Thursday, December 2, 2010

St. Raphael Parish Church

Legazpi City, Albay
by lakwatserong tatay

This is the last stop of our 5 Days of Different Adventure in Bicol Region. It is been a great experience touring from one spot to another, and visiting also two famous town of Bicol Region, Albay & Sorsogon. It is one memorable experience that i could share to my readers and hoping that you could do what we did. So lets get back to blogging....hehehehehe......
St. Raphael Parish Church
Here is a short history background of  St. Raphael Parish Church is located right in the heart of the Legazpi Port District, the city’s main business district. The Legazpi Port District began as a barangay called Sawangan whose inhabitants were mostly fishermen and farmers. In 1587, Franciscan friars of the Doctrina of Cagsawa began to convert the settlement to Christianity and in 1616 they transformed it into a separate town and parish called Albay. Its first parish priest built a small chapel and established the “Mission de San Gregorio Magno de Sawangan.”

St. Raphael Parish Church
The Ten Commandments
Actually we just passed by on this church, to pray for a safe trip back Manila. As you all know i really love taking pictures specially churches & museums and any historic places. But there is one statue that really catches my eyes. I don't really know why and i don't know why this statue should be placed inside church premises. I hope you dont get me wrong....hehehehe...
The statue that im telling you?
Churches Bell Tower
Church Historic Marker
The progress of two centuries was razed to the ground in the eruption of Mayon Volcano on February 1, 1814. The people was evacuated to Makalaya (now Taysan) and on the decree of the Gobierno Superior on October 1, 1829, prohibiting the founding of another town they finally settled in Taytay (Bagumbayan). In 1818, Sawangan, then already known as the town of Albay, was separated from Cagsawa and was made the capital of Partido de Ibalon (the old name of Albay Province).

Church Altar
Churches Center Isle
Some of the people, however, remained in the old town and began a new as a barrio. In lieu of their former patron saint, St. Gregory the Great, which had also been transferred to Albay, they adopted St. Raphael, the Archangel and transformed the ermita into a church. They finally regained their old status but never changed the name of the place as Albay Viejo or Banwang Daan. Even after their autonomy in 1856, they called it “Binanuahan”, meaning the former site of a town.

Bas Relief of St. Raphael, the Archangel
The original church was built in 1834 through the generosity of Pedro Romero. This church was extensively damaged in the Second World War and has since been reconstructed to its present form. This church has a unique attractions, the present St. Raphael Church is its altar table made of a single block of solid hardened lava. The feast day of St. Raphael, the Archangel  is held every 24th of the month in October which is also celebrated as the fiesta of Legazpi Port and coincides with the yearly Ibalong Festival.

It was such a experienced for us to conquer most of the tourist spots you can found in Albay & Sorsogon. To end our trip, we would like to thank our co-xplorer for helping us to do this trip. And last this church is part and stamped that it is been X-plored. But wait there is still one more......hehehehehe.....our trip going back home to Manila.

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