San Pablo Church – the most beautiful in Isabela

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nothing but a facade


Went to all churches in Isabela on a recent tour. I could say all of the churches were interesting. But one stood out.


San Pablo is a second class municipality 21 kilometers south of Tuguegarao via the Maharlika Highway. Travel time is 26 minutes.

This church is the oldest in Isabela and stands out because the whole facade and the belltower, the tallest in the whole Cgayan Valley, are what really remain of what was probably one of the biggest churches in the region. Behind the facade, and actually way behind is a re-built church that still uses the walls of the old church. To think that between the old facade and the new church is a wide area that looks like a patio. Then one would know that the whole church then included the re-built church and this wide front space !

the rebuilt church behind the facade. Note the huge front yard, part of the original church


inside the rebuilt church. Note that walls are those of the original structure, and these walls flow into the empty space in front


the walls from inside the rebuilt church continue into this, now the facade of the smaller rebuilt church. One concludes this space was part of the original structure


the stairway to the bell tower


In front of the facade is what one will conclude to be the original church frontyard. It is marvelous and eerie at the same time.

When other photographers finally find this church, they will agree – – it is the most photographable church in Isabela.

the oldest, and most photographable



Palaisdaan at Kamayan sa Ilog, San Pablo


I actually visited this small resort last year when I was invited by friends to be a resource speaker in a workshop, I have been to San Pablo countless times in the past, when I was not blogging yet. Thus, I do not have photos of my favorite tilapya eateries around Sampaloc Lake. Nor a photo of the magnificent cathedral at the city center. I will confine this post to that recent trip.

Palaisdaan is a small lovely resort perfect for a picnic. Huts and cottages may be rented, and guests can spend the day around the pool. Lodging is available if you plan to stay overnight.

It has a rainforest setting. Vines on trelisses. Cascading waters from ponds and lagoons. Fruit bearing trees like lanzones, rambutan, mango, santol, banana, jackfruit, avocado, and coffee.


There is also a mini-mini zoo with an eagle, owls, doves, a peacock, and iguana.

Food can be ordered from the kitchen. The crispy tilapya is a winner.

Visitors who want to spend the day in the resort pay entrance fees of P70 per head, while children are charged P50 per pax. The fees are higher for overnight visits. Huts can be rented at between P500 to p800 depending on size and time of use.

Lodging rates are P1,500 for 12 hours, and only P700 for 4 hours.The rooms are clean, but not great. There are also just 5 0r 6 rooms within the resort.

few rooms




Palaisdaan is at Barangay San Ignacio, San Pablo City, at Km 83 of the Maharlika Hi-way.  To get there, take the diversion road, skipping the city center. It is in the direction of Villa Escudero/Quezon Province, but well within San Pablo City itself. Look to your right. It is near MERALCO.Travel time from manila is approximately 2 1/2 hours.

Contact them at telephone (+6349) 5613164 or mobile number (+63927)5253796, +(63917) 5009282. Email them at Visit their website :



If you want to spend the day at Palaisdaan but wish to stay in a proper hotel, The Coco Palace Hotel is just 5 minutes away, northbound, on the same road.

tel +(6349) 5612271, email:

my 'de luxe" room, P1,456 overnight (P1,975 rate per day)


I also checked out the nearby Sanctuario de San Pablo Resort Spa. I failed to bring my camera from the car and so I was unable to take photos. Visit their website to see the lovely sight that I saw in my visit.  I think this is the best possible accommodation in this area, and I could be wrong, too.. It is primarily a spa, but you can book a one-bedroom villa overnight for a P4,500 package that includes complementary breakfast for 2, one hour massage each for 2, plus 10% discount on other spa services and on food and drinks. Visit their website for contact details: