San Agustin Church, Manila


The heavenly San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila is the oldest stone church in  the Philippines. It’s construction started in 1587 and finished in 1607. It has withstood many earthquakes and survived many invasions (i.e. British invasion, Spanish-American War and the Japanese invasion). Accordingly, this is the ONLY building inside Intramuros that remained intact after WWII.

This Catholic church is dubbed as “The Wedding Capital of the Philippines.” In fact, when I arrived on the church’s entrance for a tour on a weekday, there was an on-going wedding inside. Outside meanwhile, there were two other wedding entourages waiting for their turn. After my three hour tour of the museum, I noticed two different sets of entourage queueing outside.

The church also has a museum beside it. It contains various collection of antiques that includes ancient statues of saints, centuries-old garments worn by priests, etc.

The San Agustin Church together with the baroque churches in Paoay (Ilocos Norte), Miag-ao (Ilo-ilo) and Sta. Maria (Ilocos Sur) were collectively inscribed into the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List in 1993 as Baroque Churches of the Philippines.

The Baroque Churches of the Philippines is a serial inscription consisting of four Roman Catholic churches constructed between the 16th and the 18th centuries in the Spanish period of the Philippines. The four churches are outstanding examples of the Philippine interpretation of the Baroque style, and represent the fusion of European church design and construction with local materials and decorative motifs to form a new church-building tradition.” – UNESCO




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