Posted by December 20, 2007on
It was sometime last year when I discovered that there exists what many people call as the Sistine Chapel of the Philippines. And what really excites me at that time is that this so called Sistine Chapel of the Philippines is just a few kilometres outside of Metro Manila!
So there I was doing all the planning and all to visit this church but work (the usual suspect!) prevents me to push through my plans. It was only until this week that finally, I was able to sat my foot inside the jewel box of Pampanga.
Many would agree with me that when we judge the beauty of the church what we usually look at is its façade. Am I right?
But the Church of Santiago Apostol in Betis, Guagua Pampanga is different. The church was built by the Agustinian Friars in 1754 using the design very predominant during its time: the Baroque Architecture. The Betis Church’s façade is not as massive or elaborate as Maig-ao or Paoay’s.
The beauty of the Betis Church lies in its interior: the frescoes from the choir loft up to the altar. There are various themes in the ceiling paintings. There’s a portrayal of Jesus Christ praying in Gethsemane.
There’s also a depicting Jesus Christ which looks like he’s preaching people of various origins and race. Notice the photo that there are Africans, Indians, and men wearing neckties listening to Him.
These frescoes were all done by a local artist named Simon Flores, although several restoration works have already been done to preserve this masterpiece.
And because of its unique beauty and historical significance especially to the Pampangueños, the National Museum has inscribed the Betis Church as a National Cultural Treasure.
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