an ornamented brick was interesting but a church made up of ornamented bricks led me to visit a town North of Isabela province or approximately 475kilometers from Manila. that meant long sleeping hours in the bus.
so we took the plane on our way to Tuguegarao with Palaui as our main destination but i decided to take the bus back to Manila to grab the chance of dropping by one of the beautiful landmarks of the province of Isabela, the church of St. Matias in town of Tumaini.
it is known for its unusual bell tower standing like a tiered wedding cake with hanging ornaments. its paint already diminishing, on its peak plants are growing. built during the time of Fr. Domingo Forto around 1783. declared as a National Historical Landmark by the government in 1989.
when i saw it from afar, this brick church doesn't surpass the many bricks of the church of Liliw in Laguna. but when i looked at its pillars and corners closely, that's when i found those ornamented bricks. truly impressive.
with the main door closed i assumed that i wasn't fortunate enough that time to see its interiors, but instinct says there's a way in somewhere. so i dropped by the church office and people said that the church is closed because it was damaged by typhoon Juan.
i remember that our flight to Tuguegarao was almost canceled as we were there just few days after the typhoon and some areas along the Cagayan river were still heavily damaged. the caretakers allowed me to get inside the church which was still at its devastated state. water was still dripping inside, kneelers moved and part of its roof opened.in a country like the Philippines, one knows that the churches are among those structures that withstood the many natural calamities. often re-structured, refurbished but retains as an abode to Christians whose faith are built on a Rock.
how to get there:
option 1: take a plane to Tuguegarao (one hour) from Manila. since Tumauini is located South of Tuguegarao, you have to take a bus (45minutes - one hour) that goes to Manila or Ilagan (Isabela province capital town). tell the bus driver or collector to drop you at the central town of Tumauini. then take a tricycle ride to the church which is just a short ride from the highway.
option 2: take a bus to Tuguegarao which will pass by the town of Tumauini. tell the bus driver or collector to drop you at the central town of Tumauini. then take a tricycle ride to the church which is just a short ride from the highway.
closest gateway: Tuguegarao, Cagayan or Ilagan, Isabela
church structure: 4.0
church historical value: 4.0
overall escape factor: 4.0
17^ 16" 27' N
121^ 48" 27'