Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The OC Project: St. John the Baptist Church

At the start of the year, I remember making revisions on my bucket list. Among those I wrote was to visit old churches in the country, mostly to those that I have yet to be in. I have always kept an eye wandering in the old churches in Manila. But upon research, there were actually five old parishes from where I live. So it got me thinking, why not begin at where I am instead.

It took a while for me to plan where to start this year's personal endeavor which I called The OC (as in One Church) Project. I am just available for non-work-related activities during weekends, and most of those weekends, I preferred staying at home because of the unfriendly summer weather lately. But last week, I finally found the free time to do it so armed with my backpack, sunscreen and my phone, I followed my "sneaker's instincts" and went off church hunting.

Given the proximity, Taytay Rizal became my first order of business. St. John the Baptist Church is situated just a few meters away from Taytay's old municipal hall. The church may have been renovated but it still is considered an old church given that it was founded in 1579 and the structure itself was completed in 1630. Interestingly, hundreds of years prior to being named saint, St. Pedro Calungsod became an altar boy in this church in 1666.

Another thing that made me choose to visit this church for my personal project was because this place holds a fond memory to me and our family. My parents got married in this church 32 years ago. The photo above is how the altar looks at present -- very much different to how it was when they exchanged their I Do's in 1984. Call it a funny coincidence but on the day and time that I arrived in the church, a wedding ceremony was about to start so by a stroke of luck, I was able to witness the whole ceremony. 

And by paying this place a visit, on a personal note, it made me realize how I was able to conquer a particular fear which I've had for the longest time -- that of seeing weddings. Yeah, I know it sounds absurd but I had my own share of such phobia. Not that I hate seeing weddings, I just tend to cringe and couldn't stand seeing one for a reason I didn't know. While I was only after fulfilling a thing on my wishlist and visiting a place relevant to my parents' love story, I got to face a certain fear and win over it unknowingly. 

It felt good that I was able to accomplish such an endeavor. It was so refreshing to have paid this place a visit and given that I was able to accomplish one church last week, I am happy to say I am looking forward to the next one (still in Rizal) which I hope to do in the coming weeks and yes, I will post it on this blog :-)

St. John the Baptist Church
Sumulong St. Bgy Dolores
Taytay, Rizal


amyxal_villa said...


I have passed by this church when I visited Taytay (foodtripping, a usual) but it was closed that day so I didn't get to visit it. Thanks for taking us to the interior of the church. I didn't know San Pedro Calungsod used to be an altar boy there. Nice one (I wonder what's the term for fear of weddings... hehehe). :)

GLAIZA said...

Hi amyxal_villa! Nice to read your comment again. Hmm... as per your question about the fear of weddings, it's called gamophobia.

I checked your blog and I see you are a foodie. Try visiting Santi's Pares in Taytay if you haven't been there yet. I heard their food is good too :-)

amyxal_villa said...

Oh wow thanks for the reco! :)

BTW, the church in Binangonan is also antique, if you haven't visited it, then you should put that in your list as well... :)

GLAIZA said...

Yup. It's among the places on my list given that it's less than an hour from where I live so it's a must that I give that a visit soon. :-)