Majayjay Church : St Gregory the Great

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I first visited this church 15 years ago and did not have a camera. I remember the kind sacristan honored me with a rare privilege of touring the “langit-langitan”, the church dome accessed thru an intricate network of fragile planks of wood thru the ceiling.

I went up the ceiling on a previous trip to see the "langit-langitan" up close

I went up the ceiling on a previous trip to see the “langit-langitan” up close

 

Two more visits later, I had an SLR camera with me. Time to capture the grandeur of the church to share with the rest of the world.

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On my last visit, the church doors were closed. I went to the school right beside it and pleaded with a school teacher to help me get in. She was so kind and actually led me to the parish priest who one can mistake for a young visitor. The parish priest was so accommodating he allowed the lights to be turned on so my friends and I can photograph this historical landmark and present it thru better photographs to our virtual tourists.

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For a better perspective, here is what WIKIPEDIA says about this church, and I quote:

“San Gregorio Magno Church is located in Majayjay, Laguna. It was built by the Franciscan order in the 18th century. It has remained intact in spite of some minor alterations on the structure and its convent was converted into a school. The church is recognized by its catwalk above the ceiling that leads directly to the bell tower and is called langit-langitan. It was used as headquarters of the American during the Philippine-American War. It measures 60m long, 17m wide and 16.5m high. It is listed as a National Cultural Treasure.

Features

San Gregorio Magno Church was rebuilt four times, the first three times with stone. Fr. Andres de Puertollano had the old walls mortared and bricked. The church features a three-level facade, each level scaled proportionately and topped by a triangular pediment, which displays subtle Baroque inclinations seen through the relationships of spaces and solid masses, protuberant columns and static segments. The pediment features a circular window. The church imposes a feeling of symmetry accentuated by the central bay by the main portal, choir loft windows, and saint’s niche. This symmetry is enhanced by the positioning of the belltower, which is a little recessed from the facade. The belltower has balustraded windows on each of the polygonal levels which seem to peek from behind the facade. The belfry features arched windows, each one displaying a bell, and is trimmed with filials. The tower is capped with a spire.”  UNQUOTE.

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This side entrance, to the right when you are facing the church, is so beautiful and picture-pretty

This side entrance, to the right when you are facing the church, is so beautiful and picture-pretty

detail of the door at the side entrance

detail of the door at the side entrance

 

Majayjay is in Laguna. To go there, go via Liliw from San Pablo where public transport is available. Liliw is past Nagcarlan. Majayjay and Liliw are next towns to each other.

 

 

Majayjay Bed & Breakfast

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Tucked somewhere at the foot of mystical Mount Banahaw in the sleepy town of Majayjay, Laguna is this beautiful bed&breakfast one would wish to spend a lifetime in. The grounds provide the visitor an unobstructed view of Mt. Banahaw you would feel like it is part of the property. I envy this location.

I can't find a better spot to view mystical Mt Banahaw after being here

I can’t find a better spot to view mystical Mt Banahaw after being here

I went to this B&B at the prodding of a fellow traveler-friend, even as I have heard of this property owned by one I wish I could call a friend – – he is many years my senior in the advertising industry and is regarded as an icon. It would be nearly irreverent to say he is my friend. But he is so warm and friendly that he made me feel just that on my visit. These days, he pours his creative juices to writing for newspapers.

Minyong Ordonez, the creative genius

Minyong Ordonez, the creative genius

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Minyong Ordonez and wife Encar built what was supposed to be his retirement home on this piece of land he inherited from his folks. Like most retirement homes, friends came to visit until one day, he was convinced to accommodate visitors without having to be the perennial generous host. Thus, the business that is now Majayjay Bed&Breakfast. The original retirement house is so warm and inviting.

THE ORIGINAL VACATION HOUSE NOW A B&B

The spot where I had lunch with Minyong

The spot where I had lunch with Minyong

 

The interiors tell you a creative genius lives here. Now available to visitors.

The interiors tell you a creative genius lives here. Now available to visitors.

 

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One of three rooms in the main house

One of three rooms in the main house

 

THE KUBO

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The most popular accommodations is the bahay kubo, complete with a batalan. Can accommodate a group. Beds on the ground level and on the loft. Extra beds can be arranged, or one may want to sleep on a mat “banig” on the floor made of bamboo.

A real rural life experience

A real rural life experience

Beds here and at the loft

Beds here and at the loft

a "pabitin" serves as accent, and as ceiling light

a “pabitin” serves as accent, and as ceiling light

the view from the kubo. One can go further down and bathe on a stream, from slowly cascading waters.

the view from the kubo. One can go further down and bathe on a stream, from slowly cascading waters.

 

THE LUMANG BAHAY

Built as an old house

Built as an old house

Minyong created a lumang bahay to have more rooms, sourcing the materials for beds and other accents from around the neighborhood. There is also a “silong” where groups can do brainstorms, team buiding exercises, or simply gather and have fun.

one of the many spacious rooms in the Lumang Bahay

one of the many spacious rooms in the Lumang Bahay

the "silong"

the “silong”

I once suggested this B&B to a very discriminating visitor from the Netherlands. After the visit, she said she must tell her friends to go, too.

 

There is nothing to do at Majayjay B&B. And that is the allure of the place. It is meant for relaxing. Even for meditating. Yet there is no reason why a group of friends can not have a boisterous night – – you will feel like you own the place if you come in as a big group. Otherwise, this is a place where one may write a book. Or simply commune with the gods,

When a guest wants to break his peace and quiet, he can hie off to the town center and buy a stuff or two in the local market. Or visit the centuries-old church. Or bathe in the very accessible waterfall just a few kilometers away.

the centuries old church is the single most dominant structure within the town center

the centuries old church is the single most dominant structure within the town center

stalls at the town center during market day

stalls at the town center during market day

Majayjay Town Hall

Majayjay Town Hall

a small fastfood restaurant in between the church and the town hall.

a small fastfood restaurant in between the church and the town hall.

 

Majayjay B&B rates are from upwards of P3,000. There are big rooms on the “new” old-design 2-storey structure that go for higher room rates. This B&B is located at Brgy. San Miguel, 18-B Gozo Subdivision, 4005 Majayjay, Laguna,

Telephone Number 0918 918 1416

I suggest you check their facebook page where you will find contact details

https://www.facebook.com/majayjaybed.