Augustinian Churches · Manila

Malate Churh – Our Lady of Remedies

Malate ChurchIn 1588, in this village known as Malate,  the Augustinian friars built a church in honor of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.  The stone church and convent, built in 1591, suffered heavily during the earthquake of 1645 and 1863, while both buildings were pulled down in 1667 on orders of Governor General Manrique de Lara, who feared an invasion by the pirate Koxinga.  But the Sino corsair died in Formosa or Taiwan just before the invasion, and the church was rebuilt later that year, and during the next three years,  with the same stones and bricks.

When the British landed in Manila in 1762, they made the church their headquarters.  Repairs had to be made after the British left the following year.  But both church and convent were destroyed beyond repair by the typhoon of June 1868.

The present church was then rebuilt for the third time in its entirety, thanks to the parish priest, Fr. Francisco Cuadrado, who, together with the poor fishermen of his parish, toured the city and nearby provinces to raise the much-needed funds.  The upper façade of the church was completed three decades later, from 1894 to 1898.

The Japanese occupation proved disastrous to the church in Malate.  Both church and the convent were burned, with just the walls left standing.  Fortunately, the Columban fathers rebuilt the roof, the main altar, the dome and the transept around 1950;and in 1978, the interior of the church was painted, the bricks and the stones outside were made to look new.  The bell to be found at the entrance of the convent bears this inscription:  “Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.  Se fundio en 30 de Enero de 1879.

Interior of Malate Church

The façade of the present church of Malate is a “good blending of Muslim and baroque architecture; the solid compact stone structure is enhanced by the cylindrical end buttresses, the few openings and the overall ornateness of the design.  The three-story façade integrates with ingenuity the cylindrical end buttresses, hexagonal forms converted into belfries.”


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Augustinian Churches · Iloilo · Manila

Four Augustinian Built Churches in PH declared World Heritage by UNESCO

UNESCO has inscribed four Philippines churches built in the late 16th Century as World Heritage Sites. These are located in District of Intramuros, City of Manila, Santa Maria, Province of Ilocos Sur, San Agustin, Paoay, Province of Ilocos and Miag-ao, Province of Iloilo.They are culturally significant for their unique architectural style which is the Chinese and Philippine craftsmen interpretation of this European architectural style.


This group of churches established a style of building and design that was adapted to the physical conditions in the Philippines and had an important influence on later church architecture in the region. The four churches are outstanding examples of the Philippine interpretation of the Baroque style, and represent the fusion of European church design and construction with local materials and decorative motifs to form a new church-building tradition.

Church of the Immaculate Conception of San Agustín

The Church of the Immaculate Conception of San Agustín was the first church built on the island of Luzon in 1571, immediately after the Spanish conquest of Manila. A site within the district of Intramuros was assigned to the Augustinian Order, the first to evangelize in the Philippines. In 1587 the impermanent earliest building in wood and palm fronds was replaced by a stone church and monastery in stone, the latter becoming the Augustinian mother house in the Philippines. It was the only structure in Intramuros to survive the liberation of Manila in 1945. Miag-ao became an independent parish in 1731, when a simple church and convento were built. However, destruction of the town by Muslim pirates in 1741 and 1754 led to the town being rebuilt in a more secure location. The new church, constructed in 1787-97, was built as a fortress, to withstand further incursions. It was, however, damaged severely by fire during the revolution against Spain in 1898 and in the Second World War. Two bell towers were added in 1854, but the northern one cracked in the 1880 earthquake and had to be demolished. In the interior of the church the wall paintings date from the 19th century, but they overlie the original tempera murals. As a result the church was richly endowed, with a fine retablo, pulpit, lectern and choir-stalls. Of special interest is the series of crypto-collateral chapels lining both sides of the nave. The walls separating them act as buttresses. The stone barrel vault, dome, and arched vestibule are all unique in the Philippines. A monastery complex was formerly linked to the church by a series of cloisters, arcades, courtyards and gardens, but all except one building were destroyed in 1945.

Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, Santa Maria, Province of Ilocos Sur

Continue reading “Four Augustinian Built Churches in PH declared World Heritage by UNESCO”

Augustinian Churches · Manila

San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila

San Agustin Church, Manila







San Agustin Church originally known as “inglesia de San Pablo”, founded in 1571 is the oldest stone church (built in 1589) in the Philippines. It is a administered by the Order of Saint Agustine (Augustinian Friars). Since the time of its foundation, the devotion to Nuestra Senora dela Consolacion y Cirrea is celebrated every Saturday.In this Church – tomb of “El Adelentado Miguel Lopez de Legaspi” Founder of the City of Manila is located in the eastermost chapel of the transept. Terms for the American occupation of Manila was signed in the sacristy and First Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1953 was held in the Choirloft.