San Sebastian Basilica Advocacy Tour: Help Save and Restore the Basilica

San Sebastian Basilica , Quiapo , Manila -Philippines

We organized a couple of tour around Far Eastern University  last September 26 and another tour held last October 3 FEU campus and San Sebastian Basilica .

September 26 participants

It was supposed to be a more comprehensive tour which also involves some historical houses , schools and museums on September 26 but some of the houses around Quiapo had some events and San Sebastian Basilica had a wedding  on that day so majority of the participants decided to move the date of the tour to mid- February 2016 .

FEU cheerleaders and dancers- October 3

I decided not to cancel the event due to the request made by some cause oriented groups , students ( case study ) , bloggers and other NGO groups. However due to monsoon rains  and UAAP cheerdance competition , only a handful participants managed to come to the walking tour .

tour group- October 3

We were met by the dynamic members of the San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation . There were 2 groups that was given access to the Basilica- We were quite lucky to be the first group –  arrived past 10:30am and some of us bought some interesting postcards. While the second group are Instagram users at around past 2:00pm .

stain glass windows by Heinrich Oidtmann Company, Germany

Hand-painted in extreme detail with vitreous paints and fired so that paints fuse with the glass. This is why the paintings are stable, and remain fairly well-preserved today.

photo courtesy of San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation

This is the original drawing designed in 1881 by Spanish engineer Genaro Palacios, a good friend of the Augustinian Recollects. He envisioned a steel church to withstand Manila’s earthquakes and was made possible by the advancements of the 2nd Industrial Revolution. Today it remains the Philippines’ ONLY all-metal building.

 San Sebastian Basilica

The church was raised to the status of a minor basilica by Pope Leo XII  on June 24, 1890. When it was finished a year later  on August 16, 1891, the Basílica Menor de San Sebastián was consecrated by Bernardino Nozaleda y Villa OP , the 25th Archibishop of Manila . It was the first Basilica consecrated in the country .

 San Sebastian Basilica interiors, looking towards the choir loft, – courtesy of San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation and Mr. Estan Cabigas

The Foundation has ties with many international parties,They also have local friends like the Escuela Taller, a trade school in Intramuros that trains out-of-school youth in traditional building methods used in the preservation of heritage sites.

spiral staircase

The Basilica is on its 10- year restoration .  The foundation carefully considers every repair and intervention, because they know that everything they di will affect the building decades from now. By careful research, testing, documentation, design and mock-ups, its architects, engineers, conservators, historians and metallugists hope to extend the lifespan of the building. In the team’s study, they found many well-intentioned repairs that did short-term good, but long-term damage.

pipe organ

This is another rare jewel of the Basilica – unfortunately – It is not in working order.

upper floor

rust

This is one of the major problems that is plaguing the steel basilica

We manage to get some of the awesome view on top of the church belfry,

The team has found, for example, that a small set of cement repairs on all columns is now causing the extensive damage that will cost millions to repair. So far it is on its 3rd year and more volunteers and donations are required .

For those who are interested with the project causes and donation, You can visit the link below.

Facebook Page: San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation Inc.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “San Sebastian Basilica Advocacy Tour: Help Save and Restore the Basilica”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s