St. Peter of Alcantara Parish (Pakil)


Pakil Church

After 35 years of construction, the St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church in Pakil, Laguna was finished in 1767. The church is popularly known as the home of the Nuestra SeƱora de los Dolores or the Virgen de Turumba , which was enshrined here in 1788. The Feast of Turumba is said to be the longest festival in the Philippines as it lasts for seven months - the first celebration is held a week before Holy Week and then every ninth of the month for seven months. The culmination of the feast is during the month of September (this year, it falls on September 12, 2010).

Pakil Church

Pakil Church is reminiscent of Franciscan friars' design/plans. The church facade is adorned with shields, crosses, and angels.

Main altar of Pakil Church

Inside Pakil Church, 14 icons are depicted in the main altar, where each icon is enclosed in an intricately carved niche. An original painting by 19th century painter Jose Dans (a native of Paete, Laguna) is also displayed in the church. His painting, entitled "Judicum Finale," depicts heaven, purgatory, and hell.

Inside Pakil Church

Pakil Church has survived many disasters and calamities through the years. The church survivied the great fire in 1851 that destryoyed much of the town. After this event where the image of the Virgin survived, devotion to her greatly increased. Pakil Church also survived the earthquake in 1881 and 1937. It was damaged during World War II but survived the war.

Trivia: "The word tarumba is from the Filipino phrase "natumba sa laki ng tuwa" or tremble in great joy. The first Tarumba in Our Lady's Honor was held on September 15, 1788." (Source: Wikipedia)

Another interpretation: "The word 'Turumba' has no real Filipino or Spanish meaning. But according to legend, Turumba was the sound of drumbeats during the procession." (Source: laguna.gov.ph)