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Albay: Camalig Church

Located in the municipality of Camalig in the province of Albay, Camalig Church is one of the most beautiful historical religious structures in the province of Albay. 

Camalig Church

Camalig Church History

Also called the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Camalig Church was built in 1605 several decades after the first Augustinian missionaries introduced the faith to the people of the province. 

Camalig Church - Camalig, Albay

Camalig Church facade

Another angle of the church facade

Camalig Church belfry

Camalig Church interior

Camalig Church altar

Camalig Church interior as seen from the altar

Check out that antique chandelier and ceiling painting

However, the 1814 Mayon Volcano eruption devastated the town of Cagsawa and totally destroyed the neighboring towns of Cagsawa and Budiao. Luckily the church was spared from the devastation but the townspeople decided to relocate the town to the safety of the mountains. They first settled in the place called Palanog, then to Kitapunte, and then to Baligang. However, a fire razed the new settlement and the townsfolks decided to return and reoccupy the original town they left behind.

Can you guess who he is?

The church was still intact when the townspeople returned so they decided to use it instead of building a new one. After decades of servicing the people, Camalig Church underwent major renovations in 1842. The church facade was rebuilt using solid blocks of volcanic rocks from Mayon Volcano herself. The renovation was finally completed in 1848.

Religious markers and posters are posted inside and outside the church

Church facade

After the renovations, Camalig Church became one of the most beautiful in the province. It is not because of the volcanic rocks or a unique looking facade but because of the generosity of the town's affluent residents. These rich families vied with one another in donating expensive furnishings during the construction of the church. They did not just donate materials for the construction of the church, they also installed bells, marble holy water fonts, and even a crystal chandelier.

A statue of the Virgin Mary

A statue of Saint John the Baptist is found on the facade

The bell tower

Large church door

When I visited Camalig Church during my family's road trip to Southern Luzon, I was amazed to see that time and Mother Nature already took its toll on most of the church. However, I could still see that the beauty that lingers in the church lies not in the material things but in the hearts of the townspeople (both the dead and living).

Camalig Church Admission Fee:

It's FREE to enter and explore Camalig Church and its grounds.

Camalig Church Mass Schedule:

Schedule of masses starting June 1, 2020

Anticipated mass
6:00 AM
8:00 AM
10:00 AM

When attending mass please observe the following : 

1. Foot Bath 
2. Temperature check 
3. Alcohol Wash 
4. Face mask
5. Social Distancing

Why visit Camalig Church?

Camalig Church is one of the historic churches in the province of Albay. This church is a must-include in any pilgrimage or Visita Iglesia in the province.

Getting to Camalig Church:

From Manila, board a bus heading to Legazpi City. Once there, look for a jeepney that plies the Legazpi-Camalig route. tell the driver to drop you near the vicinity of the church. From there you could reach the church on foot.

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