Thursday, August 3, 2017

Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat: Pilgrimage Site in Far North Cagayan

Situated on top of a hill in the town of Piat, Cagayan is the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat. This beautiful church in Romanesque architectural style was completed in 1875 and is one of the twelve Minor Basilicas in the Philippines. It is considered as the Pilgrimage Center of the North and attracts a large number of devotees especially during the celebrations of the Sambali Festival (June 23-29) and the feast of Our Lady of Piat (July 1 and 2).

From Roxas, Isabela we traveled for hours and reached the quaint town of Piat shortly before noon. We went straight to the church and after parking at the road side, the first thing we noticed was the large mural which depicts the arrival of Our Lady of Piat from Nueva Segovia.

One unique feature of the Basilica is that its welcome arch is located at the back of the church.

Unlike most old churches in other parts of the Philippines which are made up of limestone and coral stones, the Our Lady of Piat church is made up of  bricks. I observed that this feature is common among the churches in Cagayan Province.

The church has a simple yet beautiful fa├žade. The belfry’s roof was partially damaged by a recent typhoon.

Main entrance of the church.

Inside, the church has an impressive ceiling made up entirely of wood. The walls are accentuated with stained glass windows with artworks depicting significant religious events.

At the center of the altar is the Our Lady of Piat, the black image of the Virgin Mary, enclosed in a glass case. The image was brought to the Philippines from Macau by Dominican Friars. Devotees can access the Virgin Mary through the staircase at the back of the church.

Since this is a popular pilgrimage site, souvenir and religious items and local delicacies are sold outside the church.


The town of Piat is located in the Province of Cagayan, about 41 kilometers northwest of Tuguegarao City.

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