In town to join the fiesta activities but want to learn more about Bicol’s rich cultural heritage? Here are some worthwhile places to visit to soak up on the region’s past:
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. The largest church in Bicol, it was constructed in 1816 to 1831. For many years, the Cathedral was the seat of the Archdiocese of Caceres which encompassed the six Bicol provinces.
Lagonoy Church. Found in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur, the imposing ruins of the Lagonoy belfry is all that is left of the original stone church build in 1763. Abandoned after a great flood, the church was almost totally destroyed in 1811 by an earthquake. The “kampanario” is now covered with thick vines and guarded by a large snake, the “irago” (boa).
Quipayo Church. Found in Calabanga, Camarines Sur, this ancient church was established by the Franciscan missionaries in 1578. The existing parishes of Libmanan, Cala-banga, Bombon and Siruma were originally under its jurisdication.
Bombon Parish. Famous for its leaning bell tower, this old church was first constructed by Fray dela Torre and completed by Rev. Fr. Jose Ribaya. The bell tower, which is being likened the tower of Pisa in Italy, was said to have almost been destroyed by the parishioners. The parish priest however insisted to continue the completion of the tower despite his parishioners’ protests.
Museo Conciliar del Seminario de Nueva Caceres. Visit this museum to get a glimpse of the impressive ecclesiastical education of the Bicolonas. Located in the central pavilion of the historical Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, the museum showcases a memorabilia of prominent Bicolano bishops, old scholastic records, and archival materials. Contact: Ms. Fabiana Josefina Arejola, Museum Curator (54) 473-8297
University of Nueva Caceres Museum. Housing historical artifacts of ancient Bicol’s people and culture, this museum is recognized by the International Association of Museums. Located inside the University of Nueva Caceres campus, it is one of the oldest museums outside Metro Manila. Contact: Mr. Clodualdo Ceron, Museum Curator (54) 811-6100 local 52.
Our Lady of Peñafrancia Museum. The highlight of this museum is the Peñafrancia Diorama, a tri-dimensional presentation of the Bicolano’s Pilgrimage of Faith, guided and animated by our intimate devotion to Ina, Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Contact: Ms. Salvacion Ramos or call telephone no. (54) 811-5800