BULACAN | Barasoain Church at Malolos

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I’ve never been as excited in attending a church wedding as I did last January when I was invited to join L’s cousin’s wedding somewhere in Bulacan.

An hour of scenic view across NLEX and some minutes of dodging traffic among the local karatig jeepney’s (a smaller version of the usual jeeps) plying the streets of Malolos, and the historic Barasoain Church finally filled our windshield. Yes, the wedding’s gonna be held at the same place where the first Filipino Republic under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was founded on. Pardon my being a history geek, but I really love these kinds of stuff.
Barasoain Church, formally known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, was built in 1630 by Augustinian Missionaries. It has been called the Cradle of Democracy in the East due to the historical events that transpired within its walls during the Spanish Regime in the country.

I’d have to say that the church looked smaller in reality than what my mind’s eye painted it, but it doesn’t mean it is less impressive. Designed in the Neo Classical tradition, its most prominent features are its huge rose window and its rounded outlines which contrast heavily with its pointed medieval belfry. All of this however, is only a reconstruction of the original which burned down in 1884 during the revolution. 1884 is still eons ago, so as far as antiquities goes, this church’s still pretty much an antique.

The name Barasoain was said to be derived from a similar looking village in Spain by the Augustinians. And the name got a further connotation as the war between the Spaniards broke out. Being the center of the Philippine Government, it became Baras ng Suwail or Dungeon of the Defiant.
Inside the church, the walls are painted white, and there’s nothing here to suggest the rough adobe materials that make up its facade. The ceiling is made of wood, painted with simple 3D-like artworks. The retablo, like most churches in the country is gilded to the hilt in gold, with angels and saints inside its niches.
At the back of the church, an old photo of the church interior is displayed circa Aguinaldo days. It’s fascinating to see that it hasn’t changed much, from the white-painted ceiling to its checkered floors. Pardon the glare though, the frame is covered in glass and the lighting’s quite bad.
After the ceremony and numerous breaks of fishballs, kwek-kweks and gulamans outside, I finally walked away to join the reception dinner.

My eye wandered to a group of kids scaling an old tree in front of the church and it kinda reminded me of my childhood days.  It brought me back to those lazy summer days when with nothing to do, we looked up all sorts of unusual stuff printed at the back of peso bills, not the least of which was the small kitten at the upper frieze of the Barasoain Church.

I looked up, this time not at the back of a 10-Peso bill but at the real thing wondering if I’d see that same infamous kitten at the same exact location. It finally answered my question all those years back if the cat was a real cat or part of Barasoain Church’s design.

          * Old P10.00 Bill from http://www.charleskeng.com/note.htm

     Barasoain Church | Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish
     Paseo del Congreso St., Barangay San Gabriel
     Malolos City, Bulacan
     Click to view location on Google Maps
     Schedule and Contact Numbers:

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  1. It definitely looks the part..
    I still vividly remember that 10 peso bill!
    Nowadays, I like churches but not when a friend is getting married in it..
    It's like I have to do this too.. soon! waaaahhh!

  2. san nga ba ang pusa na yan? LOL! nice! Good thing they rmoved that lamp post infront of the church! kaksira ng view

  3. nauuso ata sa wedding ang pinagsasaraduhan ng pinto ang bride. la lang. hihihi! anyway, I'm back. tagal kong di naka comment sa blog mo. tamad lang. heheh! Na bother din ako sa pusang yun a. ano nga ba talaga? ^_^

    scary yung picture Kung malakas ang imagination ko may mabubuo akong imahe dun. hahaha!

  4. Barasoain has a very special meaning for me. It was the reason for my first solo trip in Luzon. Hope I could write that blog post; there are so many wonderful people in Bulacan, super bait and all.

  5. grabe ang bongga nung bride... dramatic entrance talaga:)

  6. and i must say, ngayon ko lang napansin...duma-dot com ka na pala...hehe

  7. Naks! Pwede ka na ring wedding photographer. =)

  8. ‎"After the ceremony and numerous breaks of fishballs, kwek-kweks and gulamans outside, I finally walked away to join the reception dinner" - panalo!

  9. ah kaya ka pala nawawala kasi kung ano ano kinakain mo!


  10. Marcos
    Anjan lang yan hehe, hanapin mo mabuti :)

    Haha okay lang yan, pressure ba?

    Saan ba nakalagay yung lamp post dati?

    Malditang "Kura"cha
    Haha punta ka rin para malaman mo kung totoo yung pusa o hindi :)

    I agree with you Aleah, mababait nga ang mga Bulakenyo, at ang sarap pa pakinggan ng punto nila :)

    Haha uso ata yung ganyan eh. Oo napilit ako ng mga taga Bagets na mag dotcom eh hehe

    Haha hanggang pinto shots lang

    Rv, Lestat
    Haha masarap talaga mag foodtrip eh

  11. lovvee the 3rd photo! :) at talagang nag-appetizer ka bago pumunta sa reception. :P I do that too.

  12. Jovial Wanderer
    Thanks! Masarap kasi talaga streetfood eh haha

  13. it really excites me pag nakakita ako ng landmark na dati sa picture ko lang nakikita or in this case nasa pera din.

  14. Melvin
    Thanks for this Melvin, I now thought of a new section for my blog :)

  15. Please reply me for my reference project sino po ang hindi filipino sa 10 peso bill yon tao don?asap po just txt me please i need it 09958447021

    1. It's the first time I've come across about a foreigner on the old ten-peso bill. Honestly, I don't know who among those is the foreigner, if ever you came across the answer, please comment back here :)