The weather cleared a bit as we alighted at the second class municipality of Baras in Rizal, I can now see hints of blue hues amidst the cloudy sky that was threatening to drown our Rizal-Laguna loop a few hours ago.
The next stop was one of the oldest church in Rizal, the Saint Joseph Husband of Mary Parish Church; quite a mouthful eh? To simplify matters, the locals refer to it as the Baras Church.
According to the National Historical Institute marker plastered on its adobe walls, the first church was built by the Franciscan Order in 1915 but was transferred to Ibayo (now Concepcion) after the town was moved there and was administered by the Jesuits for 63 years.
Well I didn’t know why they moved, but it seems they changed minds again after 46 years and returned to the original site. The present structure was completed four years after in the year 1686. Unlike its many counterparts though, the church has remained standing through wars, fires and earthquakes and remains as preserved as it can be.
Constructed in the Baroque tradition (this is unverified though, do let me know if I’m mistaken), Baras Church is almost totally the opposite of the Morong Church. Its walls are rough and bare, decors and adornments are almost non-existent compared the intricate and smooth façade of its Morong counterpart.
What it lacks in decoration though, it makes up for character. The church appears quite massive despite its compactness and almost imposing in its solidity.
A remarkable feature of the church is its altar and lectern which were made of stones found under the church during its construction. It was also interesting to note that the tiles used during its restoration was taken from none other than Intramuros, how’s that for period authenticity right?
Our visit culminated with a trip to Baras Church’s octagonal belfry. After huffing and puffing with two cameras and tripod dangling over three flights of stairs, we were rewarded with a panoramic view of the sprawling town of Baras.
Alrighty, next church!
BARAS CHURCH, THE SAINT JOSEPH HUSBAND OF MARY PARISH
A. Bonifacio Street, Concenpcion
Click to view location on Google Maps
PART OF A RIZAL-LAGUNA LOOP DAY TOUR: Morong Church | Baras Church | Pakil Church | Paete Church