My List of the Ten Allegedly Haunted Places in the Philippines

Here’s a list of ten of the scariest places I have visited in the country. One is located in La Union (Pindangan Church Ruins), two in Baguio City (Hyatt Terraces Hotel and SM City Baguio) in Benguet, one in Pampanga (Clark Air Base), one in Mountain Province (Sagada), one off Cavite (Corregidor Island) and the rest in Metro Manila. Though I haven’t really experienced any paranormal activity in these sites, probably because I don’t have a third eye, many others have.

  • My wife Grace and I stayed in the 12-storey, 303 -room HYATT TERRACES HOTEL for three days in April 1986.   Located on a pine tree-clad hill along South Drive, near Camp John Hay, the Hyatt Terraces Hotel was said to be the grandest hotel outside Metro Manila. At 4:26 PM, on July 16, 1990, a little over 4 years after our stay, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Luzon, killing 1,621 people.  Again, I happened to be in the city, with my family and some relatives, on the day of the devastating 1990 Luzon Earthquake but were lucky enough to have left the city before lunch. In Baguio City, 28 buildings collapsed during the earthquake.  One of the most prominent buildings destroyed was the Hyatt Terraces Hotel when the central wing’s terraced front collapsed, like an accordion, onto the hotel lobby, killing 98 employees and guests. In the aftermath of that tragic earthquake, many of those listed as “missing” were never found and many say that there are still bodies in the debris of the hotel site and the spirits of these victims have never moved on. Its tragic history has surely contributed to its terrifying reputation.

Check out “Hyatt Terraces Hotel

Hyatt Terraces Hotel circa 1986

Today, its old fountain and a gated fence are all that remains of the still undeveloped site of the Hyatt Terraces. Now said to be haunted, strange lights and ghostly apparitions are said to have been seen around the empty lot.  There was once a bus stop in front of the gate and motorists, driving along South Drive, have told stories of strange apparitions of the spirits of dead employees there. Some passersby in the area at night have also heard cries for help and seen figures against the spotlight that illuminates the area. In fact, for those driving along South Drive, the directed procedure is to honk your horn when passing beside the former Hyatt location, lest they run over a spirit crossing the street. Aromatic smells, coming out of nowhere, are also consistently reported.

  • SM CITY BAGUIO (a favorite shopping venue of mine while in the city), opened in 2003, was erected on the site where the former 4-storey, wood-framed, 423-room Pines Hotel used to overlook Session Road. On October 23, 1984, at about 11:30 PM, a 6-hour blaze gutted this government-owned hotel. To escape the thick smoke and flames, most of the dead (17 were killed, including 4 Americans) and 46 injured leaped from windows of this American Colonial-style, hillside hotel while others were seen slipping from rescue ropes.

Check out “SM City Baguio

SM City Baguio

Today, mall visitors have reportedly seen faces in bathroom mirrors that would not be there a second later. One patron, in the ladies’ room, gave a photographic description of a bloodied fireman (The Baguio City Fire Department lost four firefighters in the blaze).

  • The MANILA FILM CENTER had its beginnings in 1981 when then First Lady Imelda R. Marcos started the Manila International Film Festival (MIFF). Slated to start on January 18, 1982, 4,000 laborers working, round the clock, in 3 shifts in the rush to complete the project  in time for the MIFF. Tragedy struck, on November 17, 1981, shortly before 3 AM, when scaffolding and wooden support for part of the second basement collapsed, causing at least 169 graveyard shift workers to fall to the orchestra below and be buried or trapped under wet, quick-drying cement.

Check out “The Urban Legend That is the Manila Film Center

Manila Film Center

Rather than halt construction to rescue survivors and retrieve the bodies of dead workmen, cement ordered to be poured into the orchestra, entombing the fallen workmen, some of them still alive. The MIFF was to last another year but, instead of quality films, pornographic films were shown in an effort to gain a larger audience and, perhaps, to make up for the first festival’s financial losses. Later, in 1984, I would watch the premiere of Tikoy Aguiluz’ startling, controversial but highly-acclaimed first full-length film “Boatman” (Ang Bangkero), in its uncut version, at this very venue. Today, it is the venue of the Amazing Show, a Las Vegas-like song and dance extravaganza  where all the performers are transgenders.

The place, said to be haunted as well as cursed, is incredibly spooky. Various ghostly manifestations were reported within the building on the site, including poltergeist activity, apparitions; mysterious hearing of cries and moans; bleeding walls; and hands sticking out from under doors. The ghosts of those who died are said to roam the area, looking for live bodies to possess and take over as their own.

  • The UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES Diliman Campus , where my wife  and I graduated (with a degree of B.S. Architecture) has had a long history of alleged haunting, with a lot of paranormal hot spots. The Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, at the second floor of Palma Hall, is the residence of a  ghost named “Marisa,”  said to be a famous star of the university’s theater productions back in the 1970s who was eventually overshadowed by younger, more talented newcomers. Overwhelmed by grief and jealousy, she killed herself, in the most dramatic way possible, by hanging herself onstage, in costume. She’s known for making her presence felt by haunting the stage, the rest room and her old dressing room, joining the chorus during performances and, sometimes, showing up onstage.

Benitez Hall

Benitez Hall, home to the College of Education and one of the oldest buildings on campus and, naturally, has gained the reputation as one of the most haunted. A ghost, with blood red eyes, is said to wanders the halls. Kalayaan Hall, a residence hall exclusively for freshmen, has a ghost of a woman who supposedly shows up in the mirror facing the stairs to the second floor of the girls’ wing.  Abelardo Hall, home of the College of Music, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a girl vocalizing, or playing the piano or the gamelan in the middle of the night.

Melchor Hall

The lights on the top floor of Melchor Hall, the College of Engineering Building, where our college was then housed (the college now has its own building), was, for some reason, never turned off, the reason being that, sometimes, the lights there inexplicably turn to red. Many of my classmates have also seen a “Lady in White” come in and out of the corridor walls

  • The PINDANGAN CHURCH RUINS, the picturesque, roofless remains of a small vine-covered brick and coral church (the first in City of San Fernando, La Union) which I visited way back in 2004, is located 500 m. off the National Highway, near Camp Oscar Florendo. The nuns of the Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Family are the caretakers of these church ruins.

Check out “Pindangan Church Ruins

Pindangan Church Ruins

It is said to be the home of the sole ghost of a headless stabbed priest who prowls the night, either carrying his severed head or searching for his head. Some have also reported hearing his head calling out for his body to find it. The wind here is known to whisper strange malediction to those that disrespect the location.  My picture of the site was featured in an episode of “Ang Pinaka: Scary Places in the Philippines,” aired during the 6:30 PM GMA News TV last October 22, Sunday.

  • The University of Santo Tomas, where my daughter Cheska graduated (with a degree of B.S. Medical Technology), served as an internment camp during the World War II.  Many prisoners died here of starvation and illness, and is reported by believers to be haunted. An alleged mass grave is located near the UST Museum.  One of the restroom cubicles in the Main Building is also haunted by a female student who hung herself.

Main Building of the University of Sto. Tomas

Other paranormal hot spots are the UST Hospital (haunted by a ghost wearing a red tag, which only corpses in the morgue section wear), St. Raymund’s Building (the comfort rooms on the first floor are haunted by the ghost of a girl was said to have committed suicide because she was bullied for her physical appearance), the Albertus Magnus Building (the Conservatory of Music where the piano is heard playing by itself) and Benavides Park (a.k.a. Lover’s Lane) where, at past midnight, students are greeted by a man wearing a Dominican habit who would later disappear (Sometimes, unfortunate couples hanging out in the park’s benches at night, have also heard a disembodied voice singing mass songs).

  • CLARK AIR BASE, being an American military installation, experienced major bombing from the Japanese during World War II. There are a number of reminders of that bloody past that still exist today and these locations are some of the most haunted in the Philippines.

Clark Museum

The area around the abandoned Clark Air Base Hospital has been rendered off limits to everyone as inhabitants have witnessed apparitions of violent spirits and heard mysterious voices.

Clark Cemetery

Early morning joggers have also reported hearing party music and excited talk coming from inside the obviously empty Home Plate canteen.  At the Clark Museum, the ghost of a serviceman who committed suicide by hanging himself still haunts the place.

Check out “Clark Museum

  • SAGADA, in Mountain Province, has an authentic culture dealing with death, free of Western influence. The caves of the town, in particular, are rumored to be site of ghostly mischief. According to the locals, whispery voices are heard and wayward shadows or apparitions are seen among the Hanging Coffins as well as graves up in the Echo Valley.

Hanging Coffins

The Igorots, however, generally say that if you show some respect and leave the coffins alone, you’ll make it out of the valley unscathed. At Sumaguing Cave, locals believe that the cave is haunted by the spirits of their ancestors.  I have explored this cave twice and, each time, I always felt an otherworldly feeling as I entered.

Check out “Back to Sumaging Cave

  • Historic CORREGIOR ISLAND, an island of history and heroism at the entrance of Manila Bay, has played a major role during World War II. Many Filipino and American soldiers died in its defense. During the liberation, the Japanese defenders here committed suicide via harakiri, jumping into the sea or blowing themselves up instead of capture or surrender. The ghosts of Corregidor’s World War II dead were also joined by Muslim soldiers who, in 1968,  were training in Corregidor for a  planned invasion of Sabah in Malaysia but were exterminated during the infamous March 18, 1968 Jabidah Massacre.

Hospital Ruins

At the Hospital Ruins, tourists who passed by have heard footsteps, rumblings of normal hospital activities, and wails of people.

One of the laterals of Malinta Tunnel. Notice the orbs?

Around the bunker area inside the Malinta Tunnel, shouts of people grimacing in pain can also be heard. Witnesses have also reported hearing eerie sounds and seeing a spirit near by. Manifestations would also appear in photos and videos. 

Check out “Ghost Hunting in Corregidor

  • In INTRAMUROS,  where the historical and the supernatural intersect, the possibility of ghost sightings in the oldest part of Manila is real. It attracts ghosts and ghost hunters in search of kapres, white ladies, demonic spirits, and other entities. In the dying days of World War II, Japanese soldiers reportedly massacred men, women and children in Baluarte de Dilao.

Baluarte de San Diego

Baluarte de San Diego, known as the break-up park for being the site where many a relationship met their demise, is where a crying White Lady often makes appearances.

Manila Cathedral

The Aduana (Customs House) Building, which housed several government offices, is the most haunted building in Intramuros. Many people believe its demonic entities takes lives.  At Plaza Mexico, there have been sightings of reapers, or hooded figures who chase after wandering spirits. Many of the retail and commercial spaces along the wall of Puerta de Sta. Isabel have now been abandoned, supposedly because of numerous reports of hauntings. An ordinary-looking tree, along Arzobispo Street, has earned the gruesome nickname the Suicide Tree after a student, supposedly from Mapua Institute of Technology, killed herself by hanging.  Headless priests supposedly make regular appearances at the Manila Cathedral.

Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago, where National Hero Jose Rizal was jailed, was used by the Japanese as a prison and torture chamber during World War II.  It is imprinted with the agony and sufferings of its many prisoners and is now also extremely haunted with ghosts of prisoners who drowned in its underground dungeons.

Check out “RevisitingFort Santiago

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar (Imus City, Cavite)

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar was started by Fr. Nicolás Becerra (parish priest from 1821 to 1840) in 1825 using forced labor, the cathedral, belfry and the convent took more half a century to finish. On April 29, 1962, when Imus Diocese was erected, the convent became the bishop’s residence.

NHI Plaque

On November 13, 2006, the cathedral was designated as a Marked Structure (of Historical Significance) by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The cathedral’s Baroque facade

This 18th century church, located at the boundary of Bayan Luma and Bucandala, has three naves.  The cathedral is 61 m. (200 ft.) long, 40 m. (130 ft.) wide, 30 m. (100 ft.) high and has 27 m. (90 ft.) wide nave.

The 3-storey bell tower

Its imposing, two-level stone and brick Baroque facade, with its dark and subdued colors, has a segmental arch main entrance flanked by rectangular and semicircular arch windows and superpositioned flat columns in pairs. The pediment, with its statued niche, flows down into scrolls. Latin inscriptions accentuate the arches.

The cathedral interior

The three-storey square bell tower, on the church’s right, is topped by a dome. Inside are tall stained glass windows and a unique rendition of the Stations of the Cross using wooden carvings showing the hands of Christ.

The altar retablo

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar: Gen. Castaneda St., Brgy. IV-A, Imus City, Cavite. Tel: (046) 471-4839. Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar: October 12.

How to Get There: Imus City is located 44.7 kms. (a 1.5-hr. drive) from Manila and 24 kms. (a 45-min. drive) from Trece Martires City.

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Dasmarinas City, Cavite)

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was the site of a bloody battle where Spanish troops defeated Filipino troops led by Captain Placido Campos and Francisco Barzaga on February 25, 1897.  On December 17, 1944, during the Japanese occupation in World War II, many of the town’s residents were imprisoned here and 17 were executed and buried in a common grave.

NHI Plaque

During the Spanish era, the convent was once the seat of the civil government.  In 1986, it was designated as a Marked Historical Structure by the National Historical Institute.

The church’s Neo-Classical facade

The present church has a three-storey Neo-Classical facade with a portico covering the semicircular arched main entrance door of the church. The upper levels, flanked by flat pilasters, have semicircular arched windows, of various sizes, and a projecting statued niche.  The triangular pediment has a small circular window.  The church is 55 meters (180 feet) long, 24 meters (80 feet) wide and has a 16 meter (52 feet) wide nave.

One of the 4-storey bell towers

The façade is flanked on both sides by four-storey (the first two square and the upper two octagonal) bell towers with two old bells. The small bell has the inscription “Perez Dasmariñas año 1867 approx. 14 libras.

The church interior

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception: P. Campos Avenue. Tel: (046) 416 1295  and (046) 416-0797.  Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception: December 8.

How to Get There: Dasmariñas City is located 50.1 kilometers (a 1.5-hour drive) from Manila and 11.6 kilometers (a 30-minute drive) from Trece Martires City.

Church of St. Gregory the Great (Indang, Cavite)

Church of St. Gregory the Great

A huge part of this stone church, started during the term of Fr. Luis Morales (1672 to 1676), was finished on 1710. In 1869, its roof was replaced with galvanized iron (one of the first churches in Cavite to use such). During the Philippine revolution, the church was burned but it was restored under the auspices of Msgr. Mauro de Leon in 1953 and Fr. Cornelio Matanguihan in 1987.

Author’s Notes:

Its 3-level Baroque façade has a semicircular arched main entrance with portico, above which is a semicircular arched window with balustrade.  Both are flanked by semicircular arched statued niches, single superpositioned Tuscan columns and massive piers topped by urn-like finials. The triangular pediment has a semicircular arched statued niche at the tympanum.

The church’s Baroque-style facade

The 3-storey, octagonal bell tower, on the church’s left, has semicircular arched window openings with balustrades and is topped by a pointed roof.

The 3-storey bell tower

Inside are elegantly carved doors, impressive carvings on the choir loft balcony and elegant and impressive rose-colored trompe l’oil paintings (done during the 18th century) on its ceiling. The walls and pillars of the church also have several commemorative gravestones.

The church’s interior

The retablo has three levels of niches for images of saints, with the central niche reserved for the image of St. Gregory the Great, the town’s patron.

The main altar and retablo

At the right side of the altar is a painting of St. Michael and the Archangels. The church pulpit has the Jesuit monogram surmounted by the image of the Christ child, a sign of its being a parish under the Jesuits before the suppression of 1768.

Pulpit

The adjacent old convent has wide windows and wrought iron work along the sides.

Left side retablo

Right side retablo

Church of St. Gregory the Great: Brgy. Tres, Indang 4122, Cavite. Tel: (046) 415-0211. Feast of St. Gregory the Great: Second Sunday of May.

How to Get There: Indang is located 66 kms. from Manila, 12 kms. from Trece Martires City and 8.9 kms. from Mendez.

Bonifacio Trial Museum (Maragondon, Cavite)

This two-storey bahay-na-bato (stone house) was the site where Andres and Procopio Bonifacio were court martialed by a military court presided by Gen. Mariano Noriel from May 5 to 6, 1897. The court  found the two accused guilty of treason and recommended execution.

Bonifacio Trial Museum

Built by Teodorico Reyes in 1889, this house was formerly known as the Roderico Reyes House (which was the name of the former owner). The house now belongs to Mr. Jose Angeles.  In 1999, it was fully restored and declared as a National Heritage Site. Today, this stone, brick and wood ancestral house has been converted into a museum called the Museo ng Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio or Bonifacio Trial Museum. It was formally inaugurated on November 28, 2014.

The house has capiz sliding windows, ventanillas and calado woodwork on the eaves

The museum has five galleries.  Gallery 1 (Maypagasa) provides a short background on Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan; Gallery 2 (Pagsalubong) focuses on the conflict between the two Katipunan factions in Cavite, the Magdalo and Magdiwang; Gallery 3 (Pagdakip) narrates the events leading to Bonifacio’s arrest; Gallery 4 (Ang Paglilitis) re-enacts the Bonifacio brothers’ court martial through a light and sound presentation; and Gallery 5 (Kadakilaan) recounts the anguish of Bonifacio’s widow, Gregoria de Jesus, in learning of her husband’s death.

National Historical Institute (NHI) Plaque

The museum also has an audio-visual corner offering a brief documentary about the trial and death of Andres Bonifacio and an e-learning room for online lessons on the history of the Philippines. The shrine is administered and managed the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (formerly the National Historical Institute).

Philippine Historical Committee (PHC) Plaque

Bonifacio Trial Museum: Col. Crisostomo Riel St., Brgy. Poblacion 1-A, Maragondon, Cavite. Mobile number: (0917) 553-7375 (Mr. Melanio Guevarra – museum curator). E-mail: bonifaciotrialmuseum@gmail.com. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 8 AM – 5 PM. Admission is free.

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady (Maragondon, Cavite)

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady

The best preserved church complex in the province, the Church of the Assumption of our Lady was first built in 1618 by the Jesuits, established as a parish church in 1627 and enlarged from 1630-1633. In 1649, during the Spanish-Dutch War, the church was destroyed for fear of becoming a Dutch fort.

Massive buttresses at the side of the church

In 1650, the church was rebuilt by the Jesuits using wood. The renovation of the church, from wood to stone, was completed in 1714. On June 30, 2001, the church was listed by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure.

NHI Plaque

Much of the church’s unique, narrow but tall and not squatty façade (chastely ornamented with the pilasters tapering upwards), the lower portion of large convent and the old watchtower were built with irregular river stones from the Maragondon River (Pinagsanhan area), an indication of the early level of technology at that time, and layered with stucco.

The church’s facade

The ornate interior

The church’s ornate interior has intricately-carved, brightly polychromed retablos.  The main retablo is decorated with salomonica columns, foliage and angels with trumpets.

The main (at center) an two side retablos

It has an image of the Assumption of Mary in the main niche flanked by images of San Luis Gonzaga (Saint Aloysius Gonzaga) and a balding and somewhat rotund San Ignacio. The side retablos have lost their original statuary, with newer ones replacing those that had been lost.

The octagonal pulpit

At the right side of the nave  is a octagonal pulpit, also polychromed in red, blue, gold and green, with monograms of the names of Jesus and Mary decorating the panels whose borders are flanked by Salomonica columns. The bottom of the pulpit is decorated with swirling foliage that ends up in an inverted pineapple. Augustinian Recollects installed the unusual horseshoe-shaped communion rail with inlaid wood flooring of various colors.

Carved galleon at door

The ornate, antique door, leading from sanctuary to sacristy, is divided into boxes and has intricately carved galleons, castle turrets and sinuous flora of different shapes.

Carved sinuous flora

The huge, exposed main roof beams that crosses the nave, added by Secular priests,  are emblazoned with Biblical and commemorative captions. Over the nave are phrases in praise of Mary while those above the choir refer to singing as praise.

Exposed wooden roof beams

The quadrilateral, 5-storey bell tower, on the church’s left, has no clear divisions between the stories. It tapers upwards, ending with finials at the four corners, and is topped by a rounded roof.

The 5-storey bell tower

Near the church’s main entrance is a cross, dated 1712. The convent, built from 1666-1672, was where Bonifacio and his brother were imprisoned prior to their execution.  Bonifacio’s cell is now a pre-school classroom.  The older part of the convent, with its elegant staircase of stone and tile, is made of rubble while the newer part is cut stone brick.  A newer sacristy was added. The quadrangle formed by the church and convent is surrounded by the remains of an old defensive wall and a blockhouse.

The convent where the Bonifacio brothers were imprisoned

Church of the Assumption of Our Lady: Brgy. Poblacion 1-A, Maragonon, Cavite.  Tel: (046) 412-0784. Feast o the Assumption of Our Lady: August 14-15.

How to Get There: Maragondon is located 54 kms. from Manila and 25 kms. (a 40-min. drive) from Trece Martires City

Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Naic, Cavite)

Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was first constructed in the 1800s with wood and cogon grass. Six years after its initial construction, a kopa, a pair of cruets and ornamentation was added. In 1835, the construction of a new stone church was started by Don Pedro Florentino. Its bell tower was completed in 1892.

The church convent

After the Tejeros Convention of March 22, 1897, the the church convent was used as the headquarters of Andres Bonifacio and the Naic Conference was held there. In this conference, the old Tagalog letter of the flag was replaced by the “Sun of Liberty,” with two eyes, a nose and a mouth and its symbolic eight rays.

The church interior

Before World War II, the church was one of the tallest (about 5 storeys high) and the longest (almost 10 blocks long) churches in Cavite. In width, it was second to the Imus Cathedral. On November 17, 1996, it was made into a Diocesan Shrine.

The church’s Neo-Gothic facade

Author’s notes:

The church’s three-level Neo-Gothic façade, the only one of its kind in Cavite, has a pointed, lancet-like arched main entrance flanked by square pilasters and similarly pointed arched windows.

The 4-storey bell tower

The second level has three pointed arched windows while the triangular pediment, with inverted traceries below the eaves, has a circular window at the tympanum.  The central pilasters rise up to the pediment and end up in pinnacles, dividing the façade into 3 vertical sections. The sides of the church are reinforced by thick buttresses.

The thick buttresses

The 4-storey, square bell tower, on the church’s left, has alternating circular and pointed arched windows and is topped by a pyramidal roof.

The main altar

Its interior has 3 major and 2 minor Gothic-style altars with the Very Venerated Image of the Immaculate Concepcion, Patron Lady of Naic, in the main altar.

Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: Capt. Ciriaco Nazareno St., Poblacion, Naic 4110, Cavite. Tel: (046) 412-0456. Feast of the Immaculate Conception: December 8.

How to Get There: Naic is located 47 kms. from Manila, 13.3 kms. from Trece Martires City, 12.9 kms. from Maragondon and 12.8 kms. from Tanza.

Church of the Holy Cross (Tanza, Cavite)

Church of the Holy Cross

The Church of the Holy Cross (also called the Diocesan Shrine of St. Augustine), started in 1839, was destroyed 20 years later during a strong earthquake.

Plaque

The church was rebuilt in 1873 by Fr. Jose Trobat. On May 3, 1980, it was declared as a Marked Structure (of Historical Significance) by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The 3-level Baroque facade

Author’s notes:

Its 3-level Baroque façade has a semicircular arched main entrance with portico, above which is a square window, flanked by paired superpositioned flat pilasters and statued niches. The segmental pediment has a semicircular arched statued niche at the tympanum.

The 4-storey bell tower

The 4-storey bell tower, sitting on a square base, has semicircular arched openings on the upper octagonal storeys. It is topped by a dome with a campanile on top.

The church interior

Church of the Holy Cross: Tanza – Trece Martires Rd., Tanza 4108, Cavite. Tel: (046) 437-7086. Feast of St. Augustine: August 28

How to Get There: Tanza is located 33 kilometers from Manila, 12.7 kilometers from Trece Martires City, 3.7 kilometers from Rosario, 12.8 kilometers from Naic and 6 kilometers from Noveleta.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi (Gen. Trias, Cavite)

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

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.

Buttresses at the side of the church

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.

NHI Plaque

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 (now the Museo de San Francisco de Malabon)

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 bell tower

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 church interior

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.

Ceiling painting of the Pentecost

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).

Image of Our Lady of Solitude of Porta Vaga

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.

Noveleta Tribunal (Cavite)

Noveleta Tribunal

The Noveleta Tribunal, the first municipal hall of the town, was where, on August 31, 1896, Noveleta-born Gen. Pascual Alvarez, under orders from his uncle Gen. Mariano Alvarez of the Sangguniang Magdiwang, killed the Guardia Civil Capt. Antonio Rebolledo within the hall of this building.

The narrow wooden stairway leading to the second floor

Lt. Francisco Naval, the adjutant of Capt. Rebolledo, was also killed. The rest of the Guardia Civil were disarmed and imprisoned. This incident further intensified the Cavite front of the Philippine Revolution. It was repaired on August 1998 during the term of Mayor Dionisio L. Torres.

Capiz windows and ventanillas

Author’s notes:

This historical, 2-storey building, with its narrow, centrally located wooden stairway leading to the second floor, has wooden columns, a balcony in front, a bank of sliding capiz windows with ventanillas, and calado (lace-style fretwork or latticework) on the soffit and roof eaves.

Philippine Historical Committee plaque

Noveleta Tribunal: Gen Antonio St. Poblacion, Noveleta, Cavite. Coordinates: 14°25’38″N 120°52’51″E.

How to Get There: Noveleta is located 27 kms. from Manila, 18.7 kms. from Trece Martires City, 6 kms. from Tanza and 3.5 kms. from Kawit.  The highway divides in this town, one branch going to Naic and Ternate and the other towards Cavite City. The Tribunal is situated just 10 m. from the Church of the Holy Cross. You can park your car in front of the church.