The town’s first church was destroyed during the Dutch attack in 1647 and was rebuilt by Dominican Fr. Jeronimo Belen and again by Fr. Juan Zubelsu in the later half of the 17th century.
It was burned in 1836 and its roof repaired with galvanized sheets by Fr. Miguel Portell (who also built the convent). In 1898, the church was burned by Katipuneros to drive out their enemies in the convent. Fr. Justo Quesada rebuilt the present church and convent from 1903 to 1905.
The second level has a semicircular arched window flanked by two smaller semicircular arched windows (above which are small triangular pediments).
Its balustered pediment has a blind circular window at the tympanum, above which is a small statued niche. On the church’s right is its five-storey, hexagonal bell tower, with blind and open semicircular arch fenestration, and topped by a dome.
Church of St. Catherine of Sienna: Tel: (047) 451-1101. Feast of St. Catherine of Sienna: April 30.
How to Get There: Samal is located 111.3 kms. (a 2.5-hr. drive) from Manila and 14.6 kms. (a 25-min. drive) north of Balanga City.