Collection of Religious Chalkware in the Philippines

Chalkware is a molded figurine or statues from  plaster of paris or gypsum. These chalkware items were cheap, popular and mass produce in the country. There are still some local makers of chalkware in the country but confined to small items like figurines, souvenir items for baptism, wedding and zodiac sign statues sold in Divisoria or Chinatown during Chinese New Year celebration.

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year of the rat zodiac sign made from plaster of paris

Chalkware, Eskayola, Plaster of Paris, Carnival Chalkware

Chalkware started the rise in popularity in the later half of 19th century, in  Staffordshire, England, France, Spain, Italy and the United States.

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Photo courtesy of Professor Dennis Maturan

Chalkware is also called “Plaster of Paris” since large quantities of the material is found in Montmartre near Paris, France. Some would also refer the items made from these items as “Carnival Chalkware Figurines”. Small figurine items would be given as prizes in carnival and games during that era.

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Photo courtesy of Professor Dennis Maturan

It was late 19th century when local artists and craftsmen would use the medium and eventually became more common in the early part of the 20th century.  It is much cheaper compared to wood and can be mass produce in just within few days or weeks.

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photo courtesy of Professor Dennis Maturan

Locally referred to as”Eskayola“/ “Escayola”, The material has a centuries-long history in artist’s sculpture studios as well as interior architectural decoration, folk and religious art.

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Santo Niño de Prague made from eskayola ( photo courtesy of Professor Dennis Maturan)

Among the more famous artisan includes Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Mr. Isabelo Tampingco, Mr. Guillermo Tolentino and Mr. Maximo Vicente who would the medium in a lot of their works. Most of their artistic works are exhibited in the National Arts Gallery and other prominent galleries in the world.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/5we2yTnMkdChrJLc6

Sacred Heart of Jesus made from eskayola / chalkware probably in the 1970’s

The downside of eskayola/ escayola is that it is soft, breakable and heavy. According to a local artisan, who specializes on wedding figurines and small religious chalkware statues. During the height of their production in the late 1960’s to late 1990’s. They can make hundreds of figurine in just a couple of days ( small figurines 1 to 3 inches height).

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Blessed Virgin Mary made from eskayola / chalkware probably in the late 1970’s ( courtesy of Mr. Carlo Yap)

For small and medium sized religious figurines, It can take between 4 to 7 days. powdered gypsum is mixed with water, the gooey substance can be molded, shaped, or spread on surfaces. Molds are then removed and the surfaces are sanded or worked in various ways and with a range of tools, to smooth, refine, ornament and painting.

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Buddha figurines- the one at the left side was made from chalk ware

Among the popular countries to source these religious chalkware  were from Spain, Italy, France, United States, United Kingdom and Portugal. Some of the items were sold in pre-war Estrella del Norte in Escolta street. The items were an important conversational pieces in pre-war Manila. The collector would focus on the items which had brand name or those with signatures of famous makers or artisan.

Chalkware fragility, and art form is part of the overall appeal. In this regard, they seemed almost human, evoking the characteristic like frailties, hardship and mortality.

Local artisan would also craft wall decor, statues, coin banks,Buddha figurines and nativity scenes from plaster of paris materials.

My aunt told me that almost everyone would have these types of figurines during its heydays.

Catholic Trade in Tayuman, Santa Cruz would specializes in these types of religious chalkware until in mid-1980’s, while some local religious stall and peddlers would still have these types of chalkware until the early part of 2000.

Engineer Celso Buccat was among the first who started making fiber resin statues in the early 1980’s and the technology quickly spread among local artisan and prices of statues drop significantly. 

I can still remember that my mom was able to purchase a holy family statue in Evangelista street, Quiapo early part of 1994 for just few hundred of pesos.

Several superstitious belief from religious chalkware is that whenever one breaks the statue, one must bury or burn the broken statues within the property. One must not throw the religious images on the garbage bin. Another belief is that one must offer the broken image at the nearest chapel or church.

Now, A big portion of religious statues are made from fiber resin, plastic or imported from China or Taiwan.

It is a dying craft and only small items such as those sold for souvenir items are being made. Those who have these type of chalkware must try to cherish them.

Bibliographies and References:

Tara Hamling’s Decorating the “Godly” Household: Religious Art in Post-Reformation Britain (Yale University Press, 2010) explores the uses of large-scale religious figural and ornamental plaster moldings, mantels, wall panels, ceilings, and other interior architectural decoration in Protestant domestic spaces from 1560 to 1660.

Personal communications: Mr. Carlo Yap, Professor Dennis Maturan, Edgardo Gamo Jr., Diana Religious Supply Store, Maro Adriano, Salvacion de Vera and Mr. Peter Andres.

Special Chinese New Year Tour 2020 (Part 1)

Royal Postal Heritage Tour in partnership with WalkwithChan, heritage advocate group bloggers and social media influencers conducted a guided tour within the heart of the Chinatown’s Manila district.

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photo collage courtesy of Ms. Lin Deres

Unlike other guided tours, The tour focus on the vast Chinatown district which encompasses part of Santa Cruz, Tondo, San Nicolas and Binondo.

Special Chinese New Year 2020 Tour

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early bird participants

 We met at the Carriedo fountain within Plaza Santa Cruz around past 6:00 am. Ms. Melody Abuan was the early bird and won 2 gift certificate from Yakikai restaurant worth Php 1,000. followed by Mr. Ray Ong, Philip Reyes and Ms. Lin Deres among the early participants who brace the overcast saturday morning. Slowly followed by two  participants who came all the way from San Pedro, Laguna province to join the fan fare.

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Kim Sha Temple

After the short tour of the Santa Cruz church, We went to have a blessing at Kim Sha Temple located at 1021 Ongpin street which is part of Santa Cruz district.

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breakfast buffet selection

buffet dishes consisted of fish with tausi, noodles, fried rice, pechay, hotdog, raddish, scrambled egg, tasty bread, two kinds of soup and bottomless ice tea and brewed coffee.

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group photo

Chinatown LaiLai Hotel Buffet

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group photo

We arrived past 7:00 am at the Chinatown Lailai buffet area, Compared to the previous year, there were fewer dishes offered at the buffet area. While Ms. Rebecca Bucad and her companion followed.

Address: 801 Ongpin Street corner Sabino Padilla Street (aka Gandara), Santa Cruz, Manila

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different kinds of ornamental and flowering plants for sale

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Chinatown Arch

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Manila Chinatown -Welcome Arch

The mood was festive, but fewer crowd on weekend. The threat of the novel corona virus may have affected the crowd participation.

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Chinese New Year revelers in costume

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parade

We spotted group of mendicants asking for cash or donations. Some are dress in ati-atihan costume and darna giving the Chinese New Year celebrations new type of entertainment.

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mendicants giving some envelope

Salazar Bakery

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zesto cola flavored tikoy (nian kao)

The group then decided to visit the famed Salazar bakery and bought some popular pastries like hopia, lao po pia ( sweetheart pastry), mamon and tikoy at the bakery before walking along Ongpin street.

Address: 783 Ongpin St, Binondo, Manila

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children imitating a dragon dance

Santo Cristo de Longos ( Popular Shrine)

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 Santo Cristo de Longos shrine along Nueva Street ( aka Yuchengco Street) corner Ongpin street is the most popular shrine of the holy cross. This shows how Catholicisim, Taosim, Buddhism syncretize and create a unique harmony between these major religion.

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Mr. Ray Ong together with some of the participants

Carvajal Street

We went to Carvajal street also nicknamed the umbrella street alley of Chinatown and bought some hopia and pastries from Holland bakery.

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home cooked meals sold in one of the stall within Carvajal street

Mr. Ray Ong gave a short talk on the interesting fruits, vegetables and food found within the street alley.

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Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila

We spend about 20 minutes inside the minor basilica and pointed out the important religious images and the real Santo Cristo de Longos which was located in the baptistry of the church.

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Lucky Chinatown Mall

Lucky Chinatown Mall is one of the posh mall located within the district. it is site for various event in the Chinatown Manila. It is like a one stop shop for everyone.

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dragon dancers in front of Lucky Chinatown Mall

The group arrived about 10:00 am. There was a lion and dragon dancers outside the mall.

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bright lantern

Chinatown Museum

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Ms. Beverly Ann Tan ( curator)

Chinatown Museum is located 4th level of the mall which showcases 18 galleries.  A visit to the museum is a MUST for those keen to learn history, heritage, heroism and anything about Chinatown’s -Manila.

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well-loved Chinese foods in the Philippines

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The group was greeted by Ms. Beverly Ann Tan (museum administrator) who gave an interesting history behind some of the practices of the Filipino-Chinese community.

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panaderia ( bakery)

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local produce

For those planning to visit the museum, Do not forget to pre-reserve in advance especially in big group.

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candid shot with some of the participants

A minimal entrance fee of Php 150 for the general public, Php 100 students with valid Id’s,Php 80 for senior citizens, people with disabilities.

Address: 4th Floor Lucky Chinatown Building- A, Reina Regente Street, Binondo, Manila

Operations: Everyday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

Contact: (632)8293-2584/ (0917-1164047)

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Ilang-Ilang Restaurant

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appetizer meal which consists of kikiam ( ngo hiong), sliced century eggs, pork asado, radish cake and pickled raddish.

We ate at the famed Ilang-Ilang restaurant. Some of the famed dishes includes the appetizer meal, pata tim, shanghai fried rice, nido soup, fried buttered chicken, birthday noodles, buchi/ botchi, braise steamed fish, almond fruit cocktail.

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pata tim

Ilang-Ilang Restaurant is one of the oldest restaurant in the district, established in 1910. The restaurant is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and closes only during Holy Week.

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steamed fish fillet

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buttered fried chicken

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birthday noodles

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For dine-in services, the restaurant can accommodate up to 180 persons on ground floor and 400 persons on 2nd floor function hall.

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group photo

Address: 551 Ilang-Ilang Street, Binondo, Manila

Operations: Everyday

8:00am to 11:00 pm

(02) 241- 9297, 241-9298, 242-3266

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Chinese New Year 2020

The group got a hearty Chinese lauriat style lunch and spend almost two hours at the restaurant.

Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Santa Cruz Parish

The parish of Santa Cruz which was carved from the growing Filipino-Chinese community started early 18th century. Santa Cruz which also encompass Escolta street was considered as part of the extended commercial, trade and services sector particularly during the Spanish, American, Japanese and early republic which thrives in the district.

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Santa Cruz parish main facade

The church architecture is a combination of of California style mission, baroque and Asian- Hispanic style. The last restoration was done in the mid-1950’s just after the war.

The current facade was renovated few years ago and several commemorative markers are found within the facade of the church.

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granite tombstone slab in front of the main entrance

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marker

Santa Cruz Parish History

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left Saint Peter Julian Eymard , center mosaic tiles Blessed Sacrament and Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Santa Cruz parish was erected on 20 June 1619. It was recounted that the Jesuits were called to administer the parish primarily to look after the spiritual needs of the growing Chinese population in the adjacent Binondo district. Binondo is located just within 1 kilometer away from the parish and serves as extension of the Chinatown district.

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interior

A replica of the image of Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) in Zaragosa, Aragon, Spain was enshrined by the Jesuits in this church and in 1743, the Confraternity of Our Lady of the Pillar was canonically established. Nuestra Señora del Pilar eventually became the titular of the parish.

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jubilee cross

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Saint John Paul II statue is one of the saints venerated at the parish

On April 1, 1764 at the ground surrounding Sta. Cruz Church, British commander Blackhouse, surrendered over the keys of Manila to Governor Anda.

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commemorative bust of Simon de Anda installed in June 8, 1958 hidden in one corner of the parish.

The plaque below Anda’s bust are the words: 1764. IN THIS SITE THE PLAZA OF MANILA WAS RETURNED BY THE INVADING ENEMY TO THE EMINENT PATRICIAN D. SIMON DE ANDA Y. SALAZAR. FILIPINAS ERECTS THIS TO HIS MEMORY. May 31, 1764.

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Plaza Santa Cruz with Carriedo fountain, Monte de Piedad and Chinatown Welcome Arch

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Plaza Lacson aka Plaza Goiti during the late Spanish, American and early republic

The area also had a street car station which is located in Plaza Goiti, while LRT Carriedo station is located just a few meters away.

Towards the mid-19th century, Parish priest Ezequiel Moreno ( now a saint) in October 1880 after being assigned in Mindoro, Palawan and Las Piñas. He became Preacher General, was assigned Parish priest assuming the post in February 1881 until the following year.

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columbary units located within the side chapel

The church was burned to the ground during the last world war in 1945 with only the facade, bell tower and side walls remains. Few artifacts which included the venerated Our Lady of Pillar was saved.

Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) under the Austrian conductor Dr. Herbert Zipper, All the members of the MSO were Filipinos except a young violinist, Manuel “Imo” Wilheim, a Jewish refugee. The other was lead clarinetist Earl J. Smith, of the 37th Division Band held their post liberation concert, fund raising and “Thanksgiving” within the ruins of the church.

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Plaza Santa Cruz – Photo courtesy of Mr. John Tewell from flickr

Concert was given in the ruins of Santa Cruz Church on May 9, 1945. Among the attendees included Jean MacArthur, wife of Douglas MacArthur, Philippine Chief of Staff General Basilio Valdes and his wife, and His Grace Manila Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty

A decree issued on 18 December 1984 by the late Arhbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin reverted the name to Santa Cruz Parish. In the same decree, Saint Peter Julian Eymard was named as the second patron of the parish.

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spiral staircase going to the belfry of the church

Santa Cruz church became a center of eucharistic evangelization and adoration and was informally recognized as a Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.

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religious bookstore and supplies within the parish

400th Anniversary Celebrations

Parish pastoral council launched a year-long celebration of the parish. His Excellency, Bishop Sofronio Bancud, SSS presided over the thanksgiving Mass and the blessing of the jubilee door last June 20, 2019.

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jubilee door with 400th anniversary logo

The year round will be capped with the colorful fiesta and several events in which devotees of the blessed sacrament can participate.

It is also worthwhile to those who wanted to help the parish feeding program to coordinate with them, since the parish is known to give indigent community rice porridge “lugaw” and pandesal.

References and Bibliography:

NHCP historical marker

Saint Ezequiel Moreno bibliography
Santa Cruz parish leaflet

Santa Cruz Church : A living Heritage book

” Herbert Zipper”  holocaustmusic.ort.org. Retrieved November 12, 2011

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (part 2)

The Americans who colonized the country in 1898 saw the opportunity to feature much of their newly colonized territories in the orient via postcards, photos and travel brochures.

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Fort Santiago with newly installed electric post

Fort Santiago is an important military outpost and frequently featured in postcards, stamp during the late Spanish occupation and American regime.

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Plaza Goiti

Plaza Goiti – Is located at the back of Santa Cruz church. This is now called as Plaza Lacson where a post modern statue of Mayor Arsenio Lacson can be found. There is also a tranvia station line where street trolley would ply the route. Plaza Goiti is located near two important streets Calle Escolta and Calle Carriedo. The plaza serves as a demarcation between two district Santa Cruz and Quiapo. One can also notice that in pre-war Manila, drivers use right hand side.

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Pasig River with custom house circa 1908 postcard

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Pasig River with cascos, small boats and El Hogar building circa 1910

Pasig River which is the main river which separates the northern district and southern district of Manila is often featured in postcards even up to the late 1980’s.

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Binondo Canal -This is vital to the trade and commerce in the northern part of the district. According to relatives who lived in Binondo before the war, Estero dela Reina would be vital for transportation and those who buy goods coming from the provinces. The Binondo landmark and estero is still there, but only few ancestral houses survive. The estero is now dirty and subject to periodic cleaning by the MMDA and city.

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Binondo Draw Bridge Lift

Binondo Draw Bridge Lift– This is another landmark in Binondo during the American era which is located near Muelle de Binondo street and Dasmariñas street. During the late Spanish colonial rule and American regime; most of the goods, furniture, vegetables, fruits, fowls, grains ply the canals or estero within the city. Due to heavy river traffic, a drawbridge is needed. These were raise to allow boats, cascos ( native boats) to pass through. Most of these boats would ply major markets in the city like Quinta, Divisoria, Arroceros, Paco and Binondo.

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Pasig river with native cascos ( native boats) circa 1910

Because of the large number of these boats which ply much of the city’s canal or esteros- Manila also earned the moniker “Venice of the East“.

The drawbridges survived the second world war, having in operations until the mid- 1960’s one in Binondo and Divisoria.

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Union landing and custom house wharf

The first collectors were American soldiers, tourists, teachers and personnel who were assigned to the newly founded territory.

Manila During the American Regime

Manila and her landmarks were the favorite topics on postcard issues. While parts of the city is modern, There were several parts which were rural with lots of vacant lots, houses made from nipa huts, trees and light materials.

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nipa hut with laundry

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embroidery

Early topics would also includes people washing clothes in Pasig river, trade, laundry, festivals and local customs.

Local and Foreign Outbound Rates

Postal rates were 2 centavos (US and Islands ) and 4 centavos ( Foreign countries not part of the United States ) for outbound mail. Since the Philippines was a US colony way back then, We can mail postcards to any parts of USA , Guam, Puerto Rico and Northern Marianas.

The early postcard senders have a peculiar way of affixing stamp. They would post the stamp in front view rather than the backside of the postcards.

Note: postcard were from the personal collector of the author and some of his friends, who would like to remain anonymous.

Sources and References:

Collins English Dictionary : Postal Card

Littrell, Robert, Ed; Postal Cards of Spanish Colonial Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico, UPSS, 2010.

Personal interview from postcard collectors

Philippine Postcards page 130 to 137 Consuming Passions

Visita Iglesia of 14 Churches and Chapels in Manila

Walkwithchan in special arrangement with Royal Postal Heritage tour, heritage groups conducted a FREE guided tour on Maundy Thursday (April 18) and dubbed the walking tour as Visita Iglesia of 14 Churches and Chapels in Manila.

Palacio del Gobernador and Plaza Roma with art works

We decided to open a FREE Visita Iglesia 2019 walking tour, since our group will visit Intramuros and sharing the beautiful spots in Manila with the ordinary public.

hoardes of people walking along Rizal avenue, Santa Cruz

Visita Iglesia 2019

tarpaulin map of intramuros

huge tarpaulin poster from intramuros administration – this serves as a guide for parking area, churches, chapels and interesting places within the walled city.

station of the cross along General Luna street

The FB event attracted 66 participants but only 30 people manage to find the group at the meeting place which is at Plaza Roma- King Charles IV statue and fountain. cellphone signal is weak.

Manila Cathedral Basilica during the Chrism mass

There were a lot of people at the Chrism mass. This is one of the important liturgies during the holy week. It took me almost 15 minutes to get out of the cathedral basilica. There is only one exit. I have to be at the main plaza by 6:30 am. I saw Philip Reyes then followed by Jose Juan Paraiso ( who did not get a sleep) members of Advocates for Heritage Preservation group and other participants.

The plaza seems abuzz with all sort of tarpaulins, balloons and the mood was very festive.  The Chrism mass is being shown via large screen to the people at the plaza.

Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of Immaculate Conception facade

The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Beaterio St., Intramuros.

Manila Cathedral Basilica back portion

Saint Agustine Church and convent

Saint Augustine interiors

Saint Agustine Church, General Luna St., Intramuros

Father Willmann Chapel, Santa Potencia St., Intramuros.

Dendrobium anosmum aka sanggumay

The group took time in admiring the neatly manicured garden and large trees within the compound. As an orchid grower, I also took time to examine the Dendrobium anosmum (sanggumay) orchid flowering. This is of of the all time favorite native orchids.

Father Willmann chapel altar

statue

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM ) facade

Shrine of Jesus the Divine Teacher, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Muralla St., Intramuros.

Shrine of Jesus the Divine Teacher altar

The Catholic Chapel of the Mapua Institute of Technology, Muralla Street, Intramuros.

Mapua Institute of Technology -chapel altar

The security guards at the Mapua Institue of Technology were also helpful to the participants, Some of them needed to have a bathroom break.

Lyceum of the Philippines University entrance

chapel of the sacred heart of jesus

 chapel interior

The group were greeted by the security guards of the university while some participants took time filling up their water bottles at the fountain station.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran facade

 chapel

Colegio de San Juan de Letran is one of the oldest secondary school for boys and was established in 1620. The college is already busy preparing their 400th anniversary in 2020.

chapel interior

Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s central courtyard had a neatly manicured lawn with large trees, bromeliads, Dendrobium hybrid orchids, native orchids, frangipanis and ornamental plants.

There is also a fountain and several statues of their alumni and patron saint. There is also a mini koi pond and water plants planted at the fountain area.

The group had a busy time admiring this painting at the back portion of the chapel

Roman Ongpin statue- Ongpin corner Quintin Paredes street

This time, we have to walked from Intramuros cross the Jones bridge towards Binondo district.

main altar

Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, Binondo

some of the participants enjoyed hot rice porridge (lugaw) and filtered water courtesy of the barangay chairman of place.

filtered water

rice porridge

The group enjoyed the hearty mid-day meal and some took time buying some treats at nearby Eng Bee Tin bakery. There was also a water station in front of the bakery.

 beautiful flower arrangement at the side altar

main altar

Archdiocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament, Plaza Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Manila

Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Quezon Boulevard, Quiapo, Manila

Some of the participants had to beg-off after this leg of the tour. It is getting hot as it is almost midday. Our group had to go under the bridge since the underpass is close and the footbridge is few meters away. Signal is also weak.

Bakerite

tasty bread

Bakerite is one of the iconic homegrown bakeries in Quiapo district. They are the ones who popularized the brand “Tasty”. The bread is good and the group took a short snack time inside this bakery.

Shrine of the Holy Face of Jesus, 1111 F. R. Hidalgo Street, Quiapo, Manila

Shrine of the Holy Face of Jesus chapel

The chapel is located at the 2nd floor of the shrine. This is also the final resting place of the founder and of the congregation members.

participants

 tomb

Minor Basilica of San Sebastian, Plaza del Carmen St., Quiapo

main altar

D.Genaro Palacios y Guerra ( main architect ) marker at the floor of the minor basilica

San Beda College- Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat, Mendiola Street,  San Miguel

historical marker

National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, Jose Laurel Sr. Street, San Miguel, Manila

passage way which connects the parish to the center

Saint Jude Catholic School and Parish welcome arch

Saint Jude Thaddeus national shrine main altar ( photo taken from the 2nd floor choir area)

old organ built in Germany in the 1950’s at 2nd floor of the shrine

some participants lighted candles and have their moment of prayer at the shrine

a mid -1930’s ancestral house along J.P. Laurel street

 Malacañang place gate 4 along Jose P. Laurel Sr.street

We took a longer route going to the next national shrine, since the presidential security group (PSG) only allowed one portion of Jose P. Laurel street ( security issues).We walked from Arlegui street towards Aguado street passing several old mansions like the ones owned by Laperal family ( Arlegui mansions) and several turn of the century houses along Aguado street. It is sad to see that the former Cocina de Tita Moning ancestral house is closed.

Office of the President ( Presidential Complain Center) along Jose P. Laurel street

The group decided to have a short stop over at Casa Roces– Fine dining restaurant owned by the Roces family ( a separate blog entry) Some of the participants wanted to eat and we have a short photo opportunity. We spend about an hour or so at the restaurant before visiting the next church. It is almost 2:00 pm,when we finished our hearty meal.

San Miguel church main facade

interior

baptismal front

elaborate tombstone by one of the benefactors of the church

group photo at the entrance of the church

National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels, Gen. Solano Street, San Miguel

interior and altar

St. Anthony of Padua Shrine, Manrique Street corner J. Figueras street, Sampaloc

facade

Our Lady of Loreto metal sculpture at the side of the church (by Eduardo Castrillo)

Our Lady of Loreto church and Saint Anthony Shrine were dubbed as twin churches of Sampaloc. These two churches were badly destroyed during the closing days of February 1945.

historical marker

interior and main altar

Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto Parish, Sampaloc, Manila

This is like a homecoming event for me, We lived few blocks away from these two churches for almost 15 years.  Most of the participants had to finished their Visita Iglesia trip at this point. Only 10 were left and we decided to hitch ride together going to Immaculate Conception church.

Immaculate Conception church interior

side altar bedeck with flowers and candles

Immaculate Conception Parish, Katamanan Street, Tondo, Manila

Espiritu Santo church side entrance

Espiritu Santo interior

decree

It was declared an Archdiocesan Shrine by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle on June 8, 2014, the Solemnity of the Pentecost.

The church an interesting neo-gothic architecture with a lot of modern elements and this had a parochial school located within its compound. This used to be a public cemetery until early 1900.  The church was fully completed and solemnly blessed on May 14, 1932.

Archdiocesan Shrine of Espiritu Santo, Rizal Avenue, Santa Cruz, Manila

San Roque de Manila interior

San Roque of Manila church along Avenida Rizal, Santa Cruz, Manila.

We hope to have a repeat tour of these churches next year.  The group would like to extend our heartfelt ” THANKS” to the intramuros administration, schools, government buildings, universities and shrines which opened their doors to all the pilgrims, local and foreign tourists.