The moment one sees the facade of the Immaculate Conception Parish, one already senses something odd about it. There's lots of piedra china on the facade and the small tower besides it which pretty much says that the original church was actually old, probably Spanish-era (the Jesuits held the first mass in Jesus de la Peña, Marikina in 1630), but the rest of the structure isn't. I don't know if a fire or an earthquake made the renovation necessary, but it didn't give the church the grand facade it deserves.
The altar used to be decorated with a plain crucifix and after a while became like this. Now, probably with a parish priest hung up on his last visit to Rome, the altar is now a matte-gold affair with a ceiling painted with a blue sky and clouds which runs the entire course of the nave - the height of kitsch, if you ask me.
I also noticed that the ceiling is too low, but what the structure lacks in this it makes up with a wide floor area - a three-aisle arrangement, in fact. This parish after all is the second most populated in this city after that of the Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish in Barangay San Roque.
Must you wed here? I don't see why not. The rates are really low for such a big church and it's just a mere 15-minute drive to The Mango Farm. The church is right besides a busy street so expect moderate traffic by 5PM and probably lots of walk-in parishioners.
Immaculate Conception Parish
Concepcion Uno, Marikina City
Tel. Nos. 941.4870
P5,500 (Mass, solo singer, red carpet, flowers)
P2,200 (Mass; no decor)
P1,000 (Mass only)
Monday to Saturday
8AM, 0.30AM, 11AM, and 4PM