A Haven of Devotion and Spanish Architecture
Get a feel of old Spanish times as you walk around the old churches of Cagayan. Among the more popular sites:
The Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat, in the western part of Cagayan, houses a statue and image of Mary which was first enshrined in Lal-lo in 1604 (then known as Nueva Segovia). The image is credited with miraculous cures.
Lal-lo was one of the first four cities in the Philippines (the others being Manila, Cebu and Naga). The first bishop of the Lal-lo diocese, Miguel Benavidez, O.P., was also the founder of the University of Santo Tomas.
St. Peter’s Cathedral is the biggest Spanish-built church in the Cagayan Valley region. Its construction was completed in 1767; it suffered massive destruction in World War II but was rebuilt and is now considered one of the most beautiful works of art in the country and the world today.
Alcala Philomene Church,built in 1881, is the widest church in the province, measuring 30 meters wide by 90 mtrs. long, yet is made principally of bricks.
The oldest bell in the Far East is in San Jacinto Polona Parish Church, in Camalaniugan. Forged in the year 1595, it was brought to Manila in 1937 as part of the attractions during the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress.
St. Hyacinth Church (or San Jacinto Chapel)is an elevated church whose construction dates back from 1604, or more than 100 years older than St. Peter’s Cathedral. Used as American headquarters in the Filipino-American war of 1899, it was reconstructed afterward by the Americans.
A more modern devotional site is Calvary Hills, located in Iguig, about 16 km. from the capital city, is on an 11-hectare site of rolling hills. It features larger-than-life concrete statues in tableau settings of the 14 Stations of the Cross, depicting Jesus Christ’s suffering and death on Mount Calvary.