Monday, August 2, 2010

Salasa and Mangatarem Churches in Pangasinan

The Salasa Church below in Bugallon, Pangasinan is the first church I visited in Pangasinan, whether consciously or unconsciously. Unconsciously because its where I was baptized almost 4 decades ago. Its also the first church I remember to have entered in the province during my childhood years. The church was built mostly on bricks, though repairs on modern times were inevitably done with cement.

Bugallon town's original name used to be Salasa during the Spanish colonial period at year 1714. The church which is also known as Our Lady of Lourdes church was built in 1747 until 1748 under Fr. Francisco Barroso. It had undergone repairs in 1874, 1885, and on later years. The town and the church were relocated to its present site after it was inundated by the rampaging Agno River. Legend has it that the image of San Andres refused to be moved while the church was being dismantled. Opposite the church on the other side of the road is the municipal cemetery.

Next church is the St. Raymond of Penafort Parish in Mangatarem, one of the first towns in western Pangasinan on the way to Bolinao. Coming from Camiling, Tarlac, it will be hard to miss this bigger church with its green dome on the left side of the road.

The first church was built by Fr. Joaquin Perez in the 1830s which was later burned. In 1851, the Rev. Fr. Manuel A. del Manzano laid the foundation of another church,The exterior is of Doric style while the interior is Ionic. The ashlars stone of this imposing edifice were hewn from the stone quarries of Malabobo, along the mountain ranges 8 kilometers from the town. By 1880, the fa├žade was completed and the whole church was completed in 1884.

These are nice church destinations if you fancy Visita Iglesia on this part of Luzon.
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