My impromptu northern Luzon vacation last Holy Week was laid-back and candid. My friend Journeying Pinay, dragged me one day on a road trip to the farther towns of Cagayan province. It was very relaxing and also very refreshing. I enjoyed staring at vast green fields and endless blue summer skies. We really had no itinerary. But she mentioned dropping by several old churches which made my heart skip with excitement. And yes! Cagayan’s old churches were both beautiful and magnificent.
Two towns from my friend’s hometown, Claveria, was Pamplona, Cagayan, where Pamplona Church (St. Peter the Martyr Church) is found. Pamplona church is one of the oldest in Cagayan since it was erected in 1617. Across the church is where the Cross of Evangelization is placed. It celebrates the arrival of Our Lady of Piat 400 years ago. A few steps further, one can see the then-calm Cagayan River.
The church is around four centuries old. Its crimson facade gives it a charming aura. With the almost empty surroundings at the time of our visit, the church reminded me of the olden times. I half expected knights appearing round the corner, halting briefly on their mounted horses.
The church sits in the middle of a gated compound with a pair of old large bells safely ensconced in a pyramid glass in front of the church. I thought then what was a pagan symbol doing in a Christian place of worship? Masons anyone? Then a flashback hit me. I saw a road signage on the way. If I am right, there is a masonic district in that area.
There was a small park and several trees where we took refuge at high noon. Good thing that it was not sunny nor runny. The weather was just right for old world sightseeing. I loved this church.