Betis Catholic Church in Guagua, Pampanga is one of the churches in the country declared by National Museum as a National Treasure. The church was built in the early 1700s and repaired continually throughout the 1800s.
Its architectural design!
The main attraction is the original ceiling mural of the Holy Family done by the famous painter Simon Flores (1839-1904), the artesian well (dug in the 1800s) in the patio - the first well in the country to be so situated, and the rare betis tree nearby, donated by Prof. Randy David, a sociologist and native of the town.
The main altar of the church is designed with ornate carvings and saints peering out of their niches like ancient dolls, and the paintings on the ceiling attract comparison with the Sistine Chapel.
A two-minute walk from the church is the restored David House, ancestral home of Randy David, which they christened Bale Pinauid or Bahay Pawid.
The baroque-inspired Betis Church was built around 1660 and it was headed by Father Jose de la Cruz. The preliminary structure was made out of light materials which were composed mainly of wood and stucco. Fire broke out within the church several times due to these light materials so it was finally built with concrete materials in 1770.
In the last quarter of 19th century, Father Manuel Camañes dug an artesian well on the north-side of the church which served as a source of potable water not only for the Betis townsfolk, but to the other nearby towns as well. On the other hand, the present-day concrete fence with caryatids was built in the 2nd quarter of the 20th century.
Getting to Pampanga
Motorists and commuters will arrive in Pampanga in just 1-½ hours by car or bus from Manila through the North Luzon Expressway exiting via San Fernando, Angeles or Dau Toll Plaza.
All bus lines linking Manila with Baguio, Pangasinan, and Ilocos pass through the province. Philippine Rabbit serves the provincial capital (San Fernando) from Manila. Victory Liner links Angeles City and Olongapo City. Baliwag Transit and E. Jose Transport operates route services from Olongapo City to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija via San Fernando, Pampanga. Arayat Express also serves the San Fernando-Cabanatuan route. Other buses that pass through the towns of Pampanga include Dagupan Bus Lines, Dangwa Tranco, Five Star Bus Co., Farinas Transit, Franco Federico Lines, Maria De Leon Trans, Partas Trans Co. and Viron Transit.
Also, there are jeepneys and/or mini-buses in each town or city that serve inter-zonal points towards other parts of the province.
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