Watch Walking Tour of La Porteria Parish Church

The Parish Church of Our Lady of La Porteria in downtown Calabanga
The Parish Church of Our Lady of La Porteria in downtown Calabanga.

This should be the first walking tour for inmotion channel, I mean, a walking exploration. So here I was at the churchyard of the main Catholic church in my hometown which is the Parish church of Our Lady of La Porteria.

Welcome to inMotion. And many thanks and appreciate for joining me as I checked out the parish church.

There was a light drizzle on film day that the wide angle lens I was using had streaks of raindrops. By coincidence I didn’t have with me the lens wipe. This made me a bit upset I thought it will have an effect on the footage but anyways, can’t do nothing that time so I went ahead.

Let me acknowldge and give thanks for the satellite view provided by Google, even as it is a dated image here. The church was designed to resemble that of a cross. I started from the main entrance and walked towards the altar.

Our Lady of La Porteria many decades ago was elevated into a vicariate with five parishes under its wing.

These parishes are all within the town’s territory which include that of the Immaculate Conception in Quipayo district, the Black Nazarene in Binanuaanan Pequeno, the Finding of the Holy Cross in Manguiring the Divine Mercy in Paolbo, and St. Peregrine Laziosi in Santo Domingo.

There are several related stories posted about these on the website which links I will add on the description below. Don’t forget to check it out if more info is what you are looking for.

The ecclesiastical administration of Calabanga formerly belonged to the Spanish old town of Quipayo up to 1749. I will have a separate video discussing further details on this.

More icons representing saints of the Catholic church are present. One striking figure is that of the most popular in the whole region of Bicol, the Virgin of Peñafrancia. I will have a separate video post on this.

The images representative of Mary, mother of Jesus, Christ on the Cross, and St. Joseph share the center of the main altar.

On both sides, the left and right sections beside the altar are seats for parishioners attending church services.

Back at the main entrance, on the left side as one enters the church, lies the representation of Amang Hinulid or Jesus lying in state. It is a replica of the second most popular religious figure in the region which can be found in its own chapel in the village of Sta Salud of this town. I have a separate upcoming post on that.

I have observed the windows are adorned and occupied by small-sized icons of more saints. The walls are devoted to the display of frames on the passion of Christ, all the Stations of the Cross, which is a standard now on all Catholic churches.

The first church that was constructed on the very same site now occupied by this church was destroyed by the earthquake of 1811. It was replaced with another but I do not have detail nor find record of substantial reference about it.

The third building was built in 1849. As with the second structure there is no detail of such. What we see here is the fourth church, the present building which was constructed between 1874 and 1897 which now in modern times had undergone various stages of re-design, renovation, maintenance and upgrading.

The town of Calabanga has a population of 83,033 according to the official census of 2015. Of which, 95.28 per cent are Roman Catholics.

Here’s another sweeping look of the altar.

The seats on the right wing, are reserved for the choir ministry during mass celebrations. But parishioners attending the mass also populate the area.

Most of the parishoners come from the villages within the vicinity of the church, more specifically, in the urban villages of the municipality which is the territorial coverage of the parish.

Notice the images representing the “Filipino” saints Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod by the window.

I was navigating the side of the right wall walking towards the main entrance here. I have noticed, the left and right sides of the church have their respective entrances similar to the left and right wings near the altar. So there’s enough entry and exit points for parishioners which is a good thing.

When the Spaniards colonized the country, they set up the administration of a town in tandem with the religious orders assigned for the territory. One of its main task was to make the people submit to the colonizers with little resistance through the compelling power of religion, the Catholic faith.

It was not a surprise then that the parish got established on July 15, 1749, and the same date observed as foundation of the town. Calabanga was created from the territory which used to be a part of the Spanish old town of Quipayo. That makes the town and parish 270 years old this year.

It is interesting to note here that as I was filming, the parish church plays continuous recorded music which can be heard throughout the building but also by the churchyard and about a block or two away. (The parish has a PA system that “broadcast” the music and mass celebrations by the churchyard. “Broadcast” starts before the earliest mass of the day.).

I will unmute for a few seconds to appreciate, and hope it would not get a copyright claim.

I restarted again at the main entrance and focused the camera towards the ceiling. Not much to see except the mini- chandellier lights.

Many years back, the church ceiling was host to bats and birds. Now they are gone after series of renovation and upgrading which was financed through the relentless fund-raising efforts of all church ministries, lay organizations, the parish leadership, individual parishioners, devotees and donors.

Maybe someday, I will find the ceiling painted with murals associated to the Catholic belief. (Yes, I missed, there are paintings about the corners of the dome!)

The newly renovated altar is complemented by the new domed ceiling above. The dome was consecrated to the Lady of La Porteria by the Archbishop of Caceres, the Most. Reverend Rolando Octavus Tria Tirona on May 27, 2018.

It was just in time and a few months ahead of the celebration for the joint town fiesta and feast of the patroness, the Our Lady of La Porteria.

The annual town fiesta and feast day is being observed on the 8th day of September.

Watch the video posted on our Youtube channel HERE.

Or, watch it below:

[Video file fact of: “Walking Tour of La Porteria Parish Church
✅ Video: Streams dependent on the viewer internet connection and gadget capability, (look Ma, it’s great to watch on TV!)
✅ HD Video: 1920 x 1080 at 22,000 kbits/sec and 29.97 frames/sec
✅ Audio: MPEG at 16 bit stereo @48 KHZ
✅ Duration: 8 min & 29.03 secs
✅ Total File Size: 710,389 KB
✅ Closed Caption: Yes
✅ Music: Scorefitter-Sweetly Remembering/Story Untold]

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