During the recent Holy Week 2014 celebration, I was able to do some Visita Iglesia (literally “Church Visits”) in the province of Cavite, south of Metropolitan Manila. I was able to visit the Imus Cathedral (Our Lady of the Pillar), Binakayan Church (Our Lady of Fatima Parish), Kawit Church (St. Mary Magdalene Church), Noveleta Church (Holy Cross Parish) and the Rosario Church (Most Holy Rosary Parish). I travelled to these churches by bus and jeepney.
What makes the St. Mary Magdalene Church of Kawit unique is the extensive use of bricks – both in the interior and exterior of the church. The church has 1 bell tower and massive buttresses on the sides of the side (for protection against earthquakes). I visited the church during Holy Week 2014 so most of the statues were covered in velvet curtains.
The marker on the church’s façade reads in Filipino:
Simbahan ng Kawit
Unang pinamahalaan ng mga paring Heswita, 1624. Ipinatayo ang unang simbahang yari sa kahoy, 1638 sa patronato ni Santa Maria Magdalena, sa tulong ng anim na pamilyang Pilipinong taga-Silang at Maragondong. Inilagay ang panulukang bato ng kasalukuyang simbahan, 1737. Winasak ng bagyo ang bubungan, 1831. Inilipat sa pangangasiwa ng mga paring Sekular, 1768 at mga paring Rekoletos, 1849. Sa simbahang ito, bininyagan noong 1869 ang pangulo ng Unang Republika ng Pilipinas, Heneral Emilio Aguinaldo. Inayos sa tulong ng iba’t-ibang samahang pan-relihiyon ng Kawit at ng iba pang mga butihing mamamayan ng Cavite, 1990.
It’s roughly translated as:
Church of Kawit
First managed by Jesuit Priests, 1624. The first church made up of wood was built in 1638 under the patronage of St. Mary Magdalene, with the help of six Filipino families from Silang and Maragondong. The corner stone of the present church was placed in 1737. The roof was destroyed by a typhoon in 1831. The management of the church was transferred to the Secular in 1768 and the Recoletos in 1849. In this church, the President of the First Philippine Republic, General Emilio Aguinaldo, was baptized. The church was restored in 1990 with the help of different religious organizations in Kawit and the good citizens of Cavite.
The feast day of St. Mary Magdalene is on July 22.
Wonderful stained glass adorned the church’s interior.
Interior of the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Kawit, Cavite.
Angels at the interior of the church looks very old.
Even the columns of the church is made up of bricks.
The bell tower of the St. Mary Magdalene Church has an octagonal roof.
A sorbetero (ice cream vendor) selling the popular ice cream in front of the St. Mary Magdalene Church of Kawit, Cavite.
The façade of the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Kawit, Cavite.
The marker of the St. Mary Magdalene Church, Kawit, Cavite. It was placed by the National Historical Institute.
The side entrance of the St. Mary Magdalene Church, Kawit, Cavite.
Monument of a Katipunero located besides the St. Mary Magdalene Church, Kawit, Cavite.
Catholic devotees praying at the Stations of the Cross located on the side of the church.
Buttresses were used on the sides of the church for protection against earthquakes. This is typical feature of Philippine Architecture.