Friday, January 10, 2014

The Treasure that is Tumauini

Tumauini is certainly one of the reasons why I want to visit the province of Isabela. This town is made famous by its century-old church which the town and its people has successfully preserved up to this day. 

After visiting the capital, Ilagan City, I continued my Isabela town hopping to Tumauini, the only town during that tour that I actually had a specific expectation of. One just have to take a PUV - the main mean of transportation in the province I suppose, to get to Tumauini from Ilagan shelling not more than 25 pesos for fare.

St. Matthias Church. Tumauini. Isabela.

Seeing the huge church personally for the first time was a satisfying experience as I felt that I was somehow transported back to time. Tumauini has all the mark of the olden time starting from the materials used in building it, its design and architecture, and the beautiful and humongous bell tower beside it. 

This church has seen many parts of history as what is stated in the marker in front of the church, written in both English and Filipino:

Tumauini Church Marker. Isabela.
It is interesting to note that at one part of history, Tumauini was made the capital of the whole province of Isabela! That maybe a short lived one though.

The church is characterized by its red brick walls with many intricate carvings making it more beautiful. Even the large buttresses of the church as well as the interior walls and altar are made of the same materials. 

Tumauini Church Buttresses. Isabela.
Tumauini Church Interior, Priest's view. Isabela.
One thing that sets this church apart from other century old churches of the Philippines is its cylindrical bell tower, which were made to look like a large wedding cake, complete with its tiered design, white paint and finished with some ribbon-like designs. This is actually the only one of its kind in the whole country.

Statue of St. Matthias outside Tumauini Church. Isabela.
Tumauini Church is one of the Philippine Colonial Churches declared by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure on July 13, 2001, a status it definitely deserves. In addition to that, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts had identified the church as one of the 26 Spanish Colonial Era churches that needs the agency's support for conservation, thus ensuring the church's survival for as long as it can.


Tumauini Municipal Hall. Isabela.
Just some steps away from the church can be found a stark opposite of the old church - the town's hall which is obviously of modern design. I can't help but interpret it as a  reminder that old and new can definitely exist side by side, only if the people of the present will continue giving importance to its treasured past while welcoming the future with open arms.


This is part of my Isabela-Cagayan tour last August 20-21, 2012. For more on Isabela, you may also visit:

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About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)


  1. Ganda ng mga kuha ng San Josenyong Gala,,the writer of this post is truly a filipino hearted,di katulad ng ibang bloggers dyan,mga ugaling ispanyol,ugaling plastik at mayayabang na nagpapanggap Pilipino..
    Mabuhay ka San Josenyong Gala

    1. Maraming salamat po sa inyong pagbisita at pagpuri G. Pems. Atin pang libutin ang Pinas! ;)