Minalin church newest National Cultural Treasure

The beautiful and interesting facade of Minalin Church in Pampanga, declared as National Cultural Treasure, 27 October 2011

Baroque retablo mayor. CLICK TO ENLARGE

The 27th of October 2011, was an auspicious moment for the town of Minalin, Pampanga and of heritage advocates. Despite typhoon Mina lashing out the northern Philippines, the heavy rains pouring down this town that Saturday afternoon failed to dampen the festive spirits of the Minalenos and their visitors.

Capilla posa, a rare feature in Philippine churches is intact and complete in Minalin. CLICK TO ENLARGE

The Parish Church of Minalin, under the advocacy of St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine, and the various liturgical objects in its collection is the newest National Cultural Treasure (NCT) to be declared by the National Museum (Museum Declaration No. 9-2011, please see download link below).

This is an important milestone for heritage advocates and an achievement by the local Commission on Cultural Heritage, Restoration and Conservation (CCHRC) chaired by Architect Owen Francis Canlas.

A National Cultural Treasure is defined as:

…structures that represent built heritage, and which possess outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value that is significant and important to the country and the nation.

Minalin Church is not only an architecturally interesting structure but it has outstanding features that make it unique among other Spanish colonial era churches not only in Pampanga but also in the country. It is also the second NCT in the province after Betis Church in the municipality of Guagua.

The fresco located at the kumbento dated 1619 showing a map of the town. CLICK TO ENLARGE

NCT declaration plaque

Fr. Pedro Galende, OSA, in his landmark book Angels in Stone describes the facade of the church as retablo like, is striking in its form and adornment. In and around this building and the kumbento are native motifs and carvings of local flora and fauna.

Inside, the baroque retablo mayor at the presbytery is a sight to behold. But one of the most treasured piece in the church complex is located at the second floor of the kumbento, just near the grand staircase. Here, a fresco on the wall shows a map of the town and a painted image of a woman has a date written on it: Ano 1619.

The church is also the only one of its kind with intact capilla posas at the four corners of its atrium. This feature is common in Latin America and in the Philippines, only three churches have this one: Minalin, Navalas in Guimaras (the chapels are located two in front and two at the back of the church) and Argao in Cebu, where, unfortunately, only one is original and renovated while the rest were replaced with modern ones.

Download Now: Minalin Church NCT Declaration (703)

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One Comment

  1. This is great tidings! The more recognition, the better for our old churches as it not only raise awareness but also adds legal protection.

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