Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Visita Iglesia 2011

We are now in the middle of Lent Season/ Holy Week. The peak would be on Holy Friday which traditionally Catholic church commemorates Jesus' death by special masses, way of the cross, processions and many do their "visita iglesia" on the eve of this day. Churches welcome churchgoers and basically open their doors til' dawn before Black Saturday. I, however, personally haven't done a single visita iglesia in my not-so-religious life which in our lay man term means church hopping.
I do, however, always make sure to visit first the town church everytime I get to land in a new place. I flipped over my archives and realized I had only posted less than 5 church blogs against the countless number of church I've visited . This is because taking photos is not a respectable thing to do inside a church. Thus prevented me to feature the beautiful churches around our predominantly Catholic country.
For quite sometime (about 1/2 year), recent photos I took of San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral have been sitting on my files. As mentioned, I'm not comfortable taking photos inside a holy church, so the following images are mostly church facades but grandiose just the same.

So for Ascertain Bliss' visita iglesia 2011 let's take a glance of San Agustin Church. I'm sure many of us have attended a wedding held in this famous historical church in one time or another. Known as the oldest church still standing in the Philippines, built in the late 15th century, this church is found inside the equally historic Intramuros, Manila.

I know you think what I thought. . the facade doesn't look any old. With the bright paint and all, but history recalls how many times this church had been damaged by earthquakes, looted by different forces, destroyed by fire and war and had undergone rebuilding countless times.

There was a wedding ceremony being held when we dropped by at San Agustin. We dared not to go further inside cos obviously in our jeans and shorts that we were not part of the entourage/guests.

For those who haven't been inside this grand church, I borrow a photo and above is how fab the inside is. Now you know why this is a favorite wedding church of the Filipinos.
On the side note, the church contains the tomb of Spanish conquerors like Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (sounds history book familiar, right?), he is the founder of city of Manila. Their bones are buried in a communal vault near the main altar. One of the lay persons whose remains are housed within this church is our history book famous painter_ Juan Luna.

I actually have a big thing for old intricate church doors so here I grabbed a photo of San Agustin main door. I have lots of photos of this door I took many years ago and some lately. But they are lost now in my crowded files.

Now we hop to Manila Cathedral which is located walking distance to San Agustin church inside Intramuros Manila.

Another wedding church favorite, this church is like the queen of Catholic churches in the country in terms of grandeur and popularity.

Again, there was a wedding ceremony going on that prevented us to go inside.I did , however, attended in the past , wedding ceremony masses here of my relatives and friends, even been part of the entourage more than once.

Borrowed this image from the church website, for those who haven't been inside.

I told you I have a thing for old intricate doors. .

This church got intensely intricate carved wood doors, so grand!!!

When it comes to architecture, I'd say Manila Cathedral comes a winner.

Ooops... I know. . .I'm running away from the spiritual essence of visita iglesia. I just want really to introduce to you the churches then it's up to you now. I'm not even sure if these two grand churches are open for visita iglesia. Atleast, we all had a glimpse of them even only virtually spiritual.

Hey, if you want to continue visita iglesia ala Ascertain Bliss, I got more church post here :

The Dome of the Apostles
The Luminous Sanctuary
The Church of Lucban
The Penafrancia Basilica Minore

God Bless us all.

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