I came across the St. John the Baptist Church while searching the net for interesting places to visit in Calamba. Being right across the Rizal Shrine, I found no reason not to check it out, being obsessed by old church architecture and all.
The church is made of unpainted adobe walls with a curving pediment, two belfries tower over both its sides giving it a symmetrical appearance. The whole structure is surrounded by huge trees and gardens filled with somber concrete statues depicting scenes from the Gethsemane Garden.
At first glance, I wondered if the Calamba Church is really an old structure at all. The architecture suggests it is but the materials looked way too new and too well kept to be centuries old. Plus, I can’t find any National Historical Institute marker on its walls at all.
With further research, I found that this church is indeed old! Founded in 1859, it was reconstructed after being burned by the Japanese during the Second World War. This was also the same place that our National Hero, Jose Rizal, got baptized three days after his birth in 1861.
The church interior is quite modern compared to its adobe exterior. The walls are painted in bare white, contrasting beautifully with its intricate yellow and maroon floor tiles. It is said that the baptismal font, which is located on the left side of the church is still the same original one used to christen Rizal.
St. John the Baptist Church is a nice bonus for those planning to visit the Rizal Shrine in Calamba, not only do you get to see where our National Hero was born but also the place he was baptized. And not to forget the church itself; with its old adobe walls and serene sprawling gardens, is quite beautiful in its own right too.
Calamba Church | St. John the Baptist Parish
J.P. Rizal Street corner F. Mercado Street
Calamba City, Laguna
Click to view location on Google Maps
Mass Schedule (Click to Enlarge)