Joseph had been bugging me to do a photo shoot with him as the model, though he wanted to go out of town, since we’ve done unauthorized shoots at UP-Diliman and various places in Manila countless times before. So last Friday, Joseph, Kenneth Morales and I went to Malolos in Bulacan to visit the Barasoain Church and take pictures there just like regular tourists.

From SM Valenzuela, we rode a jeepney (PHP 16) to SM Marilao, then rode another jeepney (PHP 33) to Malolos via NLEX. The church itself was a short walk from the intersection where we got down, though because of the early afternoon sun, it felt much longer.

The Barasoain Church (officially known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish) was built in 1630 and gained historical significance among Filipinos as the birthplace of the First Philippine Republic. This was also where the First Philippine Congress convened in September 1898, the Malolos Constitution was drafted from September 1898 to January 1899, and where the first President of the Philippines, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, took his oath of office in 1899.

The structure consists of the main church and an adjoining convent. The left part of the church’s facade is a medieval bell tower, with rose windows on its walls and bamboo arches adorning its entrance. Its architectural design is simple although it has paintings on the ceilings and has a divided nave, which makes it look bigger than its actual size.

At the back is a convent with a museum showing the historical events that took place in the church, and a repository of artifacts found in Bulacan. The patio at the back of the church also makes for a nice place to rest and people-watch, with students from the nearby college strolling around the area.

While history buffs would find the place of significant interest, the city of Malolos itself doesn’t have other notable attractions for the average visitor. So after our tour of the church, we just had lunch at a nearby diner-style restaurant and went back to Valenzuela.

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