At first I thought this beautiful church was in Tuguegarao. Then Waze directed me to the town of Piat, 42 kilometers from Tuguegarao City.
It felt like Manaoag with the hundreds of devotees. I thought this was going to be some sleepy town with a beautiful church.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Piat is one of the twelve minor basilicas in the country, and is home to the 400+ year old Black Virgin Mary.
I went to several churches in the region and noticed that most of them, like the Basilica of Our Lady of Piat, are made of red bricks, unlike the churches in the Visayas made mostly of coral rocks and stones.
The altar looks like the one in Manaoag, with the image of Our Lady of Piat enclosed in a glass case. Access is at the rear of the church where pilgrims queue towards a staircase leading to the glass-enclosed image – – where they can touch the dress of Our Lady.