This is the Archdiocesan of St. Anthony De Padua or commonly known as Pila Church located in the heritage town of Pila, Laguna. To commemorate the 350th death anniversary of the Saint In 1578, Pila Church became the Parish of St. Anthony De Padua and making it the first church in the Philippines dedicated to St Anthony. It was in 2002 that it was declared an Archdiocesan Shrine.
The church has a three-level facade with classical Doric columns. At the pediment is a niche reserved for St. Anthony. Windows of the choir loft can be seen at the second level while niches for the statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are found at the lowest level.
The semicircular arched doorway has the Franciscan seal on top. On the right side of the church is the convent, now used as a school building for Liceo de Pila, while a square based octagonal bell tower is on the left side.
From being a calm town, Pila including the parish was rent asunder from 1896 during the Spanish revolution until the American occupation in 1902, where attempts of take over and reorganization of the government happened. American soldiers used the belfry and convent of Pila church for more than a year. At this time, church properties were destroyed and looted.
During the second World War the town was not bombed, unlike neighboring towns Santa Cruz and Pagsanjan. The parish was transferred from the Archdiocese of Manila to the Diocese of Lipa when the latter was erected in 1910, and finally, to the newly established Diocese of San Pablo in 1966.
The church was elevated to a national shrine in 2019 becoming the first church under the jurisdiction of the San Pablo Diocese to receive such status and the 25th shrine in the Philippines
The church complex of San Antonio de Padua is part of the Pila Historic Town Center together with the town center of Pila, and 35 old houses and buildings which were proclaimed as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute (NHI)) on May 17, 2000, by NHI Resolution no. 2, series of 2000.
Procession pictures in Pila. Laguna.