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Cavite: Santa Monica Church Belfry

Located in Magallanes Street in Cavite City in the province of Cavite, the Santa Monica Church Belfry is the sole surviving part of one of the numerous Spanish era churches in Cavite City.

Santa Monica Church which was under the Recollects was built sometime in the early years of the 17th century. It was the time when the port city was at the peak of its economic and religious success. As a matter of fact, there were as many as eight different churches from different religious orders in the city. 
Sorry the bell is long gone!
The belfry with electric wires and untrimmed branches
There also came a time when the devotion to the Virgin Mary was at its highest. The port city was then dubbed "Tierra de Maria Santisima" or Land of the Most Holy Mary. The city would have been a great place to go on a pilgrimage or Visita Iglesia during the Holy Week because of the number of churches and their nearness to each other. However, the Second World War changed all that.
Close up of the belfry
Sadly, none of the eight churches remained intact after the said war. After the clean up, only the belfry of Santa Monica Church and two bastions of Fort San Felipe remained standing. The other structures were reduced to rubble and some were already irreparable and was just torn down. It was truly a sad day for the faithful in Cavite City... However, it would be a very different story years later.
Check out those wires...
During my visit, I was expecting that the belfry would be (at least) protected by a fence due to its fragility and historical worth. However, when I finally found it (after going back and forth looking for it) I got very disappointed due to the lack of protection and care by the local government and the Historical Commission. The belfry was surrounded by low quality housing which literally stood wall to wall with the historic belfry. What's sickening was the fact that the street in front of the belfry was used by men during their happy hours. Aside from that, the lower portion of the belfry wasn't spared by vandals. I was so disgusted with the scene that I just snapped some photos and left.
The real state of the belfry
Overall, the Santa Monica Church belfry is a place that you should add to your visit-once-then-never-again places in the Philippines. I wouldn't suggest visiting it especially at night.

Getting there:

From Manila, particularly in the Coastal Mall terminal, you could ride a Saulog bus that goes directly to Cavite City.

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  1. Hello there, this post is really helpful. I'm planning to go for a town hopping in Cavite tomorrow, (hoping you can read my comment asap), and I'm looking for some infos regarding this belfry ruins, gladly you have it. But may I know where is the exact location? I'm a structural photo enthusiasts, i hope you can help me. Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi there! If you find Samonte Park, Follow the Trece MartireZ Street. You'll find it among the houses in Magallanes St.


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