Visita Iglesia 2016: The Ruins of the 400-Year Old Church of Vinzons, Camarines Norte

Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


Holy Week is that season of the year when I will try be featuring seven (7) church for each day of Semana Santa. I started this tradition in 2012 as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia since I cannot do the actual Visita Iglesia during Holy Thursday.

Today is Palm Sunday and let us begin our virtual Visita Iglesia by visiting a very old church in Bicolandia.

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Years ago, the office gave me the opportunity to visit the sleepy town of Vinzons in Camarines Norte. This town is not the usual tourist destination in this part of Bicolandia. Its beach is not as good as the one in Caramoan. It doesn’t have a famous fiesta like the one in Naga City. It has little action unlike the provincial capital of Daet.

But there is one thing that Vinzons that can brag about and that it has the oldest church in Camarines Norte: St. Peter the Apostle Church.

Vinzons Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


Unfortunately, the Church is in ruins during my visit.

The ruins of Vinzons Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


The 400-Year old church was gutted by fire the day after Christmas in 2012. It must have been the saddest Christmas Season for the residents of Vinzons. It was also a sad day for me to not experience the glory of the oldest church in the province.

The original church of Vinzons was established by Reverend Father Juan de Losar in 1611 in the place that was then called as Tacboan. The whole town transferred in 1624 from Tacboan to Indan where the current church of Vinzons stands. Indan is the old name Vinzons.

Since the church is in ruins, I just spent my time checking out the views outside where there is the image of Jesus and Mary, son and mother.

Icons of Jesus and Mary in Vinzons Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


There’s a peculiar symbol at the icons’ pedestal...

Unown symbol in Vinzons Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


...is it Unown? (Pokemon fans will understand this...he he he)

Aside from the Unown symbol, the base also marks the grave of Capt. Roman Pajarillo who died in 1936. I guess that he is the Roman Pajarillo of the Bicol Martyrs of 1896.

At the side of the church stood the image of Saint Peter the Apostle...

Icon of Saint Peter in Vinzons Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


...and Mama Mary.

Icon of Mama Mary in Vizons Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


The church’s facade is made of plain adobe blocks. Near the top is the icon of the Church’s patron, Saint Peter. The bell tower also stand stoutly at the side. I am glad that the facade and the bell tower survived the fire.

Vinzons Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


How I wish that I climbed up Vinzons Church’s bell tower like what I did in Tabaco City in Albay.

The gate of Peter in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


The arch-gate of Vinzons Church is also a sight to behold since it was newly painted that time. The arch-gate features the life and martyrdom of the town’s patron saint.

Life of Saint Peter depicted in Vinzons Church gate in Vinzons, Camarines Norte
Clockwise from upper left: Jesus handing the keys to Peter, The liberation of Peter from Prison, Peter the first pope, The martyrdom of Peter.


Another peculiar symbol that I found is the upside down cross, which is usually associated with satanism.

The symbols of Saint Peter on the arch-gate of Vinzons Church in Vinzons, Camarines Norte


That association was a modern construct. The truth is that the upside-down cross symbolizes Saint Peter because he chose to be crucified upside down. Saint Peter believed that he is not worthy to be crucified in the same way as his Master.

Since the church is in ruins, I didn’t attend any mass. However, that didn’t end the activities of the parish. In fact, every early morning I hear the praying of the Holy Rosary being broadcasted to the whole town from the church. The life of the faithful continues.

Vinzons Church’s Rise from the Ashes


A look to the town of Vinzons, Camarines Norte


I read a good news that the church in Vinzons Camarines Norte, was just restored last year.  The restoration was made possible thru the generosity of parishioners and others living in other towns.

Another good news is that the newly built church followed the 15th Century architectural style of the Vinzons Church. The new church was similarly dedicated to Saint Peter.

Read more about the news of the newly restored church in Vinzons in Choose Philippines.

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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.

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Info about the Roman Pajarillo was obtained from Bicol Mail.
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4 comments:

  1. ohh.. i might just include this on my next trip to calaguas! i didn't know there is this beautiful site to visit in Vinzons. this would be a very good side trip from calaguas.

    thank you for sharing this! great find.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Pepe. I am glad that somebody enjoyed reading this post. I am glad too that I got one person to be interested in visiting Vinzons Church.

      Delete
  2. Vinzons is the town where the famous Calaguas island is found so it's not really some town that has nothing to offer, at least, in terms of tourism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the info. I will try to see Calaguas if I returmn to Vinzons.

      Delete

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