Immaculate Conception Parish Church (Balayan)

The Parish Church of Immaculate Conception, (Spanish: Iglesia Parroquial de la Inmaculada Concepción) also known as Balayan Church, is a Parish Church in the town of Balayan, Batangas in the Philippines, within the Archdiocese of Lipa. The church is listed as a National Cultural Treasure as its construction was supervised by Filipino Seculars during the Spanish Colonial Period.[1]

Balayan Church
Immaculate Conception Parish Church
Iglesia Parroquial de la Inmaculada Concepción
Balayan Church Facade.JPG
Facade of the Immaculate Conception Parish Church of Balayan, Batangas
Balayan Church is located in Philippines
Balayan Church
Balayan Church
Location in the Philippines
13°56′17″N 120°43′43″E / 13.937986°N 120.728549°E / 13.937986; 120.728549
LocationPlaza Mabini Street, Balayan, Batangas [4212]]
DenominationRoman Catholic
StatusParish church
DedicationImmaculate Conception
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationNational Cultural Treasure
Architectural typeChurch building
MaterialsCoral, wood, and bricks

Church historyEdit

In 1575 the Augustinians made Balayan a visita of Bombon, now Taal. Balayan originally comprised what are now the independent towns and parishes of Nasugbu, Lian, Calatagan, Tuy, and Calaca. In 1578, however, this territory was turned over to the Franciscans who in turn passed Balayan to the Jesuits in 1591.[2] In 1591, the church was constructed and blessed by. Fr. Pedro Chirino, S.J.[3]

In 1795, a new stone church was blessed and dedicated in honor of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of Balayan. In 1876 the parish was turned over to the Augustinian Recollects, who remained until the outbreak of the Revolution.[2]

Nave of Balayan Church

In 1857, a new convent of strong materials was finished. The old convent, on the other side of the patio was demolished, its tiles used for the ermita for the cemetery which was being constructed.[2]

In 1870, the second and third levels of the belfry, as well as the upper level of the convent had to be demolished due to damages cause by earthquakes. A temporary chapel was built while the big church underwent repairs. In 1875, the archbishop authorized the purchase of a retablo mayor, pulpit, acheros, and other decorations for the church. Planks of narra were used for the floor of the nave, while blue and white tiles were fitted to the main altar.[2] An extension was added behind the church to serve as an antesacristy in 1878. The decorative iron grilles were put around the atrium in 1887. The camapanario was repaired in 1892 with bricks instead of stones used for the upper second and third stories.[2]

Construction of the cemetery on the hill was commenced in 1857. The chapel and rows of niches were built in 1887. Erosion in 1896 necessitated the further fortification of the walls on the sides of the hill.[2]

After the revolution the Recollects were replaced by Filipino Seculars who were later driven out by the American troops in 1900 and stayed in the church for at least a year.[citation needed]

The Old CotaEdit

Balayan church complex originally had stone fortifications as a measure against pirates who have sacked the town at least three times. After a raid in 1754, a stone cota or fort was erected with the church and convent inside. To guard the bay, a small fortification was also constructed on top of a hill on the other end of the town.[2] This fortified church survived well in the nineteenth century; the walls of the cota were taken down probably about the same time as those of Bauan and Batangas, in the 1840s.[2]


  1. ^ "The Restoration of 26 Philippine Churches". National Commission for Culture and the Arts (Philippines). 2011. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Villegas, Ramon (2002). "Lumang Simbahan Ancestral Churches of Batangas". Batangas - Forged in Fire. Ayala Foundation.
  3. ^ "History". Balayan Local Government Website. Retrieved May 26, 2014.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Immaculate Conception Parish Church of Balayan at Wikimedia Commons