Monday, February 18, 2008

Binalonan Church

The original site of the present town of Binalonan was located and founded by Fr. Julian Izaga in the barrio of San Felipe. It was created a civil town independent from Manaoag to which it had formerly belonged in1834. Later, the townsite was moved through the efforts of the same Fr. Izaga to the barrio of Santa Catalina. Here he constructed a church and a convent, made of light materials, much against the will of some people of Manaoag and the Ilocanos of Santa Catalina, Fr. Ramon Fernandez transferred the town in 1938 to the place where it now stands.

The Dominicans created Binalonan as a parish in 1841.The first pastor of the town was Fr. Domingo Llue who was succeeded shorthly by Fr,. Policarpio Illanan, whom the Dominicans appointed when they created the parish. Fr. Illana, a church and a convent. Between the years 1854 and 1855, Fr. Antonio Vinelas gathered the materials to build a bigger church. But it was Fr. Ruperto Alarcon who started the actual construction in 1861. Meanwhile, Fr. Juan Fernandez (1861-1865) built a provisional church. Between the years 1866-1873, Fr. Felix Cantador put up the walls of the old convent. His successor, Fr. P.del campo, continued and almost finished the work. In 1879, this priest built another provisional church which was destroyed by a typhoon on October 19, 1881. Father Silvestre Fernandez had almost completed the construction of the church with three naves which Fr. Alarcon had started when it was ruined by the earthquake of 1882. After the tremors the provisional church which served as the central nave of the walls of the new church were destroyed by American soldiers during the Hispano-American War.

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