Monday, August 25, 2008

Churches in Manila

San Sebastian Church

The San Sebastian Church is an example of the revival of Gothic architecture. It is also recognized by the UNESCO as the only all-steel church or basilica in the entire Asia. It also claims the title of being the first prefabricated building in the world and the only prefabricated steel church in the world. A historian named Ambeth Ocampo confirmed that the French engineer Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the Eiffel Tower, was somehow involve in the design and construction of the said church. Above the main altar of the church is an image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel which is given by the Carmelite sister from Mexico in 1617. The image withstood all of the earthquakes and fires which had destroyed previous incarnations of the church.

Sta.Cruz Church

Just like the other old churches in Manila, the Sta. Cruz Church was also been damaged during the World War II. However, the large interior was then rebuilt; the parvis of the church is partially laid with 18th century tomb slabs in Spanish and Latin, and the large, busy square in front has a charming 1880 cast-iron fountain gushing with water. It is served by the congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and boast a good parochial school.

Malate Church

Unique by its Moslem-Baroque architecture, the Malate Church is also considered as one of the oldest church outside the walled city. The church is dedicated to Nuestra Seňora de Remedies (Our Lady of Remedies), which happens to be the patroness of women in childbirth. The present weathered adobe stones of the entire structure are actually over 100 years old, although various predecessors have stood the site since the end of the 16th century.

Binondo Church

is also known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz. The very first Filipino saint used to serve the said church. First, he became an altar boy, then earned the title of escribano, and soon became a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. He then went to Japan as a missionary but unfortunately executed there for not renouncing their religion. The Binondo church was established to serve their Chinese converts to Christianity. Although the church was greatly destroyed during the Second World War, the octagon bell tower still survived, the bell tower resembles the Chinese culture of the parishioners.

Quiapo Church

Quiapo Church is considered the most popular church in Manila. It holds thousands of devotees because of the miraculous image of the Black Nazarene (venerated statue of Jesus Christ). Every 9th of January, the people are gathered along Plaza Miranda to have a chance to join the parade of the Black Nazarene through the streets. Although many people usually get hurt and collapse in faint because of the severe suffocation in the crowd and heat. They still manage to be part of the parade on the feast day for the image is more miraculous at that time.

Manila Cathedral

The Minor Basilica of Immaculate Conception or the Manila Cathedral lies at the heart of Intramuros. This particular church have gone into so many reconstructions however it still manages to be one of the religious tourist attractions in the city of Manila. The church is said to be the center of happenings for it is always been the venue for important events such as the beatification of San Lorenzo Ruiz (First Filipino Saint), the first visitation of the Pope John Paul II, the Euphoric Reception to Jaime Cardinal Sin (30th Archbishop of Manila) as well as the very first cardinal of the Philippines which is Rufino J. Santos.

Ermita Church

The Nuestra Seňora de Guia is the patron saint of the Ermita Church which happens to be the oldest Marian image in the country. According to the old story, the image was discovered along the shorelines of Manila by a Spanish soldier of the said conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi on May 19, 1571. But some says that it was Ferdinand Magellan who brought the image and has been sent by a Cebu native chief as a gift to one of the Rajahs in Manila. However, what ever the story may be, the said Marian image continues to lavishes favors among her devotees.

San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church is considered as the oldest church in Manila. It is classified as a Baroque Church due to its elaborate unique architectural design both on interior and exterior. The church was formally completed in the year 1607 and named St. Paul of Manila. An intriguing fact about this church is that it contains the tombs of Spanish conquistadors Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, Juan Salcedo and Martin de Goiti together with other Spanish Governors-General and archbishops. Even the remains of the prominent painter Juan Luna and the statesmen Pedro A. Paterno and Trinidad Pardo de Tavera are also housed within the church.

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