BALANGA CITY: Bataan has seven centuries-old churches that were declared as pilgrimage sites.
All of these churches were constructed under the control and ministration of the Dominicans.
They are located in the towns of Hermosa, Orani, Samal, Abucay, Pilar and Orion and the city of Balanga.
Although all of the churches have seen various renovation works, their common major materials consisting of giant bricks, locally known as batong silyar, remain sturdy. These concrete items are very evident on the walls of the churches.
The seven churches are popular sites for “Visita Iglesia,” a religious activity during the Lenten Season. Busloads of Catholics from different municipalities and provinces come and visit these pilgrimage sites.
The 427 years old Church of Abucay is the oldest in Bataan, with Sto. Domingo de Guzman as the patron saint. The Church of Samal is the second oldest at 419 years, with Saint Catherine of Siena as patron saint.
Orion church (Saint Michael de Arcanghel) is 348 years old, Orani (Virgen Milagrosa del Rosario)—305 years old, Balanga (Saint Joseph)—301 years old, Hermosa (Saint Peter de Varona)—259 years old, and Pilar (Virgen Milagrosa del Pilar) is 214 years old.