing it's true colors & boasting it's age and the history attached to it. I'm a bit disappointed that they painted the inside =( but that's just me...
    I can't say it enough, you're amazing pics take me (& im sure a lot of people too) to places that I probably won't get a chance to visit. Thanks ♥

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  4. I think the local church goers prefer it that way, I remember how delighted I was when our own parish church was finally renovated after many years of being in a state deterioration. I guess we just need people who could restore our churches properly without losing much its original appeal.

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  5. me too, i love bare painted churches they have a more rugged appeal to me :)

    Pictures -> WOW! :)

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  6. Mukhang luma sa labas pero sa loob mukhang bagong bago...
    Ganda...:)

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  7. Robert
    Salamat sir, if you have photography related questions just ask away =)

    LaiMarie, Kalokang Pinay
    Churches usually have the most beautiful architecture in the city =)

    Claire
    I agree Claire, old doesn't really mean everything's falling down. Churches should be restored properly though, only problem I guess is the budget

    Tina
    Glad to have someone with a similar view. =)

    Tripper
    In the case of this church, no choice na but to rebuild a new one as the old church as I understand it has already been destroyed by war

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  8. Yep me too. If it looks old, mas classic.. mas misteryoso. It's charm will somehow be retained if it was not painted. Anyway, maybe pasira na rin siya kaya ganun. great pics as usual!

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    Replies
    1. Ayun nasira kasi sya nung World War II kaya they have to rebuild it

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  9. the old church was destroyed during WWII...paulit ulit na binomba ng mga hapon. after that, the rebuilt one was really small. when the church became a parish (and since it was right smack in the center of the city, it has the most attendees), they rebuilt a bigger one over the old one. the one from 1958 or 1959 i think is about 3/4 of the current one...back then and until now, sunday masses are often SRO even if they have the most i think, 10 or 11 during sundays.
    ;)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the additional info, certainly sheds a bit more light to the church's current configuration

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  10. The reason why the church does not look old is because it has been completely remodelled. That current design looks nothing like what it used to be. I loved the old design before. It was very bare, very mid-century, and the design of the crucifix at the front was awe-inspiring. Here is an old photo, the only one I could find, where you can see the exterior of the old church before it was remodelled. That cylindrical structure with the historical marker still remains, though. https://ph.images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A2oKiaCT.EtXlXMAPcIGIYpQ;_ylu=X3oDMTIyaHU2Z3VkBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAMxYzUxMjc3Zjc0NmI5ODFkYTEwZTcwOWU2ODM5MTdhOQRncG9zAzUEaXQDYmluZw--?.origin=&back=https%3A%2F%2Fph.images.search.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Dsan%2Bfrancisco%2Bchurch%2Bold%2Bphotos%2Bnaga%26type%3DYHS_TGE_%26fr%3Dyhs-Lkry-newtab%26fr2%3Dpiv-web%26hsimp%3Dyhs-newtab%26hspart%3DLkry%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D5&w=375&h=500&imgurl=farm2.staticflickr.com%2F1068%2F862216570_8256468016_z.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fbigberto%2F862216570%2F&size=108.7KB&name=%3Cb%3ESan%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3EFrancisco%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3EChurch%3C%2Fb%3E+Ruins+%28%3Cb%3ENaga%3C%2Fb%3E+City%29+%7C+Flickr+-+Photo+Sharing%21&p=san+francisco+church+old+photos+naga&oid=1c51277f746b981da10e709e683917a9&fr2=piv-web&fr=yhs-Lkry-newtab&tt=%3Cb%3ESan%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3EFrancisco%3C%2Fb%3E+%3Cb%3EChurch%3C%2Fb%3E+Ruins+%28%3Cb%3ENaga%3C%2Fb%3E+City%29+%7C+Flickr+-+Photo+Sharing%21&b=0&ni=21&no=5&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=11gamvgvi&sigb=15f5cuaj0&sigi=11m8gqrq7&sigt=12s6oppcs&sign=12s6oppcs&.crumb=bUMouv7ZygJ&fr=yhs-Lkry-newtab&fr2=piv-web&hsimp=yhs-newtab&hspart=Lkry&type=YHS_TGE_

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  11. My apologies for the link that has been posted. That was the one generated by Google. But here is a link that is shorter, but leads to the same photo. https://farm2.staticElickr.com/1068/862216570_8256468016_z.jpg

    And here is a link to the old interior. http://bahaysambahan.Eiles.wordpress.com/2013/03/p1050960.jpg

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Maryanne for those information! I actually can't seem to access the two images but was able to find this from the long link. For the sake of other readers, here's the short URL of the old church building :)

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/bigberto/862216570/

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