The first Nuestra Senora del Rosario Church was constructed in 1714, on the same year Orani was recognized as a vicariate (municipality). It was the half the size of the present church and initially made of wooden structures and nipa roofing. It has a bell tower made of bamboo poles.
A convent, also made of light materials, was constructed on the right side of the church which became the living quarters of the priests and nuns assigned in Orani starting in 1721.
In 1725, the church was expanded after it was designated as the provincial headquarters of the Friar-Preachers of the Dominican Order assigned in
The Dominican hierarchy only returned to Orani in 1764. The Nuestra Senora del Rosario Church was again made as provincial headquarters of the Friar-Preachers.
Starting on June 28, 1768, however, the Dominicans transferred the ministration of all its churches in
The Secular priests took over the Orani parish for the next 70 years. By 1792, both structures were completed with wide adobe walls and concrete and covered with nipa roofing. A concrete bell tower was also accomplished.
The Orani church, as well as the convent, underwent minor repairs in 1838, the year the Dominicans returned to
The two structures were gutted down by another big fire on March 27, 1870. Rev. Fr. Fermin Perez de San Julian completed the repairs in 1891. The church was roofed with galvanized iron. Fr. Fermin also built the school for boys and girls beside the church. But it was burned by the Filipino rebels in May 1898. Repairs were immediately undertaken.
The church was heavily damaged on March 16, 1938 by a big fire which razed about three-fourths of Orani, including the municipal hall called Trecenia, then being was utilized as campus of the former
It was again destroyed by the invading Japanese forces in January 1942. The rehabilitation of the church and convent was initiated by Army Chaplain E. Calimbas in 1945.
On April 18, 1958, the image of the Virgin of Orani was canonically crowned.
In 2002, the church and convent were repaired and improved. The “Museo ng Mahal na Birheng Maria,” a repository of the relics and artifacts related to the patroness was added to the convent. . It is here where the “missing” image of the Lady of the Most Holy Rosary is currently being kept.
Displayed in front of the church is the Orani Bell, another historical and religious artifact that symbolizes the birth and lasting legacy of Christianity in the province.
Orani has a new municipal building, located at the center of the old Poblacion, in front of the Nuestra Senora del Rosario Church. It stands on the former site of the old Orani Public Market in Barangay Centro I.
The new two-storey building has a total floor area of 2,916 square meters, including the roof deck (648 sq. m.) The Orani municipal building is much bigger than the three-storey municipal building of Hermosa which is only about 900 square meters, including the open roof deck.
Construction of the new municipal hall started on August 4, 2005, during the last term of Mayor Efren Pascual Jr. The building was inaugurated on May 26, 2007.
Some P42.7 million was spent to complete the project. Senator and Senate President Manny Villar, former Congressman Antonino Roman Jr. and Bataan Governor Enrique T. Garcia Jr. also supported the project financially.
The new town hall of Orani is described as the most beautiful and biggest municipal government building in Bataan, if not in the entire Region III.
Death March Marker (Silahis)
The US Army War Records have it that Kaparangan, Orani, was used as a temporary prisoners’ camp by the Japanese soldiers starting on April 11, 1942, the second day of the infamous “Death March”.
The first leg of the march from Mariveles and Bagac to Balanga saw the flagrant display of the barbaric nature of the Japanese during the war. Prisoners who dared to run away from the line or refused to walk were clubbed with rifle butts and bamboo sticks, sometimes to death. Anyone who fell out of line were shot or bayoneted. The day’s march ended in Balanga.
The second day of the march was supposed to end in Lubao, Pampanga by dusk. But only the lead groups of prisoners made it across the northern boundary of
The main bulk of the marchers, however, got only as far as Orani. Because of this, the Japanese decided to herd the prisoners in several pig stiles in Barrio Kaparangan, from the present-day Maria Fe area up to the southern bank of the
Residents of Orani showed their love for the starved and beaten Death March participants by preparing food and risking the Japanese ire in passing food and water to the prisoners. There were others who snatched soldiers from the march and hid them in banana grooves and thick growths of sugar cane plantations. They also buried those who died on the road rather than leave them at the mercy of the beasts. Alfonso Gaza, a young soldier from Barrio Saba, Hermosa, was yanked away from the march by some courageous Orani residents.
Kaparangan continued to be used as a prison camp for days until after all surrendering USAFFE soldiers in
To commemorate the pitiful event, the National Historical Institute constructed a bronze memorial at the corner of Barangay Silahis and the