Pampanga: St. James the Apostle Church (Betis Church)
Check my trusty yellow notebook on my Pampanga trip, number one in my list is Betis Church. St. James the Apostle is the "Sistine Chapel of the Philippines." Known also as the Betis Church, the name came from the tree that stands in the location of the church, and the timber of the tree was used in the construction of its bellfry.
Betis Church is in my bucket list for one reason, I want to see and experience myself the beauty of its ceiling making it comparable to the Sistine Chapel.
Built for about a century, from 1960-1970, according to its history, it took that long because the number of inhabitants whom voluntary labor was seccred were small.
As we enter the side door of the church, I do not know if they still open the front door, we read the history and how and who made the ornate mural in the ceiling of the church. Evident also in the ornately carved wooden door of the church is the artisinal skills of people of Betis, which they are also known for, wood carving.
We went to the church twice that day, first was before going to Sandbox in Porac, but we were not able to enter because the main church was closed. Yes, churches must always be open, but I agree to the rules of the church because of the history of thieves taking religious images of great importance and value. It's a sad reality this day, the place where we are free to enter and express our faith needs to be secured at all times.
Travel Date: February 28, 2016