Information about Betis Church
Photo by Betis Heritage Church - Santiago Apostol Parish
The St. James the Apostle Parish Church, more popularly known as Betis Church, is a Baroque-inspired church in Guagua, Pampanga. It has also been named a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum and National Commission for Culture and Arts.
Headed by Father Jose de la Cruz, the Baroque-inspired church was first built in 1660. Its preliminary structure was made of light materials composed of stucco and wood. It was rebuilt using concrete materials in 1770 when a fire broke out.
The church's rectory was burned together with all the documents about baptism and historical catalogs in 1908. Beautification of the church's interiors was done in 1939 by its last Spanish priest, Father Santiago Blanco.
Betis church has been dubbed the "Sistine Chapel of the Philippines" because of its grandeur design. Macario Ligon painted the murals on the ceiling with frescoes and trompe l'oeil artwork, which Victor Ramos in the 1970s later restored. The main altar boasts elaborate designs, with statues at the retablo and angels on the columns.
Best time to visit
To get a better look at the church's grand ceiling, it's best to drop by in the morning when there is a lot of natural light inside the church.