Monday, October 24, 2011

Manila Metropolitan Cathedral


A few days ago, had pandesal for dinner (What...pandesal for dinner?). As I was munching the bread, adding layers and layers of peanut butter (chunky with peanuts) I noticed the illustration on the paper bag where the bread was placed when I bought it. The illustration depicts a typical scene in colonial Manila, and the setting was in front of the Manila Cathedral...

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When it comes to high profile weddings, the Manila Cathedral is a top choice. However more than this, this church is the "Seat of Christianity" in the Philippine archipelago. Curios enough, the church is no longer a Cathedral but has been elevated to a Basilica and yet it is still referred to as a Cathedral. The interior of the Church reminds me of the Churches I have seen in New York with it's clean lines and use of space. Thus in a way I find the cathedral not a typical "Pinoy" church given that it's very minimalistic, quite modern I should say. Although I am not sure if this is how it looked like during the olden times given that the Manila Cathedral is one of the casualties of World War II I googled to find out more about this church, see Manila Cathedral-Basilica Philippines. 

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The infamous facade of the Cathedral. The statues lining the outside of the church is similar to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome (representing the four pillars of the Church), further establishing that this is no ordinary church. This is also where Marian images are introduced and blessed every December during the Grand Marian Procession in Intramuros. See related links in this blog on Intramuros' Grand Marian Procession.

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The Church doors look very heavy, it looks more made of metal than wood. But more extraordinary than that, are the carvings on it. Not sure if this is telling the history of the Church or of the start of Catholicism in Manila.

The Church Interiors 

As mentioned above the church interiors is not your typical "Pinoy" church in a sense that it is not cluttered. It is very bright, specious and airy inside. The side altars of the church have been converted to a museum however it's greatest piece is the Church itself given its significance in both Filipino and Catholic Church history.

The beautiful arches and domes of the Cathedral...perfect for any regal and classy wedding...perfect for royalty (no wonder it's a top choice of celebrities and elites).

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The Choice of St. Peter's Successor

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The Throne of St. Peter in the Philippines

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One of the Cathedral's side altars converted into a museum...too bad when I visited it's already closed.

The Church Organ

Churches throughout the country are jumping the bandwagon reviving this age old tradition, music from the pipe organ or the church organ during masses. The only time I hear this is when I watch the Easter Mass in the Vatican via cable. I guess it would be spectacular to hear mass I presume with the church organ playing or may sound scary for some since a lot of horror movies have used church organ-music as soundtrack. In one of the Easter Masses I've watched, the organist played JS Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, already a staple in horror movies/shows.

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A top Choice for Weddings

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  1. those four statues on the facade are not the apostles ! they are the four pillars of the church !

  2. Thanks engbee for sharing. I have corrected the article.