Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human

Manila Cathedral

November 11, 2012

Manila Cathedral is a basilica inside Intramuros.  It is the seat of the Catholic church in the Philippines where the Archbishop of Manila (the highest ranking Catholic official) in the country presides).

The church is modeled after European churches and is a beautiful edifice.  It is the choice of many celebrities and powerful and rich people for celebrating special moments like weddings and baptisms (with a corresponding high fee and probably full schedule).

A special tidbit of information is that before being transferred to the Rizal monument, kilometer zero (KM 0) was previously measured from the cross on the church steeple.  That’s how important this basilica is.

Last Sunday, we went to Intramuros for another photowalk and we took pictures of the exterior of the church.  It was closed for renovations and I have yet to take a picture inside the church.

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Manila Cathedral’s dome above the altar (left) * The arch above the church’s main door (above) * The church’s steeple (right) * The right side of the church.

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The church is full of beautiful details that can be photographed given ample time and right camera/lens combination.


The cross above the main door (held by cherubs) and on top of the dome * Detail of the arches above the main door.

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The church’s main door has several panels depicting various scenes, one of which is probably the first mass held in the Philippines in Limasawa, Cebu (below left).  Other scenes could probably be from the Bible or other milestones in the history of Christianity.  I think there are 8 or more panels on the doors but I was not able to photograph them all.

I wish to return to Manila Cathedral when the renovation is finished and I hope that it is now open for photographers.  What wonders could the inside of this basilica hold.

The church steeple as seen from Fort Santiago * The notice of renovation * A streamer opposing the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.

On a side note, the Catholic Church in the Philippines is opposing the Reproductive Health Bill and is using the pulpit as a platform for voicing this opposition.  The church here seems to be clinging to the antiquated notion of the Middle Ages.

For non-Filipino readers, the Philippines is currently one of the few countries in the world without divorce and the recent proposal to its (divorce) legalization would definitely have the priests spewing diatribes from the pulpit.  The catholic church sure has many beautiful churches but I think it’s high time that it move forward to the 21st century.

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