The first thing I thought of when I got to see the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Orani church for the first time was I felt like I just traveled through time. The old architectural design of the church was quite distinct and almost served as a time capsule, making me feel like I just traveled back in time. This is unsurprising knowing the fact that this church has a rich history and regarded as one of the most renowned churches in Bataan.
More commonly referred to as “Orani Church,” it became an independent parish, detaching itself from the Parish of Samal, on April 21, 1714. Their patroness saint, Nuestra Senora del Rosario de Orani, known as “Virgen Milagrosa”, has carried out miracles for the town of Orani. The church looks amazing now but it was made of feeble materials like nipa leaves, molave wood, and bamboo when it was first constructed in the 1600s. Then in 1723, it was improved and made better with stronger roofing materials and used more robust materials like adobe and stone as its foundation.
An unfortunate event happened to Orani church when an earthquake struck and made significant damage to the chapel on September 16, 1852. This was just after when the church was renovated in both the years 1792 and 1836 by the Dominican friars who also built the church’s convent. Disasters did not stop there, though. A huge fire broke out on March 27, 1870, which devastated the two structures.
Luckily, the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Orani church was renovated and improved by the two succeeding parish priests who were Rev. Bartolomé Alvarez del Manzano, O.P. and Padre Fermín Pérez de San Julián. The two parish priests made a remodeling of the Orani Church’s Catholic cemetery as well as building separate primary schools exclusive for boys and for girls. Furthermore, they erected the “visitas” or small chapel in both Balut and Tapulao, Bataan. Having gone through countless renovations and numerous events in history like World War II, the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Orani church is still standing strong with the help of its enduring devotees and supporters.
Much like any other old churches in the country that has a rich history, Orani church has made improvements to its facilities and equipment. The addition of GreenMango’s Vento which is a simple, 5-blade, high-volume low-speed (HVLS) fan that comes in two sizes, 22 feet, and 16 feet. Vento is best for commercial spaces that demands comfort and wind speed. It’s suited for sports such as fitness clubs, gym/athletic training stadium, recreation & entertainment such as amusement park, zoos, children’s playground, traffic hubs such as airport, railway station, and bus station, commercial places such as function center, shops, restaurants, supermarkets, and others uses such as warehouses, factories, museums, and outdoor venues. A significant event happened to Orani church on September 25, 2012, cementing its legacy as one of the most symbolic churches in the country.
Pope Benedict XVI blessed the Church of Orani an everlasting spiritual affinity bond with the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. Making those who say their prayers in Orani church have the same spiritual privileges and benefits as if they prayed in the Basilica in Rome. This granted status as an affiliate church of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome gives Orani church a unique distinction among the other churches in the country. With its rich history, Orani church will continue to serve the Filipinos and all peoples of the world through teaching, preaching, and living out the words of our Lord.