The grey Catholic church is the first landmark that I saw when our bus entered the poblacion of Tabaco City. Its massive structure is impressive and I vowed to visit this church. I was surprised when my companion asked me this question: “do you want to visit that church now?” It seems like he knows that visiting churches is part of my itinerary.
I answered “no” to his question. We came to Tabaco City to work and I placed work over my unofficial “sightseeing”. My time to visit this church will come so there is no rush to visit this church.
That time came in the afternoon of our first day in Tabaco City. I left our cheap hotel and proceeded directly to Tabaco Church. The Holy Mass is currently underway so the church is crowded.
I failed to take photos of the interior of Tabaco Church because of the crowd. I just contented myself with taking photos outside of the church. The bell tower caught the attention of my camera.
The bell tower is old and grey like the church beside it. I noticed that the gate blocking the stairs leading to the top of the bell tower is ajar. I decided to climb without any permission.
The interior of Tabaco Church bell tower is dark and damp. Rubbles are everywhere and it seems like the place is in dire need of cleaning. Still, the place is the good place to take photos of Tabaco City. I took a good shot of the park in front of Tabaco Church.
The monument of “Christ the King” is located at the center of the park. Do you notice the angels surrounding Jesus Christ?
I also took this shot:
I am about to take another photo when an old man suddenly appeared inside the bell tower. I thought that he will scold me and throw me out of the bell tower. He didn't.
The old man told me that the kampanero (ringer of the bell) is dead that's why no one cleans the bell tower. He is at the bell tower to fix the wirings in preparation for Semana Santa (Holy Week). I am grateful that he allowed me to continue taking photos.
The old man told me that the Tabaco Church was built through the donations of the parishioners. He told me that his grandmother and other Tabaqueños donated blocks that were used to build the church. The original structure of Tabaco Church was established in 1616 but it was destroyed by the 1814 Mayon Volcano eruption. The current structure was built between 1864 to 1879.
I didn't linger long in Tabaco Church. I left after I made a mini-tour of the bell tower. I hope to see the interior of this church in the future.