Ruined Church of San Pablo of Isabela
Perhaps it was the last church we have visited that cool Friday afternoon in Isabela Province of the north, but is one of the most profound. In the town of San Pablo (de Cabagan) lies an old Spanish colonial era church in semi-ruined state.
|The San Pablo Church has a majestic belfry, perhaps the tallest in Cagayan Valley|
|Inside the ruined church in San Pablo, Isabela|
It barely survived World War II as it was said to have been burned or bombed, leaving it in ruins.
Today, San Pablo is a small, and laidback town–quite the opposite of the towns we’ve passed through in Isabela. In the middle of the tranquil poblacion, the church tower dominated San Pablo. It was tall yet a bit slender! Six segments tall that seemingly dwarfs the size of the facade, in glorious baroque style.
|A close detail of the church belfry reveals it is made of adobe with some accents of stars or flowers|
The Church Plaza was unkempt, overgrown by grass, and kept as a pasture land for the cows that graze inside the ancient church walls.
|Ruined church window|
When we came inside, although ruined, about ⅓ of the original church was renovated and still used by the faithful San Pablenyos. The rest was converted into a garden with ruined naves, bricks, arches, and windows–seemingly ghostly like that of ancient Pompeii, with the belfry tower dominating us.
The elements may have tried to tear this down, but it won’t fall. Standing as a witness of the Valley’s history and evolving culture, San Pablo Church ruins is a must see for tourists and travelers visiting the Queen Province of the Valley.