Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, Batangas

A visit or pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina or Pambansang Dambana at Parokya ni Santo Padre Pio in Santo Tomas, Batangas is incomplete whenever a group travel to the famed town.

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National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio signage

The tour was  arranged by Jotun ( Philippines)and United Architects of the Philippines ( UAP Makati chapter) as part of the cultural, heritage, environmental architectural tour of the town. This is my second time to visit this shrine.

History

The property sits on a 1.6-hectare agricultural land in Barangay San Pedro which is almost a kilometer away from Maharlika Highway, Santo Tomas, Batangas was donated the generous couple Mr. Ernesto and Adelaida Gonzaga to the Archdiocese of Lipa, where a new and larger church would be built. Dr. Isabel Malvar-Villegas donated a 200-square meter parcel of land that would be used as a right of way from the barangay road leading to the site.

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Mary Mother of Mercy belfry

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), on their semi-annual Plenary Assembly in 2015, unanimously approved the elevation of the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Padre Pio into a national shrine.

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welcome arch

We left Jotun Paint Plant at past 2:30 pm, in three vans. The group arrived past 3:00 pm at the National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio.

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National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio 

There were not so many pilgrims when the group arrived at the shrine and was escorted to a private parking area ( parking fees is Php 30).

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Schedule of Mass and Healing Service

stalls

commercial stalls

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Saint Padre Pio half size statues for sale and healing oil

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Saint Padre Pio statues made from fiber glass, fiber resins

There were several stalls which sells Saint Padre Pio statues in different sizes. Small one cost Php 150 each while larger one sells between Php 400 to Php 500.

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ambulant vendor

An ambulant vendor sells candles, rosaries and sampaguita garland

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rosaries, beads, bracelets and key chains for sale

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Saint Padre Pio statue with donation box- right side is the office and  religious store

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Saint John Marie Vianney chapel

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dedication marker

Most of the chapels and main church architecture was inspired by salakot ( native hat ) Using steel, bamboos, wood, adobe stones, stones, sasa (Nypa fruticans ) or nipa leaves, sawali panels /woven bamboo strips and cement.

man-made-forest

man-made forest

jackfruits

jackfruits

The rector and parish priest Joselin C. Gonda envisioned this concept for the main church, to have a place of worship and prayer that is distinctly Filipiniana, eco-friendly and adapted to the tropical climate of the site surrounded by  green environment.

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Asplenium nidus / Pakpak lawin or Bird’s nest fern adorn trees

interior

interiors

side-view-interiors

devotees

altar

main altar

There were driftwood, bamboo panels and stones which are some of the materials used in the lectern, altar and seats. Ornamental potted plants like variegated dracena, bromeliads were used as live floral arrangements.

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San Padre de Pio relic with love offering

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Santo Niño with petition or love offering

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San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila

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life-size statues of religious saints

seats

wooden benches

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Divine Mercy Sanctuary for Pilgrims

There was an ongoing free religious concert at the Divine Mercy Sanctuary for Pilgrims.

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main entrance

The 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in the Philippines held on January 18, 2017 attended by thousands of participants and pilgrims from all over the country and other parts of the world was held at this chapel.

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interior

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Chapel of the Saints and Baptistry

Chapel of the Saints and Baptistry is located at the back of the main church. There are several improvements on the compound within the past few years. The relics were given by Ermelindo di Capua, OFMCap, the only surviving Italian Capuchin priest in 2013. Few years before he died.

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chapel

The chapel is the place where baptism is held. One can also pray silently in this area.

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different religious statues

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religious statues

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Saint Padre Pio painting and other religious statues

There were different kinds of religious statues within the chapel. Some were donated by devotees or parishes. Materials range from hard wood, soft wood, eskayola ( plaster of paris), fiber resin materials.

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Relic of the Holy Cross 

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relic

devotees

devotees

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wooden processional urna

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Santo Padre Pio Bukal ng Pag-Asa / Saint Padre Pio Fountain of Hope

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handkerchiefs, rosaries, prayer beads, padlocks are tied at the fence made from wire mesh

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votive candles, padlocak and bottle of holy water can be purchase at this store

candles

red and white candles for sale

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Holy Water Sanctuary

Holy Water Sanctuary is another place to visit, pilgrims can throw coins at the fountain area.  Water is not potable.

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pilgrims

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chapel of saint padre pio chapel of lights

One can light candles in one of these mini chapels located within the ground.

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station of cross

The stations of the cross are neatly landscaped with tropical ornamental plants and ferns.

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Platycerium coronarium

rosary

The area had several pocket gardens with manicured lawns and mini man-made forest.

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San Padre Pio rectory

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vicinity map

There is a useful guide for those first time visitors and pilgrims at the shrine.

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walkway with chapel of the holy cross and belfry

There is a gentle sloping walkway going down to the man-made forest area. There are a lot of flowering plants, shrubs, trees, orchids and ferns within the property.

orchids

orchids attached on driftwood

bellfry-area

lower portion of the belfry

local-kakanins

local delicacies

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religious and souvenir stores

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Saint Padre Pio relics

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Saint Padre Pio relics

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UAP Makati chapter

The group had a meaningful, solemn pilgrimage at the shrine. We left the shrine at around past 4:00 pm, with some participants buying some native kakanins and souvenir items.  One can easily make this a part of the holy week retreat.

One can commute via several bus companies which ply the route going to Batangas province. One must leave early in Metro Manila and  travel time take at least 2 to 2 1/2 hours going to the shrine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Maria Auxiliadora de Marawi at the 38th Annual Grand Marian Procession

Maria Auxiliadora de Marawi was the most sought after marian image at the 38th Annual Grand Marian Procession held within the historic Intramuros, Manila.

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It was a bit cloudy when my friends Philip Reyes and Dr. Jeorge Ferrer decided to meet at the APO Philatelic Club meeting and have a short walking tour.

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Maria Auxiliadora de Marawi

Around past 2:30 pm, It began raining. Participants and devotees decided to take shelter at nearby restaurants, fire station and on the eves of the buildings within the immediate vicinity of the parade route.

Some bloggers and postal heritage walking tour participants like Allan P. Martinez and his group decided to go there later in the afternoon.

We did not manage to see each other because of the large crowd and  weather.

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estampitas, medals and pamphlets were given by the devotees of the marian images from different provinces of the country.

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Story Behind the Image

The image was wrapped with plastic and flower arrangements was done by a flower arranger. I was able to take a few snap shots and was given few pamphlets by a devotee , who told me the story behind the image. There were white Dendrobium UH variety, gerberas and carnations flowers.

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Mr. Nolan Angeles was deeply touched by what happened to the images and the destruction caused by the Maute fighters at the Cathedral of Maria Auxiliadora

He wasted no time contacting one of the country’s well-known sculptors of religious images, Ian Vicente. It was Vicente who made the Maria Auxiliadora de Marawi.

The replica was donated by Mr. Nolan Angeles, a government employee , a Marian devotee and propagator of the devotion to Mary Help of Christians.

When people and participants saw the image, everyone took their time to take few snap shots and i saw some weeping not because of the tragedy but because of immense joy and gratitude.

The marian image will then be turned over to St. Mary’s Cathedral as a donation of the Salesian Society of Saint John Bosco and the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians as well as from all Bosconians.

Mr. Angeles said he is coordinating with Marawi Bishop Edwin de la Peña for the date of the turnover.

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Provincial Contingents 

There were delegates , devotees from different parts of the country. Participants wear beautiful Filipinana costumes.

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The participants were all smiling despite of the heavy rains and Philip Reyes had left at around past 3:30 pm.

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We were quite busy talking photos and managed to have met another Marian devotee along the parade route.

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Another highlight of the festival is the participation for the second year of Santa Cruz parish in Manila .

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Our Lady of Pilar ( Nuestra Señora del Pilar ) Santa Cruz , Manila . The Jesuits enshrined the image of Our Lady of Pilar in 1643 .This is also in preparation for the cononical coronation of the image set on December 8, 2017. The parish had an active Facebook Page. 

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We manage to visit at least half of the marian images before the 4:00 pm parade had started . There were about close to 100 images.  It was another wonderful experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Search for Catholic Religious Items within Tayuman Street in Manila

Tayuman street and parts of Oroquieta street are located within Santa Cruz district in Manila. This earn the moniker as ” Religious Hub”  for Catholic religious items ranging from from rosaries, bible, estampitas, novena booklet, religious statues . This is a short walk from LRT line 1 Tayuman station ( just a few meters away).

For several decades, These streets near Espiritu Santo Parish Church are the best places to buy cheap Catholic religious statues. There are about a dozen religious stores which sells different kinds of religious items.

 

svd00SVD Catholic Trade

The most popular religious store is SVD Catholic Trade which is just along the intersection of Tayuman and Oroquieta street. The building is a circa 1960’s style with brise-soleil windows . Local parishes would buy communion host ( sacramental bread), sacramental wines , priest vestments among other items. Department of Tourism had accredited this religious store.

svd001Santo Niño made from cast fiber resin with wooden base

I accompanied my friend few days ago who have a personal devotion to Santo Niño ( maybe a Santo Niño collector) and after a brief stop in a religious store.  He was able to buy a small santo niño for a discount. Popular religious statues includes child jesus, virgin mary, holy family and black nazarene.

The cheapest religious statues which is made from fiber resin and maybe imported ones from China cost about Php 40 each about 4 to 6 inches. According to the vendor, They can give us Php 35 each if we will buy at least 6 different items.

Religious trade would involve ecclesiastical artists, carvers, artisans, encarnadors, painters, lateros, bordadors, costureras, cultural activists, devotees and collectors.

svd002metal craft works -posted by Our Mother of Perpetual Help Religious Store FB page

I was also amazed that in some instances, religious dress may cost several thousands of pesos and may be worth more than the wooden statues, not to mention the aureole, crown, septer and accessories. They are normally handled down from one generation to another.

svd003religious statues made from cast fiber resin

Religious statues made from cast fiber resin and plastics are the cheapest priced item . They are priced depending on the material, craftsmanship, details and size. The bigger the statues. The more expensive it becomes.  Religious statues made from fiber resin and plastics are more preferred by the general public, since they are cheap , lightweight and easy to transport.

1 to 2 feet religious statues like Saint Peter and Saint Paul only cost between Php 1,200 to Php 1,700 ( made of resin fiber).

The wooden religious statues cost between Php 2,000 to Php 2,500 for a small one about 12 to 14 inches. Usually they are made from batikuling , santol, langka or other softwood tree varieties.

Batikuling wood or scientifically known as Litsea reticulata, Litsea perottetii  or Litsea leytensis seems to be the most preferred wood material for religious statues. For religious ( santo) collector . They would prefer wood, which could last for generations.

Source:http://www.woodworkerssource.com/

 There are also some re-sellers of these items . Some of the stores have customization services for those who do not like the ready-made religious statues. I think they ordered those statues from Pampanga or Laguna provinces. Old folks would recount that several decades ago, that there were good santo carvers ( santoreros)  from Santa Cruz, Quiapo and even in Tondo districts.

One of my friend who would roam around different religious stores within Manila would dispute that there are some places which would sell cheaper santos compared to Tayuman area. Since their rents have risen within the district. Some of the buyers would prefer the ” suki” patron system.  They would built a long lasting relationship between buyers and sellers.

There are some religious stores which used to sell religious statues with carved ivory head and hands. During our brief stop over, We have not seen santos with ivory heads and hands displayed at their stalls. Maybe some of them stopped or went into underground trading.

We were able to get some contacts and as i have posted, my friend bought some Santo Niño statues for a little discount and a couple of religious statues made from fiber resin. One will be donated to a local chapel somewhere in Caloocan.

A religious store was having a mid-year sale and we were quite lucky to have bought 1 religious statue. Overall, His total bills reached around Php 10,000 and took a side trip eating at a local eatery ( carinderia ) near SM San Lazaro.

I have learned a lot by joining my friend in his short search of religious statues within Tayuman and Oroquieta streets.

Here is a short list of the religious stores within Tayuman and Oroquieta street.

Catholic Trade ( Manila ) Inc. 

Address: 1916 Oroquieta street, Santa Cruz, Manila, Philippines, P.O. Box 2036

Telephone : (02) 711-3630/ 741-4868 , 711-1320, 711-1321, (02)369-98-93

Fax: (02) 711-5410

Website: http://www.catholictrade.com.ph/

Operation : Monday to Saturday : 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Perpetual Help 

Address: 1853 Oroquieta Street , Santa Cruz, Manila

Items: Makers of Quality Statues, Fiber Glass, Special Resin and Cement, Specialized In: Embroidered Dresses, Crown, Abaca Hair and Accessories

Made to Order, Repair and Repaint

Contact Persons : Denmarc and Imee Cadorna – 0939-2502222/906-4762222

Telephone : (02) 423-2507

New Angels and Saints, Inc- House of Religious Articles and Candles

Address: 1858 Oroquieta street corner Tayuman , Santa Cruz, Manila

Telephone: (02) 741-4310

Holy Family Religious Store

Address : 1656 Tayuman St Santa Cruz Manila, 341 Zone 34, Manila
Telephone: (02) 493 6852
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Religious Store
Address: 1660 Tayuman Street , Santa Cruz , Manila
Contact: 313 6074/ 09184866986/ 09194539162

 

A Visit to Kiu Pat Liong Shiao Temple within Don Galo,Parañaque City

Kiu Pat Liong Shiao is a Taoist temple located along coastal road located within Barangay Don Galo within Parañaque City. This is sometimes referred as Chinese temple.

Kiu Pat Liong temple compound with high walls

This is one of the iconic landmark located within the city . This is temple which was built more than 30 years ago and is one of the more elaborate temple. Traffic reporters would put this temple as their reference point during traffic report or segment.

Kiu Pat Liong Shiao gate 

We decided to visit this temple after a certain Mr. Marcelino Chua Sy posted in a FB religious site last May 27 that the temple is closing down and is giving away some of the altar and Taoist deities.

FB page group post

Some of them are shocked with the posting, so they told us to recheck if the story is true.

local marker 

I tried to ask some of my friends who are active at the temple , one of them is Master Chua Hu Hua and some of my friends living within the city.

Santa Monica chapel

I decided to tag along a friend, who is a volunteer at a Buddhist shrine in Makati , They might need an altar ( just in case) We decided to visit the temple last June 3 saturday . We took a jeepney ride ( with Baclaran with Zapote , Quirino Avenue) paid the Php 8.00 fare and dropped off at Santa Monica chapel along Quirino Avenue .

The place is less than 4 kilometer from Baclaran church .

There was a bronze statue which commemorates the Lim Ah Hong or Ah Hong  which attacked the area on  November 29, 1574 , later identified as Don Galo or Dong Galo

We went to the temple and talked with the caretaker and 2 Filipino-Chinese guardians of the temple.  They allowed us to visit the altar and lighted an incense.

We manage to talk with the caretakers and they told us that there was no truth with the rumors and They do not know anyone with a surname Mr. Chua who is in charge of the place.

Address: Buensuceso St, Don Galo, Parañaque, Philippines

Visita Iglesia 2017 of Churches within Parañaque City

It was Maundy Thursday  when we decided to visit some churches within Parañaque City , Las Piñas and Pasay area within a few short days.

Left around 5:00 am in our home and traffic was quite smooth from Fairview and Novaliches area until a major road repair along EDSA- Magallanes area to Malibay , Pasay halted the buses , jeepneys to almost a crawl . I was stuck to almost standstill for more than 1 hour and arrived almost 7:45 am at the Baclaran church. The 2 hour and 45 minute traffic is still short compared to 3 hours to almost 3 1/2 hours in ordinary days.

Baclaran church

There were a lot of devotees and people taking photos around the church compound. We were also lucky to go inside the main altar took a few snap shots. Before we went to another smaller parish just a few minutes away. Baclaran church had their own website and is open 24 hours . Baclaran Church is known as National Shrine of the Mother of Perpetual Help.

main altar

iron works of the our lady of perpetual help

side chapel

latin inscription 

History :

The present church building is the third built on the site in Baclaran. The first was a small wooden structure dating back to 1932 when the Redemptorists moved into Baclaran. It was in this small church that the first novena was conducted by Fr. Leo English on June 23, 1948. By the end of 1949 the novena had grown to eight sessions with about 60,000 people attending. To meet this demand the church was extended to double capacity by Frs. Taylor and English. This was the second building.

the third building, the present National Shrine, was begun in December 1952. The cornerstone was laid by Cardinal Gilroy of Sydney on January 11th 1953 and it was conseャcrated on Dec. pt 1958 by Archbishop Rufino Santos, assisted by Bp. Antiporda and Bp. Shanley O.CD.. The solemn opening and inauguration took place a few days later on Dec. 5, 1958 by the same Archbishop Rufino Santos, accompanied by Cardinal Agagianian and other bishop.

Santa Rita de Cascia Parish

This is just located a few meters away from Baclaran church , a short walk from the church , this also serves a a border between Maricaban , Pasay and Parañaque.

Saint Rita of Cascia Parochial School

There is a parochial school beside the parish church. Saint Rita of Cascia  died on May 22 at Cascia, and many miracles were reported instantly. Canonized in 1900, she is honored in Spain as La Santa de los Impossibles and elsewhere as a patron saint of hopeless causes.

Saint Rita of Cascia

One can offer sampaguita garlands or light a candle

Santa Rita of Cascia side entrance

There are smaller side chapels within the parish compound. The chapels can be rented for funerals.

main entrance

The main entrance boast of stained glass windows

The architecture is rather new and the bells beside the church is late 19th century. A larger hall is located within the compound.

Address : Quirino Avenue, Baclaran, Parañaque City, Metro Manila

Tel. Number s – +632832 1525; +6328323505,  Telefax: 853-063

United Methodist Church 

The United Methodist Church is located at 0199 Qurino Avenue, Barangay Tambo, Parañaque City. It is considered as one of the oldest Methodist churches within the city. This had a historical marker installed by then National Historical Institute now (NHCP )  in 1991.

National Historical Commission of the Philippines marker 1991

History :

The church was established in 1901 in Mabong, Pasay by the American Methodists Missionaries . It was subsequently transferred in Pildira, Pasay in 1915 and in its present location in 1917. The church premises suffered a major blow during World War II when it was hit by a bomb which claimed the lives of seventy-seven Filipinos. In 1950, the church was renovated through the help and generosity of the Philippine War Damages Commission and the Trinity of the United States.

Saint Joseph Parish of Tambo,  Parañaque City

Saint Joseph Parish of Tambo, Parañaque City is located at 223 Quirino Avenue – One can walk for about 20 minutes from Saint Rita of Cascia Parish or take 1 jeepney ride going to Tambo. The church facade had been recently renovated .

statues within the parish courtyard

History :

 According to the community and family friends that we met during the short Visita Iglesia . It was Belgian Catholic missionaries of the Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae (CICM) from nearby Saint Andrew Parish of La Huerta helped planted the seeds of Catholicism in Tambo and by 1969, the barangay have its own Catholic parish named after St. Joseph, the Worker and Husband of Mary with Father Leonardo Marquez as its first parish priest.

Few years ago, the church had some renovation and the main facade was made bigger.

Telephone: +63(2)8528441, (632) 853-4446; 851-2380

San Dionisio Chapel facade made from adobe, bricks and cement. While there are some old acacia trees and palm growing within the outer courtyard of the chapel. The beams are supported by large wood with chandelier.

The main altar retablo  is made from hardwood and St. Dionysius or San Dionisio – local call the saint “Tata Dune” Home of the headless patron saint which is enshrined  at the center of the altar.  Tata Dune was a Bishop from France who was beheaded by his persecutors.

Barangay San Dionisio 

Barangay San Dionisio building was patterned after the facade of the chapel. The Barangay building is just located near the chapel.

local marker

Local marker was installed on May 19, 1990. Beside the chapel is a stage area where a yearly senakulo is staged.

people are refrain from making noise within the chapel premises

located in El Filibustermo Street  corner Quirino Avenue, San Dionisio ,  Parañaque City

Santa Monica Chapel -Don Galo ,Parañaque City

religious statues are covered with purple cloth to symbolized mourning period

Address: 619 Victor Medina Street , Don Galo ,Parañaque City

Barangay La Huerta arch and bridge 

We met some old -time residents of the place, They are quite gracious to tell us the way to Saint Andrew Cathedral . We passed the La Huerta arch and bridge, some old ancestral houses , a couple of eateries along the way.

mansion beside the river

This is a beautiful mansion beside the river with manicured garden and orchids which cling to the coconuts within the property.

Manuel Hernandez -Bernabe  historical marker

Biography 

Manuel H. Bernabe (1890-1960) “King of Balagtasan” in Spanish was a poet, linguist and politician, Manuel Bernabe was born on February 17, 1890 to Timoteo Bernabe and Emilia Hernandez of Parañaque, Rizal.

At the age of 10, he already started writing verses. He studied at the Ateneo de Manila where he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree with high academic standing in 1907, and then took up law at the University of Santo Tomas, but not able to took up the bar exams. In 1910, Manuel’s first poem was published in the Renacimento Filipino. In 1912, he translated Virgil’s Aenid from Latin to Spanish. In 1913, he received an award for his poems: “Himno al Sagado Corazon de Jesus (Hymn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus), “El Zapote,” and “Espana a Filipinas”.
In 1912, he joined the staff of La Democracia and in 1918, of La Vanguardia of the Roces Publications. He was a columnist but from time to time he also published poems and short stories in the magazine Exelsior.
Manuel also excelled in the balagtasan, where his stalwart adversary was Jesus Balmori. In 1927, he published Balagtasan a compilation of his three poetic joust against Balmori; “El Recuerdo y el Olvido” (Memory and Forgetting), “El Hombre y la Mujer”(Man and Woman), and “La Ilusion y el Desengano” (Illusion and Deception). His other works were: “Cantos del Tropico” ( Songs from the tropic) in 1929, which contains poems. He translated into the Spanish the English version of Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which was praised as the best Spanish translation of that masterpiece by Blasco Ibanez, a Spanish novelist, and also Perfil de la Cresta.
an old mansion near the Saint Andrew Cathedral 
In 1925, he won the Premio Zobel for his translation of Rubaiyat. In 1926, for his and Jesus Balmori’s Balagtasan, “El Hombre y La Mujer.” For high academic and excellent performance, Manuel was chosen a member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language in the Philippines in 1931 and was named poet laureate in Spanish (National Poet) on February 25, 1950. For his untiring efforts in the propagation and conservation of the Spanish language, Bernabe received two decorations from Spain – El Yugo y las Flechas in 1940 and orden de Isabela la Catolica in 1953. In 1964, he was also awarded the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinagan Award by the City Government of Manila.
He taught Spanish in different schools such as: Far Eastern University, Philippine Law School and Institute de Espanol at Colegio de San Juan de Letran. In 1951, he accompanied President Elpidio Quirino on the latter’s state visit to Spain. He joined the world of politics, as a representative to Congress of the first district of Rizal.
He retired from politics and once more joined the journalistic profession in the La Vanguardia. He was appointed professor of Spanish at the University of the Philippines and a technical assistant for Filipino-Spanish Relations at Malacañang from 1943-1947. Bernabe died of coronary thrombosis on November 29, 1960, at barrio La Huerta,Parañaque , as he was having conversation with his friends, he collapsed and never regained consciousness.
He was also featured in Philippine stamps in 1990 to commemorate the centennial of his birth.
References: Philippine Postal Corporation Philatelic Bulletin : May ,1990 ( Manuel H. Bernabe)
National Historical Commission of the Philippines

Saint Andrew Cathedral

Saint Andrew Cathedral is officially The Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew and commonly referred to as the Parañaque Cathedral, is one of the oldest churches in the country. It was established on May 11, 1580 by the Agustinian order. The church is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Parañaque.

apostolic marker installed in 2011

main altar

painting which depicts Saint Andrew parish and its images

These churches and shrines is just 2 ride away from Asiatel Airport Hotel .

Address : Aurora formerly Tramo Road, cor. Andrews, Aurora Blvd, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Near Resorts World Manila, NAIA Terminal 3.
(02)8332136
09222837339
09773283313
09216809738