St. Mary Magdalene Church (Kawit, Cavite)
St. Mary Magdalene Church in Kawit, Cavite is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was initially built of wood in 1638 and was erected by six Filipino families hailing from the towns of Maragondon and Silang. St. Mary Magdelene is the patroness saint of Kawit.
In 1737, the cornerstones were built. However, they were destroyed in 1831 by a strong typhoon. It was handled by the Secular priests in 1786 and then by the Recolletos in 1894. The present structure was constructed in 1737. Through the concerted efforts of the Kawiteños, the church was renovated in 1990
In 1869, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the president of the first Philippine Republic was baptized in this church. Agunaldo's birth certificate is kept inside a glass cabinet on the left side of the altar A life-size statue of St. Mary Magdalene is stored inside the parish church of Kawit. The present parish priest is Rev. Fr. Romeo O. Ner.
The years have tinted the church's facade with a characteristic patina, prevalent in the brick walls, making the plastered cornices and pilasters that divide the facade stand out to the eye. The facade is otherwise devoid of any flamboyant decorative elements.
The first level is marked off by pilasters into vertical bays. The arched main portal dominates the center of the facade, topped by the seal of the church's patroness represented by the capital letter M. Rectangular windows line the second level.
The pediment features a central niche which enshrines the statue of Saint Mary Magdalene.
A tall bell tower is attached to the left side of the facade and its lower levels are square. These levels have windows on every side. The top level is tapered and octagonal. All of the bell tower's windows have arched windows marked by 'ventanilla' latticework below the sills. The belfry is capped by a metal dome which is in turn topped with a weathervane.
- Galende, Pedro G. Philippine Church Facades. Quezon City: Filipiniana.net, 2007.
- Layug, Benjamin L. A Tourist Guide to Notable Philippine Churches. Quezon City: New Day Publication, 2007.
- AOL members. (Accessed on 11 June 2008).