Malate Church in Manila - Philippines
Dropping by churches is part and parcel of Manila tours, and one of those that is frequently visited by tourists is the Malate Church. Although there are several cathedrals and religious edifices in the city, this is one that never fails to captivate the imagination.
The Malate Church has played pivotal roles in the history of the Philippines. Built at the behest of the Augustinians in the 1600s, it is known for being one of the most ancient churches that still survive besides those found in Intramuros. For several years it served its function as a sanctuary for the devoted and pious. However, during the British attack in the 1760s the church was overrun by the British and occupied for a time.
Following that event, the Malate Church was repaired, but in 1773 the church was again devastated and had to be rebuilt almost entirely. It suffered its worst damage during the Second World War as Manila became a focal point of many battles and bombing raids. Today however, the shrine has been refurbished and is now a popular tourist attraction.
Despite all the rebuilding and reconstruction, the basic design of the Malate Church has been left unchanged, so the Baroque appearance and architecture of the edifice remains for everyone to see. Apart from the superb architectural design, there is also a finely designed statue of the Virgin Mary on the altar. The Virgin, called the Lady of Remedies, was a gift from Spain back in 1624.
Aside from the statue, there are other images of saints in Malate Church which were brought to the country by Father Jose Guevarra. All of these images and the overall design of the place provides an atmosphere of both beauty and religious awe.
Besides the Malate Church itself, there are other tourist spots that you can check out while in the area. You can relax in the park that is in front of the edifice, and the beautiful Manila Bay is only a short distance away, so you can also enjoy the sunsets here. To get to the church itself, you can take a jeepney headed for Mabini and tell the driver to drop you off at Malate Church.
The Malate Church is not only a historical landmark, but it also functions as a reminder of the piety and deep seated religious beliefs of the people, beginning during the Spanish period of occupation and continuing to the present day.