Heritage Tour

Naga as a religious center has been dubbed as a pilgrimage city, with the miraculous image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia as the center of its people’s faith and deep religiosity. A walking tour of its churches and ancient Hispanic landmarks will bring the visitor down an awe-inspiring memory lane.
SAN FRANCISCO BELL TOWER || The bell tower of San Francisco Church is one of the very few remnants from the old edifice of the San Francisco Church that mutely witnessed the historic event on September 17, 1898, when guerillas led by Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo besieged Governor Vicente Zaidin and the remaining Spaniards in Bicol, who were then at the church premises for the Peñafrancia fiesta. Despite the bloody encounter, the rebels harmed none of the Spanish women and children. The Spanish governor later signed the papers of capitulation which marked the end of 300 years of Spanish regime in the Bicol Region.
HOLY ROSARY MINOR SEMINARY || The alma mater of Bicol patriots and heroes. Erected on bricks and tiles, this 1785 structure was built as vocation house. It soon emerged as the center and wellspring of ecclesiastical education in the Bicol Region. It underwent renovations but has retained its district colonial style and ambiance. It was declared by the National Historical Institute as a National Historical Landmark on January 29, 1988.
MUSEO DEL SEMINARIO CONCILLIAR DE NUEVA CACERES || This museum showcases the memorabilia of prominent Bicolano bishop – Jorge Barlin—and his old scholastics records and books. The museum also houses archival materials like the ancient burial jars of Bicolanos. Other museum of Bicol artifacts, culture and history are the museum of the University of Nueva Caceres, the Ateneo de Naga Museum and the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Museum.
PEÑAFRANCIA SHRINE || The original house of the Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia built in 1750. Its bell, donated by a wealthy Chinese trader Don Simon Tuangqui during its reconstruction in 1864, still tolls on its belfry today.
PEÑAFRANCIA BASILICA MINORE || This is the new home of the Nuestra Sra. de Peñafrancia dearly called by her devotees as Ina (Mother). It was built in Barangay Balatas in 1985 to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims and devotees coming from different places in the country and abroad on the Virgin’s feast day every September. This year’s fiesta is expected to be more colorful and festive compared to previous years as the Bicolanos mark the tercentenary celebration of their unwavering devotion to Ina, the region’s patroness.
PORTA MARIAE || Celebrating the 300 years of the Bicolanos’ devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia a commemorative arch was built and formally opened on September 9, 2010. The arch, 18 meters long, 4 meters wide and 11 meters high, is a symbolic gate which imbues the journey of Marian devotion in Bicol, built on testimonies if miracles witnessed by the original native devotees called cimarrones through generations, as the devotion spreads in other parts of the country and the world.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST
PLAZA QUINCE MARTIRES || It is the site where a monument that honors the 15 Martyrs of Bicol was built. It was on January 4, 1897 or barely 5 days after the National Hero –Dr. Jose P. Rizal – was executed when the 11 prisoners from Bicol were also executed on the same field in Bagumabayan (now Luneta). The four others had either died in prison due to severe torture or while in exile in the island of Fernando Poo, off the coast of Africa. The monument, which was located in the city’s Central Business District 1, was built on November 29, 1926.
UNIVERSIDAD DE STA. ISABEL || Formerly called Colegio de Sta. Isabel, this Catholic Vincentian university is owned and run by the Daughters of Charity in Naga City, Philippines. It was established by the first five Daughters of Charity that arrived in the Philippines in January 1868 with Bishop of Caceres, Most Rev. Francisco Gainza, O.P., the founder of the Colegio through the royal order of Queen Isabella II of Spain. The school, which was the first normal school for women in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, was inaugurated on April 12, 1869. It achieved its university status in 2001.
ATENEO DE NAGA UNIVERSITY || Established in 1940, the university is the only Jesuit institution in Southern Luzon. During World War II, the school was converted into a prison camp by the Japanese Imperial Forces. In 1979, the College and the High School departments were the first in Camarines Sur to be accredited by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU). On February 20, 1999, the Commission on Higher Education conferred the Ateneo de Naga its university status.
RAUL S. ROCO LIBRARY || Named after the beloved Bicolano statesman, this learning facility is home to over 30,000 book titles alongside its being a hub with online access to other libraries in the country. It also houses the memorabilia of the late Senator Raul S. Roco and the Naga City Hall of Fame, where the various plaques and trophies representing international, national, and local awards received by the city government are displayed.
BICOL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRUM || The only LGU-operated science and technology centrum in the Bicol Region. It is a popular landmark visited every month by thousands of students, children and their parents who are on educational trip. The visitors come from different municipalities and provinces and schools and colleges in the Bicol Region. The facility features a computer gallery, a mini-science library and Sci-Art Cubbyhole for toddlers and preschoolers, complementing interactive exhibits that enhance learning and interest in sciences.
NAGA CITY ECOLOGY PARK || A five-hectare sprawl of tropical greenery, the park showcases various exotic plants, palms, an eco-walk maze, topiary garden, an orchid and mini-forest. Walkways, lawns, and pavilions provides for family picnics, stroll, and undisturbed appreciation of nature’s beauty.
METRO NAGA SPORTS COMPLEX || This sports facility sprawling in the middle of vast greenery of Barangay Pacol, this city, has Olympic-sized swimming pools, tennis courts, and a track oval shrouded by early morning mountain mist. It has hosted a number of local and national sports competitions including the yearly Palarong Pambansa.