Experiencing the Rich History of Metro Manila: A Visita Iglesia to its Historical Churches - The Filipino Rambler


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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Experiencing the Rich History of Metro Manila: A Visita Iglesia to its Historical Churches

The upcoming Holy Week will be a time for reflection, prayer, and church visits for many Catholics in the Philippines. The Visita Iglesia is a Lenten tradition where believers visit seven churches to commemorate the Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ on the Cross on Maundy Thursday. Some choose to visit 14 churches (like I do) to do the 14 Stations of the Cross. 

Here are some historic churches that you can visit during Holy Week if you're in Metro Manila.



San Agustin Church, located in Intramuros, Manila, is one of the oldest stone church in the Philippines. It was built in 1571 and is considered a National Historical Landmark. The church has survived numerous earthquakes, fires, and wars, and it still stands as a testament to the country's rich cultural and religious heritage.

You'll be astounded by the church's grand Baroque architecture and elaborate decorations as soon as you walk inside. The walls are adorned with religious paintings and carvings, and the ceiling features intricate frescoes. One of the highlights of the church is the San Agustin Museum, which houses a collection of religious artifacts and artworks from the colonial period. Tombs of notable influential people like Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, Juan Luna, Pedro Paterno and Juan de Salcedo can also be found inside.



The Manila Cathedral is another historical church located in Intramuros. It was first built in 1581, but it has undergone several reconstructions and renovations over the centuries. The current building, which combines Gothic and Romanesque architectural elements, was finished in 1958.

The Manila Cathedral has played a significant role in the country's religious and political history. It has served as a venue for papal visits, presidential inaugurations, and other important events. Inside the church, you'll find beautiful stained-glass windows, towering pillars, and intricate sculptures. Visit the crypt, which houses the remains of former bishops and other notable members of the church.



The Quiapo Church, also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, is a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics in the Philippines. It is home to the Black Nazarene, a life-sized wooden sculpture of Jesus carrying the cross. The sculpture is believed to have miraculous powers, and many devotees come to the church to ask for favors or offer thanksgiving.

The Quiapo Church was first built in 1586, but it has undergone several renovations and expansions over the centuries. The church has a Baroque-style facade, and inside, you'll find colorful stained-glass windows, ornate altars, and the iconic Black Nazarene sculpture.



The Santa Ana Church is located in the district of the same name in Manila. It was built in 1720 and is considered one of the oldest churches in the city. The church features a Baroque-style facade and a unique circular bell tower.

Inside the church, you'll find an impressive collection of religious art and artifacts. The altar is adorned with intricate carvings and statues, while the walls are decked with paintings depicting scenes from the Bible. The church also has a beautiful courtyard, where you can take a moment to reflect and pray.



The Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, popularly known as Binondo Church, is situated in the center of Manila's Chinatown. It was initially constructed in 1596 and has since undergone a number of reconstructions and alterations. The current building was finished in 1852 and combines Chinese and Baroque design elements.

Beautiful stained-glass windows, elaborate woodwork, and elegant altars can be found inside the church. The first Filipino saint, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, has a shrine inside the church. Saint. Lorenzo Ruiz is honored at the shrine with a statue and a display that describes his life and martyrdom.


Malate, a district in Manila, is home to the Malate Church, often referred to as Our Lady of Remedies Parish Church. It is one of the nation's oldest churches and dates back to 1588. The church's original Baroque-style front has survived a number of repairs and additions throughout the years.

The statue of Our Lady of Remedies, which is thought to have miraculous powers, is also housed in the church. Many followers visit the church to pray for healing or to express gratitude.



The Minor Basilica of San Sebastian, a fascinating and unique church, is located in Manila's Quiapo's district. It was completed in 1891and is known as the only all-steel church in Asia.

You'll be astounded by the church's elaborate Gothic-style architecture as soon as you walk in. Beautiful paintings and carvings cover the walls and ceiling, and the stained-glass windows are spectacular. The church also boasts a stunning pipe organ, regarded as one of the best in the country.

They say Gustave Eiffel, the French engineer behind the Eiffel Tower, was involved in the design and construction of the church but this was never confirmed.

San Sebastian Church is declared a National Historical Landmark and a National Cultural Treasure. Help the basilica prolong its lifespan by clicking HERE.



In Makati City's Guadalupe district sits the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church. It is one of the nation's oldest churches and dates back to 1629. The church's original Baroque-style facade has survived numerous reconstructions and additions throughout the years.

Beautiful stained-glass windows, elaborate woodwork, and elegant altars can be found inside the church. The picture of Our Lady of Grace, which is thought to be miraculous, is also housed in the church. Many believers visit the church to make requests for blessings or to express gratitude.

Some of the oldest and most stunning churches in the Philippines may be found in Metro Manila. During Holy Week, going to these historical churches can be a significant and enlightening experience. Each church has a distinct history and architectural style, and they all provide a window into the rich cultural and religious past of the nation. A visita iglesia in Metro Manila is absolutely worthwhile, regardless of whether you're a devoted Catholic or you're just interested in history and architecture.


  1. ibat ibang Churches Pero Lahat ay magaganda at napakahistorical✨and Thank You for sharing This Blog Sir Allan at naKAKAmiss na pumunta ng BINONDO CHURCH

  2. Npka gagandang simbahan at ang historical tlga . Na visit ko dito ung santa ana and quaipo church . Gusto ko dn mka visit sa ibang historical dito 🥰

  3. Ang gaganda ng mga Catholic Church.😍 Baptist ako sir allan pero i have a lot of friend na catholic and i respect them lalo pagdating kay God❤️As long as may paniniwala tayo sa kanya.Kaya naman kapag dumadating talaga ang Mahal na araw naalala natin yung sakripisyo ng Panginoon sa krus ng kalabaryo. At itong mga simbahan ang nagbibigay paalala sating Ama.

  4. Thank you for sharing sir allan ❤❤❤❤

  5. Thank you po for this list of churches na pwedeng bisitahin ngayong Holy Week.


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