It was three years ago since I started doing the Visita Iglesia (Church Visit) where Christian peoples spent their Holy week visiting seven churches to reflect the station of the church.
For the Visita Iglesia this Holy Week 2016, I visited the following churches.
t 1. St. Peter Parish Shrine of Leaders
Located at: Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City
Completed in 1999, it is a famous church in the Philippines as it is a replica of the original St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy.
2. Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church)
Located at: Quiapo, Manila
The church is one of the most popular churches in the country. It is home to the Black Nazarene, a much venerated statue of Jesus Christ which many people believe has miraculous attributes. The church was painted cream after the original Mexican Baroque edifice was burned down in 1928. It is expanded to its current form in 1984 for accommodation of thousands of devotees.
S 3. Santa Cruz Church, Our Lady of Pillar, Manila
Located at: Sta. Cruz, Manila
Construction of the first Santa Cruz Church was started in 1608 by the Jesuits and it was consecrated in June 1619, as the parish to serve the increasing migrants from China arriving in Manila, many of whom had decided to convert to Catholicism. The Church was seriously damaged by earthquakes and was eventually completely destroyed at the end of World War II. Construction of the current Church was, completed in 1957. Built in the Baroque Style, it is quite reminiscent of the Mission Churches of Western Mexico and Southern California.
4 4. Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica (Manila Cathedral)
Located at: Cabildo corner Beaterio Sts., Intramuros, Manila
Technically 430+ years old, though the church has been destroyed several times, with its last re-construction in 1958. Its walls and façade survived World War II. With an area of almost 3,000 square meters, Manila Cathedral looks massive and awe-inspiring. What stands out in its façade are its multi-layered arches. Also striking are the rose window on the middle top tower and the church’s domes. Its interiors are particularly grand because of its marble chapels, altar, and pulpit, among others.
5 5. San Agustin Church
Located at: General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila
Its original structure, though later re-built, is 440+ years old. Its reconstruction as a stone church was finished 1607 and has survived earthquakes and World War II with only a damaged roof. The only church which is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Manila, San Agustin has not only striking Baroque architecture but also detailed trompe l’oeil murals on its walls and ceilings. Trompe l’oeil (literally “deceive the eye”) art is two-dimensional but gives the illusion of 3D.
6. Santo Niño de Tondo Parish
Located at: 600 Lorenzo Chacon St., Tondo, Manila
The Convent in Tondo, one of the first structures built by the Spaniards in Luzon, was accepted by the Provincial Chapter on May 3, 1572. The present church has one main central nave and two aisle linked by solid columns. It measures 65 meters long, 22 meters wide, and 17 meters high. The Ionic pilasters and massive buttresses supporting the discordant domes of the bell towers are reminiscent of the Neo-Classical style, typical for its scanty ornamentation. Blind arched openings contrast with rectangular voids and triangular canopies. Twin towers flank the façade. The triangular pediment is characterized by straight lines and a rose window.
7 7. Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz (Binondo Church)
Located at: Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo, Manila
This church was founded by Dominican priests in 1596 to serve their Chinese converts to Christianity. The original building was destroyed by a bombardment by the British in 1762 during their brief occupation of Manila at that time. 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. Binondo Church was greatly damaged during the Second World War, although fortunately the western facade and the octagonal bell tower survived.
We don't have pictures of the Altar of the Binondo Church since it was closed when we get there. We don't have a choice but to finish our last two stations outside the church.