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Archive for the ‘National Cultural Treasures’ Category

Romblon Cathedral (Romblon)

Posted by admin on August 1, 2008

For more information on Romblon, read Romblon, Romblon is a heritage town.

Posted in Churches, National Cultural Treasures, Romblon | 6 Comments »

Guiuan Church

Posted by admin on January 14, 2008

“The castle of Guiguan . . . is the best and most regularly planned in all the Visayas. It exceeds in grandeur the celebrated fort of Zamboanga. The Fathers with the aid of the townspeople built the fort for their defense. It is quadrilateral, each side being 70 brazas long. At every corner is a bulwark. On these bulwarks six pieces of artillery can be mounted. Within the fort, which is all of cut stone, stands the single-naved church, large and capacious, and the house of the priest with all the necessary offices. It has four large patios, one serves as a cemetery and affords a commodious space for the schools. The other has a garden where a two-story warehouse stands. The kitchen is found in one of the bulwarks. On the bulwarks facing the sea are mounted six bronze cannons of various calibers, and a large one of iron, plus various lantacas, whipstaff, swivel guns, muskets and other arms which the ministers buy with the alms given by the inhabitants. They also purchase gunpowder and bullets as an annual surety with which they can defend the town from any armed enemy attack” thus Fr. Delgado (1754, 239–40) describes the fortification at Guiuan.

The Guiuan fort is partially preserved. The southeastern bulwark where the Franciscans built a bell tower in 1854 still stands.  So does another bulwark on the southwestern end, and parts of the southern and western wall.  We gather from Delgado that the Jesuits did not build a bell tower because he mentions the bell used to sound alarms as hanging inside the fort.  Mentally extending the remains of the southern wall shows it once bisected the convento built on the southern side.  Although Repetti identifies this convento as Jesuit, he appears to be mistaken. Why build a convento outside the defensive perimeter? Besides, Delgado remarks that the Jesuits lived inside the fort.  Rather the building on the southern side is the 1872 convento, while we infer that the Jesuit convento or what is left of it are the two rooms directly behind the sanctuary, beneath which the old sacristy stood. This would place the residence within the defensive perimeter, as Delgado states.  Besides, the convento fits Huerta’s description of a stone building.

The Franciscans apparently added a transept and a baptistry. This is the sense of Huerta’s “reedificada.”  Architectural evidence bears this out. The main nave (Delgado’s single-naved church) is unified in its interior motifs and dimensions. Stucco angels decorate the church interior, and the doors leading to the choir loft bear the emblems of Mary and the Society above their arches. The main nave is more than two meters taller than the transept and the concourse from the transept to the main nave is impeded by a few centimeters of wall, unusual if the transepts were planned together with the nave. The transept appears as an afterthought. The thickness of the church wall at the transept opening is less than that of the rest of the church suggesting that room was made for some structure, very likely a retablo, which was then removed and transferred elsewhere. In fact, parts of that retablo are in the church.

Guiuan owns numerous altars—a virtual history of the parish. Aside from the main altar two side altars stand along the nave. One bears mixed parentage, a retablo from Franciscan times and a rococo frontal with the Augustinian emblem. Each transept end has an altar. One which houses a templette has florid baroque motifs, probably remnants of the side altar from Jesuit times. The altar table itself is cuplike, typical of Franciscan rococo, similar to the altars in the Franciscan church of Baras.  Could these altars have come from Luzon?

The main altar belongs to the Baroque style and traces to the Jesuit era.  Divided into a number of niches separated by solomonic columns and encrusted with heavy floral carvings, the impression created is that of being heavy and overwrought.  The carved wooden altar frontal bears the image of the Virgin Mary flanked by kneeling priests in chasuble with the images of Jesuits saints in floral roundels.  Two processional candle holders are shaped like altar servers or sacristans, dressed in cassok and surplice.  One wears a medal with a monogram of the name “Jesus” and the other “Mary.”  A pair of solomonic columns stretching to the ceiling flanks the main retablo.  From a corbel shaped like a human hand hangs a pulley, probably used to raise and lower a sanctuary lamp or probably used to raise a curtain known as manto lanquin (manto from Spanish meaning veil; and lanquin from Chinese meaning black) that covered the altar from Passion Sunday to Holy Saturday.

An outstanding Franciscan addition is the baptistry located near the church entrance. It is decorated like grottoes—that is, with shells—and coral. Probably the only example of its kind in the Philippines.  Recently, the National Museum of the Philippines documented the baptistery and identified at least eight types of shells used to decorate.  The baptistry alone makes Guiuan church worthy of being considered a “national treasure.”

The Guiuan façade gives a hint of the treasures within. While following the standard divisions into verticals and horizontals, the use of multiple but slim engaged columns gives the façade a delicacy lacking in many colonial churches.  The decorations over the pediment further adds to the delicate feel.  The original nave had three entrances, one in front two at the sides.  These had elaborately carve hardwood doors.  The two remaining doors are worth studying.  The front door represents the apostles, a side door facing seaward represents the angels.  The missing third door (said to have been sold surreptitiously in the 1980s) may have represented the Holy Family as indicated by the monograms of Jesus, Mary and Joseph on the door jamb. (Panublion)

Posted in Churches, Eastern Samar, National Cultural Treasures | 2 Comments »

Dupax del Sur Church

Posted by admin on January 13, 2008

Parish Church of San Vicente de Ferrer in Dupax del Sur is the best-preserved church complex in Nueva Vizcaya. It was built during the second half of the 18th century, under the Dominicans. The baptistry and narthex are converted with carved stucco – work possibly unmatched elsewhere in the Philippines. The convento still preserves slits on the outer walls for archers to fire their arrows against raiders. (NCCA)

Posted in Churches, National Cultural Treasures, Nueva Vizcaya | 25 Comments »

Pan-ay Church

Posted by admin on September 26, 2007

Posted in Capiz, Churches, National Cultural Treasures, National Historical Landmarks | 2 Comments »

San Joaquin Church

Posted by admin on January 2, 2007

Originally called Suaraga, Soaragam, Suiraga, the settlement was an encomienda under Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa. Suaraga was a visita of Antique from 1591-92, when it became an independent town. In 1687, a resident priest was assigned to Suaraga. In 1692, Suaraga was made a parish with Miagao as its annex; later, in 1703, Guimbal was annexed to Suaraga; and in 1731 returned to Miagao. Finally in 1793 it became an independent parish and in 1801, Fr. Agustín Rico was assigned resident priest. The present church is attributed to Fr. Tomás Santaren while he was parish priest from 1855-66.

Heritage Features: Built of coral stone quarried from Igbaras, the church is flanked by a three story bell tower to its right and the ruins of a building, probably the convento to its left. The bell tower, however, is now damaged and the upper most story, a construction in reinforced concrete. The two stories of the façade are uneven in height, the second being about one-half the dimension of the first. The first story is decorated with rosettes and divided vertically by engaged columns on tall plinths like Guimbal. Composite capitals crown the columns. A plaque above the arched portal displays the Augustinian seal flanked by cherubs. The second story is plain compared with the lower floor. The façade’s striking feature, however, is the disproportionately large pediment. When Fr. Santarén was still building the church news of the victory of Gen. Leopoldo O’Donnel over the Moroccan Crown Prince Muley Abbas reached Iloilo. The Spaniards recaptured Tetuan. Santarén’s low relief mural captures the excitement of victory where cavalry and infantry are tearing down Moorish defense, near palms and a minaret. The troops are composed in an ascending spiral with figures of horse and rider becomes smaller the higher they reach. Spaces between the figures are filled with vegetation. The title of the composition “Rendición de Tetuan” is carved at the base of this animated relief. (Panublion)

Posted in Churches, Iloilo, National Cultural Treasures | Leave a Comment »

Jasaan Church

Posted by admin on December 10, 2006

Posted in Churches, Misamis Oriental, National Cultural Treasures | 3 Comments »

Fort Pilar (Zamboanga City)

Posted by admin on August 7, 2006

The fort was built on June 23, 1635 by Father Melchor de Vera, a Jesuit Priest-Engineer, to ward off attacks from the moros and foreign invaders. Originally named the Real Fuerza de San Jose, it was renamed after it was rebuilt in 1719. The Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza, whose statue was embossed on the east wall in 1734 as a frontpiece atop the entrance, was eventually sealed when it became a shrine.

Posted in Fortifications, National Cultural Treasures, Zamboanga City | 2 Comments »

Banaue Rice Terraces

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

Posted in Ifugao, National Cultural Treasures, UNESCO World Heritage Sites | 3 Comments »

Paoay Church

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

Posted in Churches, Ilocos Norte, National Cultural Treasures, National Historical Landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites | 18 Comments »

Majayjay Church

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

Posted in Churches, Laguna, National Cultural Treasures | Leave a Comment »