Friday, April 22, 2011

Visita Iglesia 2011: Manila Cathedral & San Agustin Church

One of the most popular churches in the country is the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral - Basilica, Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception or most popularly known as the Manila Cathedral. Located right at the heart of the walls of Intramuros the first cathedral was built in 1581 and was damaged by a typhoon in 1582 and was destroyed by a fire in 1583. The Second Cathedral was built of stone in 1592 and partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1600. The third cathedral was built in 1614 and destroyed again by an earthquake in 1645.

The fourth cathedral was magnificently built 1654-1671 by Archbishop Miguel Poblete and destroyed once again by an earthquake of June 3, 1863. The fifth cathedral was built in 1870 – 1879 under Architects Luciano Oliver, Vicente Serrano Salaverria and Educardo Lopez Navarro and solemnly blessed in December of 1879.

The center of the cross on the dome is the reference point of Astronomical longitudes of the Archipelago. Destroyed during the battle of manila in 1945 a sixth cathedral was reconstructed in 1954 – 1958 under the direction of Archbishop Rufino J. Santos of Manila mainly with the support of the people. To this day, Manila Cathedral remains the symbol of Filipino’s devotion to the Catholic Church.

At the entrance of the Manila Cathedral there is a latin phrase enscripted that says "tibi cordi tuo immaculato concredimus nos ac consecramus " translated as "To your Immaculate Heart we commit and dedicate!"

Me and my family during our Visita Iglesia.


The San Agustin Church is the oldest stone Church in the Philippines. When plans for the church was approved in 1586 the construction started right away in 1587 and was completed in 1607 under the supervision successively of Augustinian Fathers Francisco De Bustos, Ildefonso Perez, Diego De Avila and Brother Alonso De Pera, its architect was Juan Macias. The church has withstood many earthquakes from 1645 up to 1762, the Spanish-American in 1898 and the Japanese Invasion in 1942.

The church choir has 68 carved molave seats with narra inlaids. An artistic lectern and parchment cantorals of the 17th and 18th centuries The church and its graves were profaned during the british occupation of manila in 1762. The ashes of early Spanish conquistadores Legazpi, Salcedo, Lavezarres and Blessed Pedro de Zuniga and others now rest in the easternmost champel of the transept. Terms for the American occupation of Manila were prepared in the vestry of the church in 1898. The first Philippine plenary council was held here in 1953. This church was chosen as a world heritage site by the UNESCO in1993.

The Church is a place where numerous weddings happen and the reservations list is so long that the couples wanting to get married should reserve at least eight months before.

1 comment:

Ray said...

Those are are beautiful. It amazes me the old churches in Manila and the rest of the Philippines.