Philippine Churches

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Paoay Church

PAOAY, ILOCOS NORTE – The Paoay Church is one of the few surviving coral churches in the country that has withstood the test of time, in particular earthquakes. Originally named Church of St. Augustine, the church was built in 1704 and was inaugurated in 1896, according to the Philippine Historical Commission plaque found here. The Paoay Church is famous for its “earthquake baroque” design due to its 24 buttresses supporting the massive 1.67-meter thick walls. Having been located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the buttresses and foundations are built as massive structures using local materials to withstand and avoid serious damage from earthquakes. The bell tower was built away from the main building to save the sanctuary in case of collapse. Over all, the church architecture was said to be inspired by gothic, baroque and oriental designs or simply put, the interpretation of European baroque style by Filipino and Chinese craftsmen using baked bricks, coral rocks, salbot (tree sap) and lumber as building materials. The Paoay Church is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1993. It is one of four Philippine churches included in the list, hence the drive for its restoration and preservation.

Barasoain Church

Built in 1885, the Barasoain church belongs to the typical Church-Convento-Patio mission churches built by the Spanish friars in the Philippines. Strongly of the Eclectic architectural style (late 1800s), its builder selected to adopt elementary and well defined lines following the period’s trends. Various European historical styles, predominantly Baroque revival, were employed. The eclectic composition made use of the Early Renaissance technique of transfiguring the classical temple form into a new shape, in the case of Barasoain, into a Baroque oval-based design of the church facade. Then details and elements from Romanesque and Neo-classic styles were proportionally copied with delicate balance onto the basic façade outline. The architectural design was an austere version of the magnanimous European Baroque and Neo-Classic buildings built by master architects. The church consists of two structures, the church and an adjoining convent. While the left outside of the Church is a medieval bell tower, the entrance of which has bamboo arches linings and its sides are rose windows. Its architectural design is simple however, it has paintings in its ceilings and domes which make it look bigger than its actual size. The altar in the inside has glimmering lights despite the church's historical reputation. Aside of which, floral motifs, frescoes of angels and saints embellish the interior of the Church. Right in front is a convent which has a museum dedicated to the three historical events that took place in the church. While the Barasoain Church Ecclesiastical Museum has been a repository of important artifacts found within the vicinity of the province, the Church's Historical Landmarks History Museum concerns on preserving the fruits of the Philippine Revolution as well as freedom and the Filipinos' heritage of democracy.

San Sebastian Church

The San Sebastian Church is a Roman Catholic church located in Manila, Philippines. Also known as Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, it is the seat of the Parish of San Sebastian as well as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Aside from that, it is also known for its unique architectural features. Genaro Palacios went on to design a church made out of steel as the parish priest had planned a more durable structure. The steel used for the church was prefabricated from Binche, Belgium and were shipped section by section to the Philippines from Belgium. The first column was erected in September 11, 1890. The walls were filled with a gravel and cement mixture. Stained glass windows were imported from Germany and with local artisans adding the missing touches on the all steel church. It was eventually completed on august 16, 1891. The San Sebastian...
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