Photographing historical Barasoain church

Photographing Barasoain Church

In time for the 113th Philippine Independence Day this year, I am featuring the iconic and historical Barasoain Church as my photographic and travel subject.  (It would be lovely to discuss the historical aspect, but I decided to delete it.  Please just Google it.)

I have been to Malolos, Bulacan a number of times and I promised myself, I should not miss Barasoain Church, which, historically, was the seat of the first Philippine Constitution. Its historical nature, plus the adjacent museum and church courtyard are, likewise, quite interesting for a hobbyist photographer like me.  In particular, I have an affinity for old and quaint architecture, which makes this place close to my heart.

Photographing Barasoain Church
The first time we went there, I had no time to photograph the interior of the church.  There was an ongoing mass, and, being a Catholic, and as a matter of respect, I think it was inappropriate for me to take photos of the interiors.  So I just knelt down and prayed, instead.

The next time around, the church was closed.  I think they have a specific time to open (something like 3:00 PM or so).  I did not want to lose any chance anymore.  So, while my wards were watching the "Lights and Sound Show" about the Philippine Independence (which I have already watched) I asked around if it was okay to go inside, which led me to one lady directing me to the sacristy.  It was also locked. I knocked on the door (which I later learned, led to the altar) and a sleepy man, obviously roused from a siesta, opened the door for me.

Upon entering, I was quite disappointed because it was dark inside.  Thanks to my cheap but trusty tripod! I just have to take long exposures or make overexposure instead, I thought.  It worked for some, but not for many shots.  Thanks to Lightroom 3.0 which allowed me to tweak on some photos and voila!  I got some relative good photos to share (which were "gathering dust" in my hard disk!).

Photographing inside a dark church at past 1:00 PM was quite challenging. What with the humid, dark, dusty, musty, and seemingly haunted choir loft!?  I was praying to the saints and even to the ghosts not to show up on me, because I was just interested in taking pictures of the church.  Thank heavens, I never captured an apparition!

Another challenge that I encountered is shooting the church facade.  I do not know the reason, but we always get to the place when there are no more blue skies!  Blue skies would have been a postcard-perfect backdrop for this interesting and historical piece of architecture.  I thought that, perhaps, I should be there in the morning, instead, which of course did not happen.  I just hope that I would be able to go to Malolos one of these days--in the morning.

Also, posing a challenge to photographing the church facade are the lamp posts that get in the way of the viewpoint.  Again, I have to find a perfect spot where I can omit from the viewpoint those distracting lamps right in front of the church.  The last time I went there, there was a renovation of the church grounds, and I hope they get to place those lamp posts in more inconspicuous locations.

Most importantly, however, is the fact that I got the chance to capture one of the most important facets of our history as a Filipino people.

Have I captured every nook an cranny of the church?

Not so, but the spirit of Philippine Independence, I did!

Photographing Barasoain Church

From the tablet markers on the church, here are some interesting historical facts:

  • The first old church was constructed by Rev. Francisco Royo, OSA, but was destroyed by fire in 1884
  • Rebuilt by Rev. Juan Giron, OSA, in 1885
  • The seat of the Revolutionary Congress that was convened in from September 1898 to February 1890 under the presidency of Pedro A. Paterno
  • The Malolos Constitution, chiefly drafted by Felipe G. Calderon, was enacted by the Congress
The Original copy of the Malolos Constitution, which looks like a small pamphlet, is in the historical archives of the current House of Representatives in Batasan Complex in Quezon City.  Unfortunately, this is not available for viewing.  A photocopy, however, is available in the Barasoain Museum.  I could not take a photo of the said replica since photographing inside the museum was and is prohibited.

If you have a slow internet connection, please see the rest of the photos of Barasoain Church.


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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.


Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

Nyek bat daw bawal mag-shoot sa museyo?

Haven't been to Barasoain, minsan dalawin ko yan pati na rin yung heritage town jan (meron diba?) pag walang magawa sa bahay hehe

Admin/Author said...

That is the sad part in our Museum, Christian. Ewan ko ba. All museums should change their policies.

adventurousfeet said...

never been to this church. ganda naman ng pictures :)

Admin/Author said...

@Adventurousfeet, lapit lang nito. punta na!

lakwatsera de primera said...

Sa Bulacan nga pala to, sayang dapat pala dumaan kami dito noong nga road trip kami doon.

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

hi Ding! thanks for sharing this, matagal ko na din gusto puntahan. I'm broke so i'm gonna do weekend trips lang muna until the end of ths year and you remind me of one place I long to be. =)

Admin/Author said...

@ lakwatsera and PSB, go na! Baka mas maganda na ang grounds kasi inayos na nila.

Batang Lakwatsero said...

ako nakapag picture sa loob ng museum... sneak shooting is one benefit of using P&S...

been here just a few weeks ago, will post it soon.

Admin/Author said...

@Batang Lakwatsero, oo nga. Hindi ko dala ang P&S ko eh. hehe. Good for you! will wait for your post on that.