The colorful pages of Philippine history will never take its course of evolution and breathtaking significance, without tracing its roots in relation to cultural significance and heritage; to those people and generations that will magnificently behold its cradle of fervent and lasting progress and development.In the Philippines, there is one famous church in Manila which have captivated my fancy when I saw it for the very first time. This is no other than but the Malate Church. The Malate Church is a Baroque-styled church which is face to face with the Rajah Sulayman Park and just beyond the ecologically beleaguered Manila Bay. This church was dedicated to the amiable and miraculous Nuestra Senora de Remedios, who was ascribed as The Patroness of Childbirth.

Malate Church in Manila.

Malate Church in Manila.

In addition, the latter is a revered replica of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to her spiritual role as the Our Lady of Remedies. Incidentally, the statue was brought from Spain to the Philippines in 1624. Currently, the Nuestra Senora de Remedios is still enthroned at the altar of Malate Church up to this very day. It was originally constructed during the 16th century by the Augustinian friars and this is splendidly attributed as oldest Manila churches outside the territorial jurisdiction of Walled City or Intramuros. Historically speaking, gallant British soldiers used this as a fortress during the darkest and chaotic years of an enslaving colonial imperialism, which devastatingly attacked Intramuros in 1762-1763. Consequently, enormous repairs have to be made. However, was destroyed by a typhoon in 1868 and was later reestablished in all grandiosity after a few years of hard work and sleepless nights. The word Malate, came from the Filipino vernacular maalat or salty. It was mainly because of the salty waters in Manila in those early days.

The timeless elegance of Malate Church.

The timeless elegance of Malate Church.

This historic church in the Philippine capital had become the center of political vendetta of the Spaniards. As a result, It was later destroyed due to the supreme and tyrannical orders of governor general Sabiniano Manrique de Lara because of his fears that the solemnity and sanctity of the church will be attacked by Limahong, a Chinese pirate and conquistador. Then, it was rebuilt in 1677 to 1679 through the brilliant architectural ideas of Fr. Dionisio Suarez. Over the years, Malate Church had undergone diverse renovations because of unexpected natural calamities which had hit its prime location since its establishment. It’s first- ever structure was created in the year 1591, until it was heavily dilapidated when an earthquake struck the Philippines in 1645.

From then on, the architects and artisans of the second structure had decided to transform it into an entirely brick stone finish. At long last, it was successfully completed in 1680. Unfortunately, it was razed by a raging fire during the Second World War but it was beautifully restored by the Columbans in the 1950’s.Eight years later, the brick stone made church was again damaged by a strong earthquake and a typhoon which hit the Philippines in just a few months. Hence, its lasting and grandiose construction took place in 1864 under the tutelage and supervision of Reverend Father Francisco Cuadrado. In terms of its religious administration, the most popular wedding church outside Intramuros has been under the Secular Clergy, Redemptorists and the Columbans aside from the Augustinian friars. Architecturally, here are the most interesting features of Malate Church.

Features

This was actually a Baroque-inspired holy sanctuary, which had these incredible features to keep you in awe whenever you visit Malate’s pride and glory. The sturdy and unparalleled Solomonic columns located in the second storey, gliding and the C-curves applications in its Blessed Sacrament section. These are the unique and exemplary features of the Baroque C and S curves scrolled buttresses, that have essentially classified the church as the closest replica of a previous holy temple which was turned into museums in Villa Escudero, Quezon, the elegant façade is both a conglomeration of the Muslim and Baroque architectural styles and a solid, dark stone structure that was further enhanced by buttresses with cylindrical ends, but with few but distinct openings and overall ornamental designs which are delicately exquisite in form and in beauty.

Indeed, Malate Church had proudly passed the test of time through the years. Many will not believe this. It has never failed its parishioners in providing an unconditional kind of faith with is filled with love and trust in the Almighty against all odds.

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