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St. Anthony de Padua Parish
Latest photo of St. Anthony de Padua Parish
In 1683, the progressed visita of I-raga was converted into Pueblo de la Provincia de Ambos Camarines with a population of 8,908 which several decades later the name I-raga was changed to Iriga by the dipthongal Spanish authorities.

Unfortunately, the Negritos who were early settlers burnt the first church’s 5 years after the construction in 1583 for these early Bikolanos were jealous of the new religion. A second one was constucted but it was also destroyed by a typoon and razed to ashes again by fire. In 1841 Fray Tomas de Alfafara finally led the construction of the parish church of bricks and stones.

Three decades later or an January 4, 1641, Mt. Asog (named after an Agta chieftain who ruled the aborigines) or Mt. Iriga, erupted. That eruption brought much fear to the settlers but with their strong faith and belief a miracle happened and as witnessed by local folks, the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mother and her son Lord Jesus or “Nuestrra Senora de Angustia” at sitio Inorogan saved the people from terrible earthquake and flood. The eruption formed the cavernous gully on the side of Buhi leading to the steep gorge which was the crater of the volcano.

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