The Minor Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel, (Tagalog: Basilika Menor ni San Miguel Arkangel; Spanish: Basílica Menor de San Miguel Arcángel) commonly known as the Tayabas Basilica, is a Roman Catholic basilica located in Tayabas, Quezon, Philippines under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lucena. Its titular is Saint Michael the Archangel, whose feast is celebrated annually on September 29.
The church is the largest in the province of Quezon; and is built in the shape of a key. Locals often refer to the church as Susi ng Tayabas ("The Key of Tayabas"). The church's 103-metre (338-foot) aisle also has the longest nave among Spanish colonial era churches in the Philippines.
The Catholic community of Tayabas was established in 1578 by Franciscan priests Fray Juán Portocarrero de Plasencia and Fray Diego de Oropesa de San José, known as the Apostles of Laguna and Tayabas. In 1580, the town of Tayabas was established as a parish with St. Michael the Archangel as its designated patron saint in 1580. Like most churches in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era, the first church of Tayabas was a camarin-type church built using bamboo, nipa and anahaw between 1580 and 1585 under the supervision of Franciscan friars.
The church was repaired under the supervision of Saint Pedro Bautista in 1590. In the same year, the Catholic church obtained permission from the Superior Government to build the church using stone. Upon the order of Saint Pedro Bautista, leader of the Franciscans, the church was rebuilt in 1600 using bricks; this building was later destroyed by the 1743 earthquake but the walls were left standing.Due to the growing number of Catholics in Tayabas, the church was again rebuilt and extended. It was further expanded under the term of Father Benito de la Pila between 1856 and 1866 with the addition of the transept in the shape of a routunda and copula. The brick tile roof was replaced with galvanized iron sheets in 1894.
Father Manuel Gonzáles bought the administration building (casa administración) used by the provincial head of the Franciscans for 962 pesos in 1855. He donated it to the town to be used as classrooms to replace the old, ruined rooms. Gonzales ordered the school's construction in 1878; it was built using stone, lime and a tiled roof. Together with Father Samuel Mena, Gonzáles rebuilt the old Tribunal built by Governor La O, which had been unused since it was burned down in 1877. From 1896 to 1899, Father Isabelo Martinez became the first Filipino priest assigned to Tayabas Basilica, followed by Father Amando Alandy, a native of Tayabs, from 1899 to 1900.
The church's patio played a significant role during the struggle of the Filipino revolutionaries against the Spanish forces. General Vicente Lukban and his troops surrendered to the Spanish army on the patio on August 13, 1898, while the Philippine flag was waved from the church's belfry. During the Second World War, the church's convent was used as a garrison by the Japanese Imperial Army.
The church was dedicated on March 14, 1987, by the Lucena bishop Rubén T. Profugo, DD. On October 18, 1988, the title Minor Basilica was conferred upon the church by Pope John Paul II and the Congregation for Divine Cult, and was proclaimed during a eucharistic celebration on January 21, 1989.
Tayabas Basilica is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in the Philippines. Through Presidential Decree no. 374, the National Museum of the Philippines declared Tayabas Basilica as a National Cultural Treasure on July 31, 2001, along with 25 other churches in the Philippines.