Sunday, April 20, 2014

VISITA IGLESIA 2014: Part 3 of 5

Binondo Church, also known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the most holy Rosary Parish , is located in the District of Binondo, Manila  fronting Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz. This church was founded by Dominican priests in 1596 to serve their Chinese converts to Christianity.  The original building was destroyed in 1762 by British bombardment. A new granite church was completed on the same site in 1852 however it was greatly damaged during the Second World War, with only the western facade and the octagonal bell tower surviving.
San Lorenzo, who was born of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother, trained in this church and afterwards went as a missionary to Japan and was executed there for refusing to renounce his religion. San Lorenzo Ruiz was to be the Philippines' first saint and he was canonized in 1987. A large statue of the martyr stands in front of the church.
Masses are held in Filipino, in Chinese dialects (Mandarin, Hokkien), and in English.
Even before the arrival of the Spanish to the Philippines there was already a community of Chinese traders living in Manila. The population of Chinese traders increased with the advent of Spanish colonization of the Philippines, due to increased trade between the islands.The upsurge in their population prompted the Catholic Missionaries to manage the conversion of the Chinese population to the Christian faith.

In 1596, Dominican priests founded Binondo church to serve their Chinese converts to Christianity as well as to the native Filipinos.
The original structure has sustained damages during wars and various natural disasters. The current granite church was completed on the same site in 1852 and features an octagonal bell tower which suggests the Chinese culture of the parishioners. The church was burned during the British invasion of 1872. Another one was quickly built following the occupation. Improvements were made in the 18th century but the edifice was again destroyed in the 1863 earthquake. It was rebuilt in the grandeur the remains on which we see today. Before the war, it was considered as one of the most beautiful churches in the country. Its bell tower was composed of five stories, octagonal in shape. At its top was a mirador (viewing window). This roof was destroyed during the 1863 earthquake.
American bombing on September 22, 1944 destroyed the structure. Everything including the archives of the parish were burned. Nothing was left behind except the stone walls of the church and the fire-tiered octagonal belltower. After the war, Binondo parishioners had to make do with a roofless church for several years until it was rebuilt in the 1950s.
The present church and convent was renovated between 1946 and 1971.

source: wikipedia

This church was built and administered by the Jesuits up to 1768.  Adjoining was the Jesuit College of San Ildefonso, founded by Governor Alfonso Fajardo dela Tenza on Jan 9, 1724.  The titular patroness of the church is Nuestra Señora del Pilar, whose statue was  brought from Spain prior to 1765. The confraternity of Nuestra Señora del Pilar was canonically founded in this church in 1743. On the surrounding plaza the british returned the city of Manila to Simon de Anda Y Salazar in 1764.

 This is the written on a stone marker in front of the Church.

VISITA IGLESIA 2014: Part 2 of 5


Basilica Minor de San Sebastian better known as the San Sebastian Church is a Roman Catholic Basilica in Metro Manila. It is the seat of the Parish of San Sebastian and the National Shrine of our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Designed by Genabo Palacios, the structural metal of which is uniquely built was manufactured in Belgium and erected here by the Belgian Engineers. The church was solemly blessed August 16, 1891. Earlier churches built on this site  by Recollect friars since 1611  were destroyed by earthquake in 1859, 1863, and 1880.

Completed in 1891, the San Sebastian Church is noted for its architectural features. An example of the revival of Gothic - Architecture in the Philippines, it is the only all-steel church or Basilica in Asia and claimed as the only pre-fabricated steel church in the world. It was designated as a National Heritage landmark by the Philippine Government in 1973.  In 2006, San Sebastian Church was included in the tentative list for possible designation as a World Heritage site.   San Sebastian Church is under the care of the Order of Augustinian Recollects who also operate a college adjacent to the Basilica.

Source from Wikipedia


Also called Villa de San Miguel Church and Malacañang Chruch (due to its proximity to the Palace), the Shrine was first built in the 1630s as an ex-voto by a Spanish Governor-General who miraculously escaped death while on a military campaign. This church also once ministered to Japanese Christians fleeing persecution by the Tokugawa Shogunate, and since many of the exiles had belonged to the Samurai class, the church was dedicated to Saint Michael (who is a heavenly general and angelic warrior). Saint Michael's acquired its presidential association when several Presidents began frequently worshipping there, most notably President Carlos P. García and his consort, First Lady Leonila. 

St. Michael's today is more popular with betrothed couples, as Shrine priests are authorized by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila to bestow the Sacraments of Confirmation and, if necessary, Baptism.  This pre-wedding requirement of the Catholic Church is performed on baptized faithful in an hour-long service the same day it is requested.

Built by the Jesuits and the first Church that was made of stone near the Tripa de Gallina in 1603.  Became a parish church in 1611. This was the center of the Japanese mission in 1615. The administration of the church was then given to secular priests in 1768.  The church was then transferred to where it is  now and under the Parish of Quiapo in 1783. It was then returned to the Franciscan order in 1797. It was then administered by Secular Priests in 1899.  The present church was built in 1913 and was chosen as Pro - Cathedral by Manila from 1946 – 1958.  Was made as the National Altar of St. Michael and the Archangels in 1986.

Lifted from the Church marker

Saturday, April 19, 2014

VISITA IGLESIA 2014 - Part 1 of 5


This year’s  Visita Iglesia is the first time that some of my friends joined me. Besides having my sister Elaiza, and her sons Joshua and Marc and my other nephew Matthew join us,  my friends RJ Marasigan, Krisvi Barrios and Ian Songco joined us for our visita Iglesia this year.  Having done this thing the past three years, I think I became wiser in chosing the day and the routes to take to be able to finish the 14 Churches by dinner time. Here are the churches we went to and some things about the church which I looked up either in the net or through the markers found in the churches.

The church of Sto Domingo was formerly made of wood which was made by the Dominicans with the help of Bishop Domingo de Salazar OP in Intramuros, Manila in Jan 1, 1588.  The church was left to ruins in 1589, eventually built again but this time in stone together with the convention of Father Alonso Jimenez O.P in  1592. An altar was made on the miraclous Our Lady of the Rosary because on the occassion of the Battle of La Naval in 1593. 

There was a fire that destroyed the church once again in 1603 and was rebuilt in 1613. It was then slightly destroyed by an earthquake in 1645 but was renovated that same year.  Another earthquake destroyed it again in 1863 and was rebuilt by reknowned neo-gothic architect Felix Roxas in 1867. The last time it was destroyed was when the Japanese bombed Manila in 1941. It was eventually transferred to where it is now and the the first stone was laid in 1952. It was inaugurated by Rufino Cardinal Santos in 1954  and was declared National Shrine of our Lady of the Holy Rosary of the same year. 

Translated Filipino Marker 


 This site was donated  to the Franciscans in 1613 by Pedro de Chaves.  First chapel built in honor of our lady of Loreto in 1613 and set on fire in the chinese uprising in 1639. 

Second chapel built under the supervision of Andres de Puertellano O.F.M. Present church built in 1666 under  the direction of the Francisco de Santa Catalina O.F.M. Associated with the convent of Sampaloc . There functioned here from 1692 to 1808 one of the best printing presses in Manila.

From a 1935 building marker 


Saint Anthony’s feast is celebrated every June 13. He is well-known as the saint from Padua, in honor of the city he loved, where he spent most of his final days  and where his remains  are buried and his incorrupt tongue venerated.  IN the Philippines the devotion to St. Anthony dates back to the arrival of the Franciscans in July 2,1578.  Since then, it would be exceptional for a church to be without a statue or image of the famous miracle –worker. 
The present St. Anthony Shrine in Sampaloc Manila was build in 1947 through the efforts of Fr. Mariano Montero OFM, where the devotion to ST. Antony in Intramuros Manila was transferred. Originally, in this same location a chapel was constructed in 1794 for the use of the Secular Franciscans under our lady of the Piligrims statue. ( A statue now enshrined at the right side of the shrine santuary.)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Estrella de Mendoza, San Juan Batangas

Located at San Juan Batangas, Estrella de Mendoza is the STI Education Services Group's destination for the 2014 summer outing which is usually Holy Monday to Wednesday during Holy week.

Here is a panoramic view of the pool and the beach. Most of my officemates also enjoyed the free banana boat ride given by the resort.

The group was treated to sumptuous meals 
and great accommodation.I particularly liked 
the second night dinner at the beach front. Eating Chicken BBQ is my kind of meal.

The pool was so inviting and big that even a company outing like ours will have ample time to swim and relax.

YES you can also have a chance to get Henna Tatoo and other things available within the beach.

Volleyball has been gaining ground in the country and beach volleyball is also a fun way to have in the afternoon if the tides are low.

One of the best areas to take a picture is at the beach front with the hotel clearly visible at the back.

Jump shots are always the best pictures to get while on the beach.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Heartsrong Bonfire 2014


 I am just happy 
to be invited once again 
to be one of the hosts
of the Ateneo Bonfire.
Let's give our champs a 
One Big Fight!








Sunday, March 16, 2014

Heartstrong - an underdog story!

The UAAP Season 76
Women's Volleyball Champion
The Ateneo Lady Eagles

DEJAVU? Ginebra Barangay Kings and Gilas Pilipinas star point guard LA Tenorio must have said that while watching the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles beat the De La Salle University Lady Spikers 25 – 23, 26 – 24, 25 – 21 in game 4 of the UAAP Season 76  Women’s Volleyball Championship enroute to the school’s  first UAAP Volleyball title.  For those who have been following the Lady Eagles and know their story, there are so many similarities of that 2002 UAAP Men’s Basketball team with the Lady Eagles although this time, the Women’s team just raised the bar higher.

LA and Chesca Tenorio - Dejavu?

The 2002 Blue Eagles were coming off a finals loss to the Green Archers the previous season – the first and only loss of the Ateneo to De La Salle in the UAAP Men’s Basketball finals. Although there were high hopes to get back to the finals the problems of the Blue Eagles piled up one by one, first was the team’s inability to adjust to the system brought in by first year coach Joel Banal. At one time in the season the team was at 4 wins and 5 losses and to make matters worse LA Tenorio got injured which made him miss 5 games.  The team eventually regrouped and won their next eight games. In those wins the Blue Eagles beat the four time defending champion DLSU Green Archers who were 13 – 0 at that time. The Blue Eagles also fought back to beat the favored UE Red Warriors led by James Yap as the team in Blue beat them twice which included the historic shot of Gec Chia. Game 1 of the finals went to Ateneo, DLSU took game 2 and the Blue Eagles went on to end a 14 year title drought with a convincing game 3 victory.


Yes you can say Dejavu but the Lady Eagles even raised an even higher bar this time around. Not only did they have a new coach who came all the way from Thailand but they were faced with a lot of chemistry problems as their coach was out for two weeks during the season to attend to some personal matters.  Adding four rookies to the team would mean starting all over again and their modest goal was a final four appearance.  To add to their woes, Ana Gopico a vital piece in the Blue Eagles frontline  got injured and was out for the season.  The Lady Eagles eventually finished third after the eliminations and have already reached their goal of making it to the final four. Meanwhile, the DLSU Lady Spikers swept the eliminations and were seeded directly to the finals with a thrice to beat advantage.


After making the elimination round their training ground the improbable began to happen – the Lady Eagles metamorphosed to another team, a team we did not see in the eliminations. While the DLSU Lady Spikers were waiting for their finals opponent the Lady Eagles went to work by dispatching the Adamson Lady Falcons, a team that they barely beat in their last outing, in three straight sets. After that game, the Lady Eagles were up against the tall Santiago sisters whose imposing frontline was so intimidating that the Lady Eagles lost to them in straight sets in their elimination games. Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, the ladies in  Blue and White thrived under pressure as they eventually negated their twice to beat advantage by ekeng out a close 25-17, 12-25, 31 – 29, 28-26 win! It was in this game that the whole country served notice to team Heartstrong as the ladies in Blue were all heart and all out as they ousted the heavily favored Lady Bulldogs 25 -22, 8- 25, 25-19, 25-22! 


From the improbable, the Lady Eagles this time did the impossible which was win three games against the four-peat seeking DLSU Lady Spikers.   The Lady Eagles won the first and third games 3-1 and 3-2 enroute to their historic 3 – 0 thrashing in Game 4 of the once mighty Lady Spikers.  Their weapon – strong hearts, unity and being Happy! Coach Anusorum Tai Bundit instilled something in the hearts of the Lady Eagles that made them exceed even their expectations. The Ateneo community were content in beating the Lady Spikers twice in the finals and ending their 30 game streak, but the never say die lady eagles had more steam in them to end the reign of the green machine and start their own.   Dejavu? If this happens again in the future we will gladly welcome it with open arms. Again congratulations to the Ateneo Lady Eagles, the UAAP Season 76  Women’s Volleyball team overcoming all the odds and becoming the first team to win three games against a team that swept the eliminations.  Congratulations also to Alyssa Valdez, for winning the season MVP, Finals MVP, the best scorer and best server. Den Den Lazaro - best digger and best receiver. Truly these ladies are on a class of their own. Go Ateneo One Big FIght!


thanks to Philip Sison, Mon Rubio and Arvin Lim for their wonderful photos

Saturday, March 8, 2014

19th STI NYC in Puerto Princesa Highlights

Hazel Ferrera 
of STI College Puerto Princesa
sings the Invocation Hymn

STI College Puerto Princesa's 
Deputy School Administrator
Mr. Rally Advincula 
Welcomes the delegates

Kenner Castro is this year's host
of the 19th STI NYC 
in Puerto Princesa

Mr. Spanky Enriquez talks about 
the 3 S's of Social Media, 
Style, Substance and Significance

STI College Puerto Princesa hearthrob Elry Abear 
sings a song in this 
intermission number

Mr. Sonnie Santos says
"Do unto others what you want
them to do unto you!"

The STI College Puerto Princesa dancers energize the crowd

Mr. Edwin Ebreo says that 
you have to seek out opportunities and not wait for them

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

19th STI NYC in NAGA Highlights

The STI Dance and 
Theatre Company 
of STI College Naga interpret
the Invocation Hymn

The Philippine Flag hoisted during the singing of the 
Philippine National Anthem

STIer's sing the National Anthem

Students of STI College Naga 
open the Bicol NYC
with a Social Media rendition 
of the song Jai Ho.

Here is the one of a kind ending 
to the Bicol NYC opening number

STI College Naga's 
Deputy School Administrator, 
Mr. Rusty Lagatic, 
Welcomes all delegates 
to the 19th STI NYC

Mr. Pau Suzara, 
STI College Naga's answer 
to Rico Blanco , 
is this year's host 
for the Bicol leg of 
the 19th STI NYC

Mr. Spanky Enriquez discusses the how fast Social Media has evolved

STI College Naga students have fun in this intermission number

Mr. Sonnie Santos says 
"Dare to be DIfferent!" 
to STiers in the Bicol Region

Danica Esplana & Sherwin Verona 
share their gift of music 
to the NYC delegates 
in this intermission number

Mr. Edwin Ebreo says 
"If you fail to plan, 
you plan to fail!"