San Guillermo Church (Bacolor, Pampanga)

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San Guillermo Church

San Guillermo Church is one of the oldest and largest churches in Pampanga. It is located in Bacolor, Pampanga and was named after the town's patron saint, San Guillermo.


The church was constructed by the Augustinians after it was accepted as a convent on 31 December 1576 along with the town's founding. It was erected on a lot owned by Don Guillermo Manabat. The church's first parish priest, Fr. Diego de Ochoa, OSA, was installed two years after its foundation.

In 1886, Fr. Eugenio Alvarez rebuilt the church after it had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1880. In 1897, it was restored by Fr. Manuel Diaz who added the main retablo, side retablos, and pulpit that were heavily decorated with gold leaves.

After Mt. Pinatubo had erupted on 15 June 1991, lahar flowed from the slopes of the volcano which buried the half church, which is 12 meter high on 3 September 1995. This prompted more than 50,000 Bacolor residents to evacuate to resettlement areas.<ref name="etravelpilipinas"> Pampanga Philippines: San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor</ref> The townspeople excavated the altar and the retablo after the volcanic eruption and relocated it under the dome in order for the wooden retablo to fit.<ref name="etravelpilipinas"> Pampanga Philippines: San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor</ref> Aside from the altar, the centuries-old statues that were housed by the retablo niches were also salvaged from the lahar.

The church depicts the Baroque and Neoclassical style of architecture.

The church was also used as a set location for ABS-CBN's night time drama, May Bukas Pa.


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