29 May, 2008

Parish Church of Santiago Apostol de Betis Postcards

These over-sized postcards show the Parish Church of Santiago Apostol de Betis in Betis, Pampanga.

The Parish Church of Santiago Apostol de Betis was built by the Agustinian Friars in 1754 using the design very predominant during its time: the Baroque Architecture. With ceiling paintings from the early 20th century, the church boasts of the most beautiful retablo in Pampanga that is arguably also the best in Central Luzon. Rendered in rococo, the piece, built presumably in the mid-18th century, is a fine example of Kapampangan art and craft.

Betis Church Postcard 1

There are various themes in the ceiling paintings. There’s a portrayal of Jesus Christ praying in Gethsemane. There’s also a depicting Jesus Christ which looks like he’s preaching people of various origins and race. These frescoes were all done by a local artist named Simon Flores, although several restoration works have already been done to preserve this masterpiece.

Betis Church Postcard 2

The retablo mayor is tastefully crafted and replete with decoration and religious enhancements. Fortunately, the piece still exudes the quality and charm of colonial retablos with the patina of age providing interest and definition. The wooden floor, though not so old, is well-maintained and adds to the ambience. Original wooden furnishings are still in the sacristy and in the convento.

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