Camalaniugan, Cagayan: The Oldest Bell, Ruins of San Jacinto de Polonia Church, and a Brick Kiln

March 24 – 25, 2016

One of our destinations brought us to Camalaniugan Cagayan. It is named after the “malaniug” trees (coconut-like palm trees) which grew in abundance during the early years. The Ybanags and Ilocanos who were the early settlers and peace-loving citizens built their houses along the banks of Cagayan River.

It is in this town where the oldest Christian bell in the Far East is located (circa 1595).

Oldest Catholic Church Bell

Camalaniugan Bell is kept on the topmost part of a 3-storey square tower covered with red bricks. The bell, also called the Santa Maria Bell or Bell of Antiquity, was forged in 1595 making the antique the oldest in the Philippines, and in the entire Southeast Asia. A significant heritage passed down by our Spanish colonizers to the proud townsfolk of Camalaniugan.

Ruins of the Old San Jacinto de Polonia Church

Brick walls built parallel to each other in a park nestled right on the banks of Cagayan River. For a century, these walls belong to the former San Jacinto de Polonia Parish Church until typhoon and earthquake of 1845 hit with heavy damages.

Loss poses another threat to the site so the church was rebuilt further from the bank.

Today, Ruins of the Old Church served as a centerpiece to a public park where locals could relax and spend time.

Brick Kiln
“Horno“, a term used by the Spanish referring to huge kiln, a type of oven used to process materials such as hardening clay into bricks, in town not too distant from the church.