Monday, April 01, 2013

Bisita Iglesia - Coastal Cavite: Naic

Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
P. Poblete Street, Naic, Cavite

The parish church in the municipality of Naic is the largest church in the province of Cavite, and the only one built in the Neo-Gothic style. It was one of the jubilee churches in Cavite during the last Jubilee Year (2000).
It was unfortunate that when we got there the facade was undergoing a facelift, covered in a spiderweb tangle of scaffoldings. But the convent, to the church's right side, and its maginificent courtyard more than made up for our disappointment.  
The convent, or at least the dining and receiving areas, had large capiz windows that were opened to let in the brisk breeze. Looking inside and seeing the waxed hardwood floors and the heavy narra furniture I felt transported to the time of panuelos and karitelas drawn over cobblestone streets.

In this convent was written the  morally instructive book Urbana at Felisa (p. 1864) by the former parish priest Modesto De Castro. The book was celebrated in its time, and affords present readers with a look into nineteenth century societal structures.
The colossal stone blocks making up the outer walls belie the church's age, having been built by the Dominicans in 1796. A patio is lined with meditation benches, and surrounded by bas reliefs of all the mysteries of the holy rosary. All around flowering ornamentals explode in a riot of vibrant colors, growing lush in an arbor shading a walkway. Mayas dive and lunge from the roof, unmindful and unafraid, their ceaseless chattering joining the pigeons and hens with their broods in a rupture of joyful clamor.  
Inside the church beautiful stained glass windows adorning the walls all around let in light, highlighting the elegantly carved wooden altars in the sanctuary and both sides of the transept.  The reason why this is a piligrimage church need not be explained to me - I would make the journey to experience again the serenity I felt inside the church and in the convent patio.

*With a clean public CR at the convent patio.

Historical Significance
Casa Hacienda de Naic (beside the church)
- where Andres Bonifacio was tried and imprisoned
- where Emilio Aguinaldo designed his flag "Sun of Liberty," and when he became the first president this is where he established the four departments of his cabinet.

Pit Stop
Across the covered court are refreshment carts selling Naic's muche, neon orange-hued thick discs of fried rice dough filled with sweetened mashed mung beans (monggo). Nice afternoon crispy treat newly fried, but the dough tends to harden after a few hours.


From the last Bisita Iglesia church - Tanza
About 13 kilometers south-southwest.
By Private Vehicle
- From the gate of the Tanza church turn right onto San Agustin Street to go back to Antero Soriano Highway, passing by Felipe Calderon Elementary School and the Tanza National Comprehensive High School, and an Iglesia ni Cristo church.Turn right at the junction where Mc Donalds is across the street, then go straight along the highway, and onto the Naic-Ternate Road. The church is beside a covered auditorium/basketball court.
- By Public Transportation
Walk to the town plaza in front of the Tanza church and flag a jeep with the signboard Bacao-Binakayan, or a baby bus with the signboard SM Rosario/Cavite City, or tell a tricycle driver to take you to where you can catch a ride to Naic. Get off at Antero Soriano Highway (on the same side as Jollibee/Lots'a Pizza/Puregold, across the road from McDonalds), and flag a bus with the signboard Naic/Ternate/Maragondon. Towards Naic buses turn left at the junction by a Petron gas station. Get off at Petron, then board a tricycle for Naic church.

From Manila
By Private Vehicle
- Naic is 47 kms. out of Manila, traversing Coastal Road (Pasay City & Las Pinas), Cavitex (Manila Cavite Expressway), Centennial Road (EPZA Diversion Road), and the Antero Soriano Highway.
By Public Transportation
- Air-conditioned buses with signboards Naic/Ternate/Maragondon get passengers starting from Plaza Lawton (Liwasang Bonifacio), traversing Taft Avenue, turning to Quirino Avenue, then left onto Roxas Boulevard and then on to the Coastal Road,  Cavitex and the Antero Soriano Highway. Get off at the fork to the Naic poblacion by a Petron gas station, then board a tricycle for the church. 

The Other Churches in the Coastal Cavite Bisita Iglesia
St. Michael the Archangel Church, Bacoor
St. Mary Magdalene Church, Kawit
Holy Cross Church, Noveleta
San Roque Church (Nuestra Senora Soledad de Porta Vaga Shrine), Cavite City
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church, Rosario
Holy Cross Church, Tanza

No comments: