Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan is one of the historical churches in the Philippines. My friends and I visited this church one Saturday in early May enroute to Sta. Maria, another town in Bulacan. Truth be told, I wasn't aware of the church's historical significance until a former President (who, ironically, was later kicked out of office) was inaugurated here in 1998. It was an unusual venue for a presidential inaugural ceremony.
Also known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Barasoain church is the site of the First Philippine Republic in 1898, and has earned a title as Cradle of Democracy in the East.
This church was founded by Augustinians Missionaries and the original church was constructed in 1630. The first stone structure was built in 1871 but it was burned during the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution. The current church was rebuilt in 1885, the bell tower was constructed in 1889.
The facade has touches of neoclassic architecture. The interior of the church has wood panels painted in white, with frescoes of flowers, angels and saints; the altar was also painted in white with gold trimmings. The interior was not as rich and elaborate as the other old churches I have seen but inside has an airy, spacious feel.
There was an on-going wedding ceremony during our visit and I wasn't able to take photos of the interior.
The term "Barasoain" was a place in Spain to which the missionaries found to have similarities to this place in Malolos. When the Spanish-Filipino revolution broke out, revolutionaries coined the term "baras ng suwail" which means "dungeon of the defiant".
Barasoain Church was a temporary shelter of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Philippines. During this time, three important historical events happened in this church: the convening of the First Philippine Congress in 1898, the drafting of the Malolos Constitution, and the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic in 1899.
During the revolution, this church was the haven of the Congreso Revolucionario with the ilustrados as its delegates and Gen. Aguinaldo as the leader.
I spotted this Pieta sculpture outside the walls of the church beside a small chapel (below).
Behind the church is a courtyard and the adjoining convent has a museum dedicated to the historical events that took place in the church, a part of the museum is a repository of artifacts found in the province. There was a Marian exhibit during our visit, in connection with the Flore de Mayo
Barasoain Church was declared a National Shrine in 1973, and featured in the New Generation series of the 200 Philippine peso banknotes.
Malolos, Bulacan is 42 kilometers north of Manila.