Monday, May 01, 2017

Pampanga : The Lahar-Sunken Church of Bacolor

San Guillermo Parish Church

San Guillermo Parish Church is one of the more popular church in the Philippines, thanks largely to Santino of May Bukas Pa Show. Only half of the original facade of the church can be seen today due to the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 which half-buried the church. 

 After the volcanic eruption, the town’s people painstakingly excavated the altar and the retablo and relocated it under the dome in order for the tall wooden retablo to fit. The retablos niches are filled with centuries- old statues which were saved from destruction of the lahar. The citizens of Bacolor take pride in their rich heritage which is why they carefully excavated the ornately carved main and side altars and restored in its immaculate condition.

The church boasts of having main retablo, side retablos and pulpit that are heavily gilded with gold leaves. The rich decorations of the church depict the Baroque style of architecture. Here are some photos of the heritage church:

Facade of the Sunken Church

Main Altar

View of the Interior

Parish Museum

This Used to be a Window

He Guides


  1. A magnificent church and superb captures for the day, Oman, as always!! Thank you for history and the details!! Fascinating history!! Hope your week is going well and that you have a lovely weekend! Enjoy!!

  2. twenty years later and still buried in lahar. the townspeople have worked hard to save the church.

  3. The time stood still Oman. Churches mirrors the rich history of the town. :)

  4. mukhang happy jan... oldy na pero mukhang kewl pa rin... sana lang marenivae mejo sira ung loob...

  5. Thanks for sharing the photos and the history of this church. Actually, that's my Dad's hometown, Bacolor but I've never seen it after the lahar. One of my things to do when I visit again the Philippines is to go to Bacolor. Most of our relatives already moved to a different city in Pampanga after the lahar.

  6. Yes, I have seen this church featured in Santino. Kudos for preserving this church after the lahar flows.

  7. Lapit lang nito sa amin pero di ko pa napuntahan. Ill visit this Church before I leave for US.

  8. Incredible. What sacrifices people done.