Pila Church - Laguna

Located in the municipality of Pila in Laguna, Pila Church is one of the many well preserved Spanish-era churches in the province.

Pila Church

Pila Church History

Also known as San Antonio de Padua Parish Church, like what its name suggests, it is dedicated to St. Anthony de Padua who is also the patron saint of travelers, pregnant women,  poor people, and even animals. Pila Church is also the first Antonine parish church in the Philippines. It was founded in 1578 using the cane plant as the primary material. In 1599, Pila Church was reconstructed using stone. 

Pila Church - Pila, Laguna

Old photo of Pila Church

Shocking as it might seem, it actually took 18 years before the reconstruction of the Pila Church and its rectory was finished.  Due to the persistent flooding caused by Laguna de Bay, the church was transferred stone by stone to its present location in 1800. Only the ruins of the bell tower were left in its original location in Pagalangan (now part of Victoria, Laguna).

Pila Church facade

Pila Church and the Liceo de Pila "school" beside it

Pila Church historical marker

Pila Church interior

Pila Church main altar

One of the tombstones found inside Pila Church

Another view of the beautiful retablo

Like most Spanish-era churches in the province, Pila Church also played a part during the Philippine Revolution. The church and its rectory were often used as headquarters by both Spanish and Filipino forces as they vied for control of the town. When the Americans came and decided to be the next "masters" of the Filipinos they used the belfry of the church as observation posts. Sadly, it was reported that during this occupation of the church, plenty of priceless church artifacts were looted or destroyed. Years later the church would be miraculously spared from bombing during the bombing of the province during the Second World War.

The Liceo de Pila parochial school founded in 1943

The bell tower of Pila Church

Some devotees whip their backs in penance

We got to visit Pila Church during our Laguna-Quezon Visita Iglesia. The church was actually the second church on our list. Prior to our visit, I was actually intrigued when I googled about the church because according to Don Jose Pelaez (an Alcalde Mayor of the town during the Spanish-era) Pila Church was "the most beautiful church in the province of Laguna". I have to admit, this church made me excited for our Visita Iglesia. Upon seeing the old church, I have to say that it was indeed beautiful. However, I can't second Don Pelaez that it really is the most beautiful church in the province" because I haven't seen all the other old churches of Laguna.

Team Nicerio visits Pila Church

My family doing the stations of the cross at Pila Church

Pila Church Entrance Fee

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

Pila Church Mass Schedule

Pila Church Mass Schedule

Why visit Pila Church?

Overall, the Pila Church is a must-visit Spanish colonial era church in the province. Pilgrims and history buffs would surely like the rustic feel not only of the church but also of the town. The town proper of Pila boasts plenty of old houses that you should see.

Getting to Pila Church:

Ride a Green Star bus bound to Sta. Cruz Laguna from either Buendia or Cubao. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Pila. The trip would take about 2-3 hours depending on the traffic conditions.

The Pila Arch

Overall Rating


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