Monday, February 18, 2008

Calasiao Church

Calasiao, the second town in Pangasinan founded by the Dominicans, was established as a vicariate by the Dominican Provincial Chapter of 1588 under the patronage of St. Dominic. It was originally known as Gabon, the name of a barrio adjacent to the actual poblacion. The missionaries however, encountered so much hostilities of Gabon that they decided to transfer to Calasiao. Calasiao is a corruption of “Calasian” which means “A place of lightnings”. The Provincial Chapter of 1596 placed the parish under the patronage of St. Paul but from the year 1621, it became the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul. The first parish priest of this town was Fr. Jaun Maldonado de San Pedro Martir.

In the uprising of 1763, the Alcalde Mayor and other Spaniards besieged by the rebels of Binalatongan, took refuge in the church tower of this town as the convent and the church were burning. The religious saved themselves by escaping with the help of the insurgents who respected them. The church and the convent were subsequently rebuilt but in 1894 they turned to be pasture grounds of animals. Through the diligence of Fr. Ramon Dumlau and the cooperation of his parishioners, these buildings were renovated with marked improvements. The convent and the church are made of bricks. The 3-named church is one hundred yards long 30 yards wide. Its brick tower was made famous for having served as a shelter for the Spaniards during the English invasion.

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