The Church of St. Francis of Assisi was first built in 1611 by Franciscan missionaries. It was rebuilt in stone in 1769 by Doña Maria Josepha de Yrizzari Y Ursula, Countess of Lizarraga, repaired and enlarged in 1834 but was partially damaged during the July 18, 1880 earthquake.
The façade was rebuilt in 1881 and the church was beautified in 1885. Its tiled roof was replaced with galvanized iron in 1892. The church was repaired and enlarged again in 1893.
It was restored from 1989 to 1991 and was consecrated on June 22, 1991 by Bishop Felix P. Perez. In 1992, the church was declared a historical structure by the National Historical Institute.
The convent was the site where the Banda Matanda (Old Band) practiced the Marcha Filipina before it was played in Kawit during the Declaration of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898. It now houses the Museo de San Francisco de Malabon.
The church’s Earthquake Baroque façade has an unusual tassel-like frieze of plaster moldings of huge corbelled arches from whose ends emanate balusters terminated by boss-like ornament. The lower level has a recessed semicircular arched main entrance (with jambs in receding planes) flanked by semicircular arch statued niches. Above the entrance is a pseudo-Gothic stained glass rose window.
The pediment has a raking cornice decorated by traceries below the eaves. On the right is a hexagonal four-storey bell tower tapers upward with open fenestrations and balusters. The church is 55 m. (180 ft.) long, 24 m. (80 ft.) wide and has an 18 m. (60 ft.) wide nave. It has an altar design similar to Silang Church.
Inside is a ceiling with a painting depicting the Pentacost and a huge altar enshrining a replica of an image of Our Lady of Porta Vaga (the original is in Cavite City).
Church of St. Francis of Assisi: Gov. Ferrer, Sampalucan, Poblacion, 4107 Gen. Trias. Tel: (046) 437-7339. Feast of St. Francis of Assisi: October 4.
How to Get There: Gen. Trias is located 50.5 kms. (a 1.5-hr. drive) from Manila and 11.8 kms. (a 30-min. drive) from Trece Martires City.