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Orani Church - Bataan

Located in the town of Orani in the province of Bataan, Orani Church is a Roman Catholic Church built during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines.

Also known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish Church and Nuestra Senora del Rosario Parish Church, Orani Church was said to be built sometime in the 1600s. The first structure was constructed using nipa leaves and bamboo. It is probably comparable to an open-sided tent than the church structures we have now.   
Church facade and the Museo ng Mahal na Birhen Maria
Church entrance arch
Check out the church door design

The first church was under the Parish of Samal until formally becoming an independent parish on April 21, 1714. It was then reconstructed using adobe and stone as well as sturdier roofing material. However, like everything else, the church deteriorated through time. Decades after its reconstruction, the
 Dominican friars had the church and convent repaired in 1792 and again in 1836. Sadly, both were badly damaged by the earthquake of 1852. It didn't end there though, both structures were gutted down by a big fire on March 27, 1870. 
Church interior
Church altar

The locals didn't give up on their church though. Orani Church was rebuilt and improved fom 1868 to 1891 under the supervision of Rev. Bartolome Alvarez del Manzano. Since then the church would be a silent witness to several historical events that shaped up not only Bataan but also the country. Events like the Philippine Revolution all the way to the Japanese Occupation of the town in World War 2 were part of the history of the church.

Inside the Museo ng Mahal na Birheng Maria

The image of the Virgin Mary inside the museum
Beautifully decorated Virgin Mary clothing can be seen inside the museum

The architectural design of Orani Church is said to be a mixture of old and new architecture. Although it still maintains the same old facade design, its interior had already undergone a lot of reconstruction and redesigning leaving only a few parts of the old church behind. 
The old bell and the historical marker of the church
The marker of the historic bell of Orani

The church is also known for the 1806 Heritage bell that is installed in front of the church in June 7, 1998. Aside from that, the church is also known for the miraculous Virgen Milagrosa which is visited by a lot of pilgrims throughout the year. 

I got to visit Orani Church during our Bataan-Tarlac Visita Iglesia Trip. It was the second church in the province of Bataan that we visited that day. Aside from the beautiful interior, I particularly liked its Museo ng Mahal na Birheng Maria, where one can see numerous relics, vestments and crowns of the Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. It is in itself probably another go to place in the town. 

Getting to Orani Church:

From Manila, board a Bataan Transit bus in Avenida or Genesis bus line in Pasay. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Orani town proper. From there, you can walk to Orani Church. If unsure then board one of the numerous tricycles in town to bring you to the church.


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