Holy Rosary Parish Church

Built between 1877 to 1896, this impressive stone edifice lies at the physical and spiritual heart of the community.

Holy Rosary Parish was inaugurated by Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda and his wife Dona Rosalia, founders of what is now the City of Angeles. The first edifice was a chapel built of wood and nipa (a local species of palm, frequently used in construction).

The town was properly established in 1829, and named in honor of the Holy Guardian Angels (with, perhaps, a sly nod to the name of Don Angel). However, church authorities deemed that the town's patron would by the Blessed Virgin of the Holy Rosary. In the same year, the Founders donated land to provide income for a parish priest. The first festival in honor of the Blessed Virgin of the Holy Rosary was held in 1830, commemorating a 1646 naval victory of the Spanish over the Dutch off the coast of Luzon, so the festival--still held in October--is called "La Naval" (see video below).

The first proper church building was begun in early 1834, using more substantial materials. In 1877, construction was begun on the earliest stages of the church that stands today. Most sources say it was built by forced labor under a Spanish colonial system ("Polo y Servicio") that required 40 days per year from all Filipino native males. Others insist it was a labor of love and devotion by the local people. Although the church bells were rung for the first time in 1896, some sources say the church as we know it today was not completed until 1909.

With the end of the Spanish occupation in 1898, the church was turned over to native priests. But the American occupation began a year later, and the church was converted to a U.S. Army hospital and barracks. It was returned to church use in 1904.

The church was used briefly as a garage and stable by the Japanese occupation forces in 1942. In 1945, the Japanese shot down an American B-25 bomber and it crashed through the church's roof.

The church stands today as a beacon of religious and social life at the city's main crossroads.

Just the Facts:
  • Address: Santo Rosario St., Angeles City, 2009 Pampanga, Philippines
  • Location: Santo Rosario Street at Santo Entiero Street
  • Phone: (928) 520-7489; (919) 958-9471; (045) 322-5068; (045) 322-9990; (045) 888-6355 (all unverified)
  • Map: Click here; GPS: 15.134289, 120.590265
  • Mass schedule: http://www.mass-schedules.com/catholic-church/40/holy-rosary-parish-pisamban-maragul.html ("last update: 2013-10-07" "Data may not be accurate or updated.")
  • Note that the church is often closed between masses.
More Information:

(Click any image to enlarge)

The Church on a festival day, with Holy
Family Academy to the left

The Church's ornately carved doors

A wedding inside the Church

Church detail

Church detail

Church detail
Church bells clang as Our Lady of Naval is
paraded through the streets of the Heritage District

Created May 22, 2016
Updated June 15, 2016

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