I’ve passed through the town of Morong in the province of Bataan a few times over the years, but I never knew it harbors a colonial church worthy of a visit. During the second day of the Pawikan Festival, we checked out a curious church en route to our hotel, Brizo Resort, for a brief respite from the festivities of the day.
|THE LICHEN-COVERED WALLS OF BATAAN’S MORONG CHURCH|
Morong church, not to be confused with the a similarly named church in Morong in the province of Rizal, is very squat. Set on an elevated patio, the facade is broad but not very tall. I somehow find its proportions to be unsettling, being used to churches with towering heights.
|THE REGAL RECTAGULAR BELFRY|
Its three-tiered rectangular belfry set on the left side of the structure made its front elevation all the more unusual, as the church is mostly symmetrical in nature.
|THE CHURCH IS ELEVATED ON A FRONT PATIO|
Our Lady of the Pillar Church is over 400 years old, one of the oldest in the whole of Bataan (Abucay Church being the oldest). Though I can see no historical markers on its walls—which is said to be made from coral stone, although it looks like adobe to my eye—it definitely shows signs of age. There are hardly any ornamental elements on it besides a line of brick trims, a row of faux stone balusters on the second level, two images of saints off the sides, and of Mary, on a central niche right by the triangular pediment.
|WALLS ARE TRIMMED WITH RED BRICKS|
While the patina of time is quite evident on its rough and lichen-covered exterior, the interior of the church is relatively modern—probably the reason for the lack of a National Historical Institute marker. The floors are tiled, the walls painted and smoothly plastered over with cement.
Still, it is one the oldest church in the province and its quirky facade alone is worthy enough for a quick sidetrip especially for heritage and architecture afficionados.
Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church
Address: Brgy. Poblacion, Morong, Bataan
Contact Number: (047) 612-0257
Facebook: Click Here
Mass Schedule: 6:00AM Mon & Thu | 7:00PM Sat
5:30PM Tue, Wed, Fri | 7:00AM & 6:00PM Sun
GPS Coordinate Map: 14.678823, 120.265857