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During our recent visit to Isabela Province to cover the Guinness World Record holder Bambanti Festival, we got the chance to visit the Beautiful Church of Tumauini. We’ve heard that we shouldn’t leave Isabela without seeing it.
The Church of Tumauini or also known as the Church of San Matias is one of the proudest treasures that Isabela has. It was built in the year 1783 and completed by 1805. The most famous feature of the church is its cylindrical bell tower (cake bell tower). It is the only one of its kind here in the country. From afar, the exterior of the church is noticeable because of the firm red bricks that were used as its foundation.
As beautiful as it looks from afar, taking even a closer look would even amaze you more. Take a closer look at the bricks, you will see the very delicate and intricate designs of flowers, saints, and angels. You can see how much effort was put into it. The church was actually declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National government back in 1989. The uniqueness of the church may have probably come from some of the damage it took during the war. The damage was repaired but it still did leave some distinct charm and appeal.
As for the inside, it is as astonishing on the outside as it is on the inside. The aged look of the walls, the dark wooden chairs, the precise construction of the floor and the overall atmosphere it exudes, is a very different sight compared to what we usually see in Metro Manila. There is a circular staircase inside which leads to a bridge connecting the church and the belfry.
Explore the design and details of the church and the bell tower. Both are connected by a bridge. The redness of the church and the pale white color of the bell tower creates a complementing contrast. The bell tower is actually similar to a wedding cake because of the tier-look it has. The whole bell tower looks like it has been ringed with beads and laces; all are perfectly aligned and carefully placed. The paint of the bell tower is fading. Some may think that the fading paint deducts from its beauty, however for me, it adds character to the whole place.
How to Get There
Don’t miss out on seeing how old things can still be beautiful. Not sure about how to get here? We can help you with that.
If you will be coming from Tuguegarao:
There is a van that is headed to Ilagan Isabela, you go down at Tumauini town center. From there, there is a trike you can ride to the church. Or if you want, you can actually just walk it.
If you will be coming from Manila:
Just take a bus that is headed to Tuguegarao, make sure to tell the bus collector that you will be going down at Tumauini town center. You can also ask him to remind you if you’re close, so you don’t miss your stop. Then it’s either you take a trike or just walk to the church.
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