Saturday, November 19, 2011

Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo

One of the iconic churches in Manila is the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo, Manila. I usually pass it whenever I find myself in Ongpin St., but failed to enter it. Last Sunday after dropping my wife at 168 Mall for some Christmas shopping, I decided to a mini walking tour of Binondo district, starting with its church.

The original Binondo Church was constructed last 1596, but was destroyed during the Chinese revolt in 1603. Rebuilt in 1614 and named Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, it is where the first Filipino saint Lorenzo Ruiz served as sacristan, whom the church is now officially named.

The church was burned during the British bombardment in 1762, and the rebuilt church was destroyed in 1863 earthquake. As if it had not suffered enough, it was destroyed again during the World War II, and had undergone reconstructions until 1984. 

The church interior looks modern now, betraying its old look outside. The high ceiling sports clear paintings of the stations of the cross and various biblical scenes. It is spacious inside the church, aggravated by the light color of the marble columns and wall paints up to the altar. There are electric fans situated on the aisles to provide ventilation to the mass attendees.

I wonder how it sounds like when the masses are held in Chinese Fookien and Mandarin languages. 

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