"So, it could not be considered as an antique structure since in the Philippines, we have numerous churches dating back as old as the 15th to 16th century but to note, it has charming architecture."

Entering a spacious lot with greenery all around, the massive structure is truly a masterpiece. However, you'll know at first glance that this is not antique. I am referring to the church called Peñafrancia Basilica Minore, named after Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Naga City, Camarines Sur of the Bicol Region in the Philippines. Seeing the structure for the first time will give you a feeling of awe because of the volume of this landmark that is inviting. It won't disappoint you but for people looking for heritage treasures, this Basilica might not be a good candidate since it has been completed in 1981.


Maps Courtesy of Wikipedia
Location in Red Highlight
The concept of the building was created in 1960 by Archbishop Pedro P. Santos.

The construction of the church began in 1976 but delayed due to financial problems. It was completed on 1981. So, it could not be considered as an antique structure since in the Philippines, we have numerous churches dating back as old as the 15th to 16th century but to note, it has charming architecture.


For this relatively modern church, a symbol of a modern religiosity of the Nagueños and Bicolanos as a whole it is noteworthy that there are some innovations with the architecture. The towering bell tower is eye-catchy and it gives a majestic outlook to the church. The big arched windows are also notable.

Barely 10 years after the completion of the church, natural elements and construction defects have contributed to the deterioration of the church building even warranting the need to apply anti-termite chemicals.


The church had leaking roofs, damaged ceilings, windows destroyed and pests keep damaging the church. Total repairs started in 1991 to 1994. The towering church belfry remained untouched.

In front of the church is a wide lobby and a park where one can spend leisure time inside a the premises of religious place. So, the feeling of security and safety can be reassured.

At the other side of the church is also a small park where a sculpture of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is situated. At the other side of the church are stalls that sell religious arts and products such as the Rosary, candles and sculpted images. If you want to have a break, there is also a coffee shop at that side.

Naga being an old Spanish settlement has already gained some old churches, but as the religious community demands, why not establish a modern one? This basilica has done it so.
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EDMAR GUQUIB y DEL CASTILLO

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano-Cordilleran. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For collaboration or partnership, email your business proposal at admin@edmaration.com.

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