Holy Week in the Philippines
Here are the Eight Churches of Intramuros:

The Eight Churches of Intramuros

Well, before the war as everybody says, Intramuros was the spiritual headquarters of the country, with seven religious orders that had their Mother Churches here.

1. Manila Cathedral

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This is the central church of the city, the Archbishop holds masses here. The Cathedral is also called the basilica minor of the Immaculate Concepcion. The main festival of the church is the Grand Marian Procession which is also attended by the other Orders. Along with the City Government, the Cathedral also celebrates the Funcion Votiva de San Andres every 30th of November in commemmoration of the typhoon that saved Manila from Limahong during the early years of the Spanish Rule. It has been discontinued after the war.

2. San Agustin Church

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This is the home of the Augustinian Order (OSA), the San Agustin Church is the oldest stone Church in the Philippines and is one of the four Baroque Churches that is the Philippines’ World Heritage Site. The Church was built in 1606 and survived numerous earthquakes and lastly, the destruction of the Battle for Manila. The church is famous for the Santa Rita procession.

3. Santo Domingo Church

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The Santo Domingo is the mother church of the Dominicans. It was built 5 times in Intramuros and was last built in the Neo- Gothic design. The Santo Domingo was famous for the procession of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila, and the victory of the Spain against the Dutch in the Philippines was attributed to her intercession. The Church was the first casualty of the WWII. Currently, the La Naval procession is held in Quezon City.

4. San Francisco Church and our lady of the Angels Chapel

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The San Francisco Church was the mother church of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM), a Franciscan Order. The Church was the home for the devotion to Saint Anthony of Padua, the patron of the poor and lost things which they celebrate in a procession during June 13. The Franciscans transferred in Quezon City.

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The chapel is home to the Venerable Orden Tercera, a branch of the Franciscan Friars. The chapel is situated near the San Francisco Church. The VOT Franciscans now reside in the St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Bustillos, Manila.

6. San Ignacio Church

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Before the Jesuits were expelled in 1768, they resided in the current site of PLM. When they returned, they occupied a small spot near the San Agustin Church. The last Jesuit House in Intramuros was the San Ignacio Church, after their founder San Ignacio de Loyola. The building was designed by Felix Roxas who also designed the Neogothic Santo Domingo. The Building was built in a span of 12 years and the building was then a proud moment for wood sculpture and Philippine Art, its interior boasts of intricate hardwood carvings made by Isabelo Tampingco. The Jesuits are now found in Loyola Heights.

7. San Nicolas Church

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The San Nicolas Church was the home of the  Augustinian Recollects. After the Bagumbayan was demolished, the famous image of the Nazarene resided here until it was transferred to Quiapo. San Ezequiel Moreno stayed here during his mission in the Indies. The Recollects transferred to the San Sebastian Church and the site is now occupied by the Manila Bulletin. The San Nicolas district is also named after the same saint.

8. Lourdes Church

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The Lourdes Church was the home of the Capuchin Friars, another branch of the Franciscans. They are the last order to house themselves in the Walled City. They introduced the devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes, whose feast day is celebrated during February. The Capuchins transferred to Quezon City, where the original image of Our Lady still exists.

Now you know why the pre-war Visita Iglesia was really good those days, Intramuros pa lang solve na!

For the ninth church to fourteenth, you might have to go back to the local church of your arrabal or suburb to complete the nine churches.

I will put my blog post here later. Watch this space.

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Our Altar of Repose. Quite a huge downgrade from last year, although this one is what I prefer since it is more liturgically appropriate.

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Bacolor in Pampanga is known for two things; its half-sunken parish church which is the effect of the Pinatubo explosion in 1993, and also the home of the most grandiose of Altars of Repose in the country, and has been known worldwide.

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A bit of a belated Happy Easter Sunday to all of you!


Pampanga: Salubong procession on Easter Sunday and the colorful pusu-puso

The Salubong is a Filipino tradition done early in the morning of Easter Sunday, wherein the images of the Risen Christ and Sorrowful Mother symbolically meet in a pre-dawn procession. While many parishes have moved it to late Saturday night for convenience, the real traditional Salubong happens right before dawn.

I was actually wondering if the pusu-puso was still being used in Pampanga. I should have asked. Anyway, I watched the Salubong in San Fernando late Saturday night which was quite simple.

The Bacolor salubong or pusu-pusuan was also at midnight and they used the pusu-puso! The photo above is from Tom Joven.

The next morning, I proceeded to Minalin and Santo Tomas to witness the Pakbung Hudas Easter Sunday festivities. And lo and behold, the opened pusu-puso were hanging from the church gates! The Salubong in Minalin was at 4 a.m. while the one in Santo Tomas was at 5:30 a.m.

The puso-puso is a fine example of folk art used for the Salubong. It's basically shaped like a bud with several layers of petals made out of cardboard, papel de hapon and crepe paper. Hidden above the pusu-puso is a little girl dressed as an angel. The veiled image of the Sorrowful Mother is brought under the pusu-puso.

Layer by layer, the pusu-puso opens, raining petals and confetti on the images of the Mater Dolorosa and Risen Christ. With the opening of the last layer, doves fly out and the little girl, who sings Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia (Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia), is lowered on a swing just right over the head of the Mater Dolorosa so she could take off the veil. Once the veil is removed, fireworks are lit, the marching band starts playing and the crowd applauds. The Easter Season has begun.

TO SEE THE PICTURES, CLICK HERE: http://www.ivanhenares.com/2010/04/pampa...aster.html

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