Sub-Parish Church of Santo Cristo

The Sub-Parish Church of Santo Cristo, also known as "Apo Kristo" Chapel and Visita ng Sto. Cristo, is the oldest "ermita" (chapel) in Baliuag, Bulacan, Philippines. The visita is bounded by the cities of San Fernando and Mabalacat in Pampanga, and Balanga in Bataan.[1] At present, its mother Parish, the Saint Augustine Parish Church of Baliuag, Bulacan (under its first parish priest Juan de Albarrran), has 4 parishes.

Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag
The church in 2015
Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag is located in Bulacan
Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag
Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag
Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag is located in Luzon
Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag
Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag
Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag is located in Philippines
Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag
Sub-Parish of Santo Cristo de Baliuag
14°57′19″N 120°53′38″E / 14.95528°N 120.89389°E / 14.95528; 120.89389
LocationSto. Cristo, Baliuag, Bulacan
DenominationRoman Catholic
StatusSub-Parish Church, Saint Augustine Parish, Baliwag
Functional statusactive
Completed1981 (Inauguration)
Materialssteel, mixed sand, gravel & cement

The St. Augustine Church of Baliuag and the Sub-Parish Church of Santo Cristo both belong to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Malolos (which was created on November 25, 1961, and erected on March 11, 1962, and comprises the civil province of Bulacan and the City of Valenzuela, under the Patronage of the Immaculate Conception, Feast day of December 8). The Bisita ng Santo Kristo is under Saint Augustine Parish Church jurisdiction.

History edit

Church interior in 2012

During the Spanish colonization period of the 1880s, the settlement, baryo of Baliuag, had no name until it was called "Santo Cristo." The Feast Day was celebrated annually on May 3, led by a "President" of the Fiesta. Brother Juan was the first, while Kabisera Andres Ramos was the caretaker of the Statue or Holy Image, according to writer Alejandro Fernando. They chose the "Hubad" (naked) Kristo as their Patron due to poverty. Ever since, immigrants and pilgrims from many provinces have visited the miraculous statue of the Chapel on Fridays and Sundays. More than 12 local and visitor's faith healers conducted regular Friday spiritual healing there. Nipa leaves and bamboo were used to build the small Kapilya.

During the American regime, Jeremiah James Harty [(November 5, 1853—October 29, 1927, an American prelate of the Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines from 1903 to 1916) who later served as Archbishop of Omaha from 1916 to 1927)] filed a suit in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, claiming title of the Santo Cristo, Baliuag, Bulacan Parish Church property on 1909. The prelate included in the civil case, the properties where the San Jose and Makinabang Parish Churches were built upon.

The defendants filed an answer by way of opposition thereto. The residents alleging, inter alia, that the subject real estate is owned by them by virtue of a Deed of Donation signed by Don Julian Buyson. This Spanish Mestizo was a philanthropist who bestowed upon the natives of the Santo Cristo neighborhood the lot where an "ermita" or Bisita was built for religious and liturgical needs of the townsfolk, per a notarial Document dated August 1, 1881. The condition specified in the public document that the chapel and school built upon the lot must be used by and for the neighborhood residents for devotional purposes.

Further, the Deed required the administration of the property by a) Hermano Mayor (Elder), b) Mayor domo (Steward) and c) Secretaryo (Secretary). Willie Buyson Villarama, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's former chief of staff, from Bacolor, Pampanga stated that "his great-great-great grandfather is Don Julian Buyson, who served as a gobernadorcillo, xxx".[2]

The CFI of Malolos Auxiliary Judge Buenaventura Reyes dismissed the Archbishop's complaint for recovery of possession and title. Later, in 1930, the Bulacan Court ordered the Registry of Property to issue Original Certificates of Titles to the 3 donated properties in the names of the 3 emitas or kapilyas: Ermita de Santo Cristo, Ermita de San Jose Parish Churches of Santo Cristo, Makinabang and Concepcion, Baliuag, Bulacan.

Later, the people acquired the adjacent lot where they built the grandstand and 4 comfort rooms. On its 100th anniversary on May 3, 1981, the Santo Cristo Parish Church was inaugurated under the leadership of Mauricio Pascual.

Since 1988, Santo Cristo Church is presently under the care and administration of the Sub-Parish Pastoral Council of Barangay Santo Cristo, Baliuag, Bulacan.

Past presidents of Pastoral Council Sub-Parish of Sto. Cristo were: Donato A. Pascual 1988–1990; Engr. Precioso Donato F. Punzalan 1990–1992; Arsenio Mangalile 1992–1994; Herminio S. Toribio 1994–1998; Boy Pascual and Belen Marcelo. The present President is Amelia Santos.

Image gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sto. Cristo Chapel - Baliuag". Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  2. ^ "Inquirer.Net". Retrieved 2015-08-25.

Books edit

  • Baliwag: Then and Now, by Roland E. Villacorte, Philippine Graphic Arts, Inc., Caloocan, 1970, 1985 * 2001 editions. pp. 436–439 & 351-3 (1985 edition).

Sources edit

External links edit