The Church of Pakil was built in 1732 and was finished by
1767. The patron saint of the town is St. Peter of Alcantara, a franciscan monk. The
church which took 35 years to build is one of the jubilee churches in the Philippines. The
church has 3 altars, the main altar and two at the sides infront. The altars contain
images of different saints but I don't know all the name of the saints there. Some of the
images found at the main altar is the Blessed Virgin of Turumba, the patron saint of Pakil
and St. Micheal the Archangel.
A lot of things can be seen inside the church , one of these is a life
size image of Christ on the cross made from wood. Every Holy Week this image of Christ is
lowered and is placed inside the Santo Entierro because the arms are movable.
Some of the legends about this
image said that a stranger presented himself to make the image. They said that he locked
himself inside a room and after some time the room was silent and when they opened it they
found the image finished but they coudn't find the sculptor*.
Ahunan sa Ping-As
If you would notice, the mountain beside the town has a big white cross
at the top. Every year during the last Saturday of May, people from the town hike to the
top of the mountain and attend mass there. They don't do it just for fun though, you see
during the late 17th century a Franciscan priest by the name of P. Francisco
Solier went up the mountain every year carrying a wooden cross on his
shoulders to serve as his penitence. After he died the people erected a wooden cross at
the top of the mountain to remember the sacrifices the priest did.
So how did they came up with
the name "Ping- As"? The word Ping-As originated from the Tagalog
word "pingasan" which means "to get a piece
of" when it is translated in English. And everytime the people reached the cross the
would get a piece of the wood which they would carry back to their respective homes.
Today the cross is made of concrete, but there is a
wooden cross that is blessed after the mass which the people take a piece of
to bring to their homes.and they are currently
cementing the trail up the mountain. There is a small chapel behind the cross where the mass is
I've been hiking up the mountain since 10 years old and not that easy! Its very
exhausting but when reach the top you'll be exhilarated. Why? Because the air is cool and
the view is spectacular! You can see the whole Laguna de Bay and the nearby towns. After
going down the mountain , its time to take a swim at the Turumba swimming pool!
Turumba Swimming Pool
If you're planning to visit Pakil, be sure to
pack some extra clothes! Your trip to Pakil will never be
complete without taking a dip in the swimming pool. The water that runs through the pool
comes from the mountain top. During the summer lots of people troop to the pool so they
could cool off from the summer heat. the water is so clear that you could see the bottom
of the pool! The people who visit the pool bring home water from the spring which they
drink and some even use the water as cure for their ailment. Visitors are charged a
minimal entrance fee to help maintain the pool, but its worth it!
Plaza Rizal & Plaza Adonay
The stage that is used for social gatherings and
for the comedia. The house with the flag if you could notice it, is Dan Dalena's house.
year before every turumba, a comedia is held in Plaza Adonay located infront of the
church. This is a play that the people of Pakil do to entertain the visitors from
other provinces that would join the Turumba the next day. The plaza also serves as the
place for other activites such as social gatherings.
Dan Dalena's House
Dan Dalena is one of the best artist in the Philippines. Inside
his house you could see his works and also the works of his children. Students from
different schools in Manila visit his house to see his famous works of art.
Monte Real Terraces
Monte Real Terraces is about a 15-20 minute walk from the
church. It is built at the side of the mountain where you could see the Bay. You could
stay overnight in one oftheir fine cottages and take a dip in their swimming pools. Their
prices are very reasonable and affordable.
E & R
the edge of the town, you will find E&R Handicrafts. It is here where
soft wood from the lanite, anlang and malapapaya trees, which are
mere weeds in the forest are shaped, whittled and carved into miniture
decor items. As you roam around the makeshift showroom, an artisan begins
to whittle on a stick of white wood. after 20 minutes or so he would have
formed a delicate swan, a feathery bird or an angel.
* I read it from the
book.. Ang mga Santo sa Mahal na Araw sa Pakil,Laguna by Vito,Iņigo Delia
Rarela-Barcelona and Ma. Cynthia Rarela Macabasco