For those who don’t know about the origins of my quest for travel, a visit to Obando Church would wonder why I even bothered. Those who are aware would understand my desire to complete a visit to every location mentioned in the song “Tara na Biyahe Tayo!” Some where in the song is an obscure reference to the dancing in Obando.
On this day, I asked Chris Aquino to join me on a roadtrip to visit the Obando Church in Bulacan.
View Obando Church in a larger map
The Obando Church, or the San Pascual de Baylon Parish Church, is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Built in 1754 by Spanish Franciscan missionaries, it was destroyed in World War II in 1945 and later rebuilt.
On May 17-19, the church hosts the celebration of the Obando Ferility Rites, mentioned by Jose Rizal in his 1887 novel, Noli Me Tangere. The feast includes dancing in the streets by devotees. The celebration is meant to help couples seeking to get pregnant to become “more fertile.”
Considering it is supposed to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, sadly, it does not not look like it. It is painted over and looks like a “modern” church from the outside. Looking around, you can see the adobe walls of the older structure on the sides of the church.
As it was around noon time on a Thursday. The church was closed. I didn’t pursue looking for a means to enter the church. So Chris and I stayed outside.
From here we were off to seek for food.