Visiting the Saints Peter & Paul Parish Church – Calasiao, Pangasinan
Located in Poblacion West, in front of Calasiao Plaza, the Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church is loved for its Baroque architecture, well-preserved bell tower, and brick red façade. Commonly known as the Calasiao Church, it is one of the largest and best-preserved church complexes in Pangasinan.
For years, local churchgoers and visitors with a passion for the history of the church and its aesthetics are in awe of the church. The church displays the intricate care and ornate detailing of the Baroque period in the revered retablo mayor, painted ceilings, and antique statues of saints.
Local religious youth movements continue to encourage and involve the young population through various activities and seminars held in the church.
During the Spanish Colonial Period, the locals called the town “Lugar de Rayos”. The name of the town, Calasiao, came from its native name “Kalasian” meaning “a place of lightnings” or “a place where lightning often occurs”.
Built in stages from the late seventeenth century through the nineteenth century by the Dominican Provincial Chapter and before the church was placed under the patronage of the two saints, the Parish of Calasiao was placed under the patronage of Saint Paul. It was under the Calasiao’s first parish priest, Fr. Juan Maldonado de San Pedro Martin, that that church became the Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church.
The retablo mayor has the phrases “Tues Petrus”, “Et Super Hanc Petram” and “Aedificabo Ecclesiam Meam” inscribed, meaning “You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church.”
The five-story hexagonal bell tower has faced many adversities since its establishment. It was burned in 1763 in the Palaris Revolt led by Juan de la Cruz Palaris, also known as Pantaleon Perez. Then, an earthquake on July 16, 1990, damaged the church and destroyed the original bell tower.
The Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church that stands now is a reconstructed version of the old church, staying and not differing from its original structure. The bell tower is now equipped with fully automatic bells that can be heard kilometers away and is used in Angelus every day and to play Christmas hymns.
Declaration as a National Cultural Treasure
The Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church was declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum in 2001 for being one of the best-preserved Baroque churches in the Philippines. It is the fifth church in the Philippines to be announced as a National Cultural Treasure.
How to Get to Calasiao Church
Visitors from Metro Manila can take a bus bound to Dagupan City through Victory Liner from the Victory Liner Bus Terminals in Caloocan City and Pasay City. The bus fare from Caloocan City is PHP376 and the bus fare from Pasay City is PHP392. Travel time is around 4-5 hours, depending on the schedule and the traffic.
From the Dagupan City, take a jeepney bound to Calasiao from the Dagupan City Transport Terminal. Jeepney fare is PHP14 and travel time is 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the traffic.
*Rates and schedules are subject to change without prior notice
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