Visita Iglesia: Balibago Church

I read a certain blog wherein the blogger wrote that she was surprised to see the Chair of Saint Peter Parish Church painted in pink. Her comment made me realize that that church in Santa Rosa, Laguna is the only church that I saw that has the unique color of pink. Many of the of churches that I saw are in the grey colors of adobe (i.e. Manila Cathedral) or painted in white (i.e. Cebu Cathedral).

Pink is an eyesore, specifically if it is used to color structures. Just recall the pink fences and pink footbridges during the reign of Bayani Fernando in MMDA and you will understand how irritating pink is. However, the Chair of Saint Peter Parish Church, used the pink color yet avoided being an eyesore.
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Balibago Church

Chair of Saint Peter Parish Church is located in Barangay Balibago, Santa Rosa City. Hence, the church is more popularly known as Balibago Church. The church is painted in pink to honor Saint Rose of Lima, of whom the City of Santa Rosa was named after. Saint Rose is usually depicted with pink-colored roses in artworks. The saint is one of the patron saint of the Philippines.
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Saint Rose of Lima
Saint Rose of Lima

I usually drop by Balibago Church whenever I visit Santo Rosa City. I also pray to Mama Mary in the little room dedicated for her at the side of the church.

Balibago Church follows the architectural form of the old churches erected during the Spanish Colonial Period. There is a separate bell tower and the altar is at the end of the church. The interior part of Balibago Church is simple. No fancy artworks or gimmicks, unlike some churches following the modernist forms.
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Altar of Balibago Church

I am a fan of old churches and I really love the old architectural forms used in those churches. Compare the old churches like the Danao Church, Binondo Church and Lucban Church with the Church of Gesu inside the Ateneo de Manila University. All I can say at the last church is “ugh!” Is that a church or a conference hall with a white cross used as an accent?

I am glad that the builders of Balibago Church avoided the use of modernist style of architecture. Filipino Catholics appreciate the old-style church than the modernist ones.
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Prayer to Saint Rose of Lima

Admirable Saint Rose, thou wert truly
a sweet flower blooming
on a rugged soil: thou wert indeed a rose
among thorns, bearing with meekness
and patience the stings of envious tongues,
and preserving perfect purity and modesty
amid the alluring blandishments of a deceitful world.

By the merits which thou hast thus gained
with our Divine Lord, obtain for me
the grace to bear afflictions with patience,
to remain pure and modest,
to be meek and humble,
and to be faithful to the inspirations
of the Holy Spirit, so that I may be
ever pleasing and acceptable in the sight of
my dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

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Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting seven churches during Maundy Thursday. For each day, this Holy Week, I will feature one church as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia.

May the Lord deepen our faith in Him this Holy Week! Amen.

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