a history lesson…


The Manila Cathedral, formerly known as the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, is the renowned Catholic church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila.

The present structure is a 5th reincarnation built in 1954 under the supervision of world class architect Fernando Ocampo, who’s skills helped in the design of many of the old architecture found in and around Manila.

This cathedral hosted funerals for two of the country’s Presidents: Carlos P. Garcia (8th) and Corazon Aquino (11th), who was also the only woman to lie in state in the church.

Gabriel Reyes (the first Filipino archbishop of Manila), Rufino J. Santos (the first Filipino cardinal) and Jaime L. Cardinal Sin (one of the leaders of the People Power Revolution) are all buried inside church crypts there, along with the last foreign archbishop of Manila, Michael O’Doherty.

The first cathedral was made of nipa and bamboo in 1581 and was destroyed by fire 2 years later. The second cathedral, made this time of stone, was built in 1592 but an earthquake knocked it down in 1600. Further quakes damaged or destroyed the rebuilt church in 1645 and 1863, with the 1880 quake toppling the bell tower that kept the cathedral tower useless until 1959. Bombings during the Battle of Manila reduced the church to rubble in 1945, after its 5th construction had begun 66 years earlier.

Its present state was constructed during the tenure of Archbishop Rufino Santos and elevated to rank of minor basilica in 1981 by Pope John Paul II.

This structure is a reminder of the Filipinos’ dedicated perseverance to the Catholic faith that stands within the walled city of Intramuros.

As always, you can click on each photo to get a further description of the images.

Until next time!

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