Friday, April 15, 2011



 This is actually my 1st Visita Iglesia-RUINS of Life, FAITH and FATE.

It was a Sunday morning, and a day of obligation of every Catholic and other Christian Faith. I woke up at around 7:00 am, finished up the morning routine and right away went to the Famed Manila Cathedral to hear mass. The Manila Cathedral is just a walking distance from our dormitory.
Interior of the Manila Cathedral
I still felt so tired with the last night's event at the SM Mall of Asia, but I still have to pay respect with our Sunday's obligation being as Christian and a devoted Catholic.
Statue of King Carlos IV of Plaza de Roma
When the mass has ended, I then took some snapshots at the church's facade and interior medieval and greek precast architectural design and its stone art. But before I took a single shot, I asked first the guard on duty about the church regulation for me to be guided properly.
The FACADE and the Main Entrance of the Basilica

I read first carefully all the literature written like the one placed outside the church, its brief history before it became a Manila Cathedral.

I was stunned and take pride of being as  a devoted Catholic when I read the literature on when it was built and on how this grandeur structure survived the test of times.

Brief History : The Manila Cathedral

The Manila Cathedral is the eight structure to rise on this site, and it is located in the corner of Cabildo and Beaterio Streets of Intramuros. Here are the sequence of events;
1571      :  1st Church built of nipa and bamboo
1583      :  Razed down by fire
1591     :  2nd Cathedral built of stone and mortar (mortar-is a mixture of cement and aggregates)
1600    :  Destroyed by earthquakes
1614     : Third Cathedral built in this period
1621     : Destroyed by earthquake
1645     : Destroyed again by earthquake
1654 to 
1681     : Fourth Cathedral built in this period
1751     : Damaged by typhoons and earthquakes and subsequently demolished
1760    : Inaugurated as the 5th Cathedral
1850    : Renovation took place
1852    : Destroyed again by earthquake
1854 to
1858    : Sixth Cathedral constructed from 1854 to 1858
1863    : Destroyed by earthquake
1879    :  7th Cathedral Inaugurated on this year
1880   : Severely damaged by earthquake when its bell tower was collapsed
1945   : Totally destroyed in the Battle of Manila
1953 to
1958   :  It was REBUILT AGAIN, and was designed by Architect Fernando Ocampo, under the direct supervision of Archbishop Rufino J. Santos.
1981   :  Elevated to the rank of Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II and officially named Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Reconstruction Phase

Roman Catholic Cathedral of MANILA
I've been here in 1991 to 1994. Been in 1995 for a training engagement,  and I felt so guilty that I have never gave just a minute to pay a visit of the Church. But this time, I see to it that for every details of my travels, it shall be documented.
The "Guardia Sibil" - The Civil Guard

"the Triangular Metal Masonry Plate" -  used during the Reconstruction Phase

Ruins during World War II

Allow me to magnify the caption inscribed on this photo entitled as "The Genesis of the Idea".
"His Grace, the ARCHBISHOP of MANILA views the historical landmark still intact among the nine-year old ruins of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Manila, while two of his predecessors had contemplated to move the site of the Archdiocesan seat from INTRAMUROS. His Grace, Most Reverend Rufino J. Santos, D.D., decided to raise the Cathedral from its own ruins".
At this point, I also took about 30 minutes of contemplation. I then realized the decision I made during the "point of crisis" of my marriage in 2004. That decision was really not on my own alone but was  REINFORCED by sincere prayers of my wife when she at that time, being separated for months, have never gave-up our marriage (The Sacrament of Matrimony)  instead she used the power of prayers to save our family. She visited the Church in Quiapo, regularly and asked the divine intervention of the Black Nazarene (I will post a separate story on this, my 2nd Visita Iglesia). 

My decision that time was to fetch them up and save our marriage.

Like His Grace, the Archbishop of Manila, Most Reverend Rufino J. Santos' decision not to transfer the Archdiocesan from Intramuros, instead to RAISE THE CATHEDRAL FROM ITS RUINS, sound the same with my decision that amidst trials in our marriage, as the father  and the column of the family, who build the strong foundation and holds the structure not to collapse, being also as a Civil Engineer, I should have to rebuild my family from the "Ruins of Life"Right at that moment, I whispered and thanking my wife of her sincere prayers, sought the divine intervention to save our family from the "Ruins of Life".
How many times could we come up with a realization that the journey of life is full of uncertainties? That is the reality of life. Let us just accept it and hold on with your Faith in Him. Sacrifice is not suffering, it is indeed an offering.

We traveled so many places, that means we learned a lot of lessons in all of the places we have been, the people we've met, the food we ate, the good times we have shared together with our friends and loved ones, unique experiences,  but have we ever contemplated on how far have we traveled in terms of cultivation of our FAITH?  

The notion that I have been considered, being married for almost 20 years now,  that the ruins of Cathedral of marriage should reasonably be raised and be saved like what His Grace Archbishop Most Reverend Rufino J. Santos did to raise the Cathedral of Manila  from the ruins and stood still the test of times amidst of calamities and disasters that have been through from then on.
Thanks to the student tourist who gave me a favor for this photo

My grandfather has a middle name of  ROSALES and he is from BATANGAS


The Pipe Organ
Map of Intramuros (The Walled City)-A fortress built to protect and defend the City: Courtesy of Google Images

I must say right now that I am very much proud of my family, most especially my wife who really have that foundation of FAITH, the courage to pray and seek the DIVINE INTERVENTION OF THE BLACK NAZARENE IN QUIAPO.

Intramuros is the oldest district in Manila. The original Land Use Plan in Manila being replicated and used as reference by some of the Urban Planners in the Philippines.

My personal thanks to Master Estan Cabigas-- I got an idea for the title, My FAITH and FATE in one of his articles.

6 Con Tour Passers by:

  1. Wow, what a comprehensive blog post! Reading this, I just realized one thing: I've never heard Mass in the Manila Cathedral! I've lived here a long time but I had never gone there. Buti ka pa. haha

  2. nice post..ako naman kabaligtaran ni ms. Aleah, sawa na ako sa Manila Cathedral.. heheh

  3. @Aleah. Try to hear mass in there. You have a good feeling after the mass. You will be relieved on its solemnity.:-0.


    Faith is a never ending story.:-). Try to meditate and examine your heart when you are there. Just remember that we were became a christian because of what they did to us. Right?

  5. great post! parang nag travel back in time ako... hehehe!!! thanks for sharing your experience...

  6. @Mervs

    Early recollection for lenten season. Related also to travel perks.:-).Thanks for visiting my page. :-).


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