Memories of Batangas City Cathedral

Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Batangas City, Batangas
Built-in 1851- photo was taken in 2000.
As a child, growing up in Batangas, Batangas; it was not yet a city in the l950's, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, was an integral part of my childhood memories, just as it was for my ancestors from the time it was built. I was baptized in 1948. I am no longer a churchgoer, but the memories of this church seem to form a base in my core, and the essence is instilled within my soul.

I was baptized beyond the
doors in the back of the narrow,
winding staircase in 1948.

Every time I entered the cathedral I felt peaceful. I loved beautiful paintings, tall ceiling, and statues of all saints. I felt a reverence and desire to always keep the images alive within me. When I was about 8 years old, I even had dreams of becoming a nun. I watched every saint or biblical movie I could. I always preferred to go into the church when there was no mass. I liked being alone on the pews, imbibing the atmosphere with all my heart and letting it wash over my entire being.

Cathedral bell
I did a lot of daydreaming as
a child up in the bell tower.

Baptismal fount at catheral
I was baptized in this.

I think one of the bells was cast in the 1500s, but my memory isn't that great anymore and I can't find a reference at the moment.

There was a lodge or balcony at the back of the church, with a narrow, winding staircase. I loved the view of the church from there. There was a small door which led to the steeple and, bell tower, then up another set of stairs. It was one of my favorite places to go when I didn't want to be found. I could have stayed up there forever, with its views of the city and the Calumpang River. I felt like Rapunzel or Shakespeare's Juliet from up there. I did a lot of daydreaming up there.

Saint Bridgets School
This was my school, St. Bridget's College run by
nuns of the Good Shepard Convent. Establish in
My school was attached to the basilica, and it had a secret door which was at the back of the life-sized statue of the crucified Jesus Christ, which led directly into the church. And many of my aunts and uncles attended this same school from the 1920s.


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