BOLINAO: Saint James the Great Parish Church and the First Mass in the Philippines

The Saint James the Great Parish Church is a Spanish colonial church located at Brgy. Germinal in BolinaoPangasinanPhilippines. The church was made out of black coral stones. The church underwent series of natural and man-made calamities, such as the 1788 earthquake, 1819 fire incident, and Typhoon Emong in 2009.


jdcphotoIMGP2164-2015-03-28-162514mj mutucOdoric did not return to Italy till the end of 1329 or the beginning of 1330; but, as regards intermediate dates, all that we can deduce from his narrative or other evidence is that he was in western India soon after 1321 (pretty certainly in 1322) and that h

e spent three years in China between the opening of 1323 and the close of 1328. On one of his trips, his ship was nearly capsized by a typhoon but they landed safely
in Bolinao, Pangasinan, Philippines. He is said to have held a Mass there, in around 1324. That would have pre-dated the Mass celebrated in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, which is generally regarded as the first Mass in the Philippines, by some 197 years. However, historian William Henry Scott concluded after examining Odoric's writings about his travels that he likely never set foot on Philippine soil and, if he did, there is no reason to think that he celebrated Mass.

Reference: Wikipedia

Marker from the Saint James the Great Parish Church

jdcphotoIMGP2162-2015-03-28-162413mj mutuc
St. James the Great Parish
Bolinao, Pangasinan, was canonically erected in the year 1609 when the Augustinian Friars took over this mission territory which was earlier entrusted by the Spanish Colonial Government to the Dominican Friars in the year 1594 and left the place in the year 1607 due to the vastness of their mission territories and the scarcity of their missionary members.
The Church tower of Bolinao measuring seventy-five (75) feet was then the tallest in the whole Pangasinan if not in the entire Northern Luzon. However, an earthquake in 1788 toppled about half of it. Then in 1819, the Church Convent was also accidentally burned.

The church tower of Bolinao used to be the tallest in Pangasinan until an earthquake destroyed half of the tower in 1788. The church convent was accidentally burned in 1819.
This is part of my 2D1N Alaminos-Bolinao Trip in 2015
Sites visited:
  1. The Hundred Islands (ALAMINOS)
  2. Saint James the Great Parish Church (BOLINAO)
  3. Cocos Beach Resort (ILOG MALINO)
  4. Rock View Beach (PATAR)
  5. Cape Bolinao Lighthouse (PATAR)
  6. Patar Beach (PATAR)
  7. The Enchanted Cave (PATAR)

Have fun, Juan!


IMPORTANT NOTE: The rates, contact details and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without IMFWJ's notice. Should you know the updated information, please message us on Facebook.


Related: st. james great parish church bolinao pangasinan, st. james the great parish bolinao mass schedule, history of st james the great parish bolinao, bolinao church mass schedule, st james the great parish alabang history, st. james parish church, st james church bolinao mass schedule, cape bolinao lighthouse




For advertisements/collaborations/sponsorship/hotel reviews, please contact us or send an email to