Nuestra Señora de la Porteria or Our Lady of the Gate Parish (commonly known as Daraga Church) was our next stop after the Cagsawa Ruins. Daraga Church is an 18th century baroque church, its facade carved from volcanic stones. This is one of the most visited places in Albay and we were quite lucky that there were very few people when we got there.
It sits on a hill with a beautiful view of the valley and the slopes of Mt. Mayon.
This was Edeena's second visit to Daraga Church and she was shocked to see the Church painted white. It looked far better when it looked old. But its facade is deteriorating. It is currently undergoing restoration.
In an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer (20 April 2011), Angel Bautista, chief of the cultural properties division of the National Museum explained the whitening phenomenon: 'lime coating containing chemical ingredients turned it white while restoring and protecting the structural image.' The Church was built 238 years ago and has been exposed to the elements and that terribly eroded the architectural design. Bautista, in the same article, assured the parishioners that the church will be back in its original form in a year's time.
When Mt. Mayon erupted in 1814 and killed almost 2,000 people, survivors relocated to Daraga.
I like old churches not only because of its architectural design but also because of its long history. And just as I always do when I visit a new church, I said a little prayer for all those I love. I prayed for my country, too.
How to get there:
From Manila: You can fly through Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Zest Air.
Check out their websites for schedule.
Or you can take a ten-hour bus ride --
Cagsawa Travel & Tours Inc. (QC: 02 9131514 . Ermita: 02 5259756)
Philtranco (Legaspi City: 52 8202794)
RSL Transit (QC: 02 9137127)
From Legaspi City: Daraga Church is about 6km or about 15 minutes by tricycle or jeep. The best way to go there is by tricycle, like what we did. If you decide to take a jeep, take a Daraga-bound jeep. Go down at Novo Jeans near Jollibee Daraga. This is the corner going to Sta. Maria Hill where the church stands.
For more information, visit, call, or email them at
Parish Church of Nuestra Senora de la Porteria
Sta. Maria Hill, San Roque
Daraga, Albay 4501
Telefax: 063 52 4834416
or visit their website at
Legaspi: Villa Amada Hotel
Legaspi: Small Talk Cafe
Legaspi: 1st Colonial Grill
The Majestic Mt. Mayon