Daraga Church (Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church)


Regarded as one of the most visited old churches in the Philippines, the Daraga Church serves as one of the major churches in the province of Albay.

The Church of Daraga, also known as Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church, was established in 1773 by a group of Franciscan Priests. The church was made mostly of volcanic stones and its massive structure with belfry on one side and convent on the other side was built based on a Baroque-Rococo structure with Spanish influence.

The religious people of Cagsawa transferred here after the eruption of Mayon Volcano which has damaged a large portion of the town and left only a few remnants including the Cagsawa Church Ruins.

In 1854, the Daraga Church was then dedicated to the new patron, the Nuestra Señora De La Porteria. The church was then used by the Japanese as their headquarters and was damaged during the second world war in 1945. It was reconstructed in 1971-1973 and they made sure that the unscathed stones still exists and renovated only the damaged areas.

Daraga Church

Daraga Church

In 2007, this four-century Daraga Church was declared as a National Historical Site and the marker as a National Cultural Treasure can be found at the facade.

Situated on top of a hill above the bustling town, the Daraga Church is one of the many reasons why tourists flock to the province of Albay.

Daraga Church Restoration and Conservation Project

The Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Church at Sta. Maria Hill, Daraga, Albay is a historical edifice which was built in March 1773. The existence of the church is of great importance not only to Daragueños, but also to the devotees of the Nuestra Señora de la Porteria from other places.

To avert the rapid deterioration of the heritage structure, Rev. Fr. Jose Victor E. Lobrigo, Parish Priest of Daraga, organized the Commission of Temporalities in October 2005 with Arch. Ricardo M. Ibay as the over-all chairman of the project entitled “A Conservation Plan for Nuestra Señora de la Porteria”.

The comprehensive restoration was done after 238 years to protect from further deterioration. The restoration work for the front and right wing facade was made in coordination with the National Museum and National Historical Institute, and its fund was sourced from the National Commission for Culture and Arts with counterparts from generous parishioners.

Efforts are being made to preserve this historic church. The white color that you can see is now lime coating (protective covering). This will protect the facade from exposure to the elements and course of further deterioration.

The context of the conservation process in the fundamental principle that any intervention in any part of the structure can be acceptable if it does not adversely affect its cultural significance.

The church extends their sincerest gratitude to everyone for being part of this project. This will surely benefit not only the church, but also the future generations.

National Museum

National Museum

National Museum

On October 29, 2007, the Eastern and Western Facades, Bell Tower and Baptistery of Parish Church of Our Lady of the Gate was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum by virtue of the powers vested in it by Republic Act 4846, as amended by Presidential Decree 374 and Republic Act 8492.

How to get there

Most jeepneys from Legazpi City ply to Daraga via Old Albay District where Penaranda Park, Cathedral of St. Gregory the Great, Legazpi City Hall and Provincial Capitol are located. Daraga Church is about 6 kilometers or 15-minute jeepney ride (P8) from the city center of Legazpi. It is about 3 kilometers or 10-minute jeepney ride (P8) from the Capitol. From the Legazpi Airport it is about 2.5 kilometers but the only public transportation option is a tricycle (P20, fares vary greatly). If you take a jeepney, tell the driver to drop you at Novo Jeans near Jolibee Daraga, the corner going to Sta. Maria Hill where the church is situated.

Facade features

Facade features

Lisa and Sam taking a rest on one side of the church

Lisa and Sam taking a rest on one side of the church

Relics

Relics

Simbahan ng Daraga

Simbahan ng Daraga

White Colored and Natural Facade

White Colored and Natural Facade


This page is last updated on Jul 5, 2011 @ 5:17 pm
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Mark Anthony Maranga Mark Anthony Maranga is a Web Designer based in Cebu, Philippines. He sells Balloons and Party Supplies in Mandaue City, Cebu and explores the Philippines tourist attractions. During his free time he take pictures and write blogs. Check his website design portfolio and know more about him.

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