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Historical Places of Worship PDF Print E-mail

Quezon City is a melting pot of different cultures and religious faiths. It is not surprising that many places of worship devoted to different religions—from Catholic and Iglesia ni Cristo, to Protestant and Muslims, and to various smaller sects—have been established throughout the city over the years.

Sanctuario de San Pedro Bautista is the second oldest, still-surviving church in the country. It was built in 1590 through the efforts of San Pedro Bautista who used to live in the place. The property is under the care of the Order of Friars Minor or the Franciscans and was originally the retreat house for San Pedro Bautista’s fellow Franciscans and other government officials. The first structures to be built in the estate were the chapel and a small convent made out of bamboo and thatch. The church was renovated several times because of the calamities that struck the area. The present stone church was built in 1699 and was dedicated to then Blessed Pedro Bautista, the founder of the church, whose bones are buried here.  At the basement of the church is a catacomb where old friars are interred. One of its main attractions is the Romanesque interior characterized by the mixed architecture as depicted in its Corinthian and Ionic pillars. The century-old meditation cave, sacristy and convent are still preserved.  The church has a Baroque-style altar and other 16th century religious icons from Spain.

The Sto. Domingo Church was first built in 1588 in Intramuros, Manila, the capital of the Philippines under the Spanish colonial government. When the original church was destroyed during World War II, it was rebuilt in its current location in Quezon Avenue in 1952. The church serves as the headquarters of the Order of the Preachers or the Dominicans in the Philippines. The church is home to the four-century-old image of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila (also known as the Nuestra Seňora del Santisimo Rosario), the patroness of the church and of Quezon City. The image is believed to be miraculous because of her protection of the weaker and smaller Spanish naval force against the invasion of a stronger Dutch armada in 1646. The Virgin Mother’s vestments and jewels are adorned with precious stones from ardent devotees.  This church has been designated as the National Shrine of the Queen of the Holy Rosary. Inside the church, paintings and other artworks portray the different miracles of the Virgin Mother and other Catholic events in the country.  It also contains a collection of relics, which are usually paraded during the feast celebrated every October 7, attracting devotees of the Virgin Mother.  In this church once lay in state the remains of the Martial Law martyr, former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.

The Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman is recognized as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute and as a Cultural Treasure by the National Museum. Five national artists collaborated in building the church. It is the first round chapel in the Philippines, and the first to have a thin shell concrete dome. The altar situated in the middle of the church was designed by national artist for architecture, Leandro Locsin. Other national artists who collaborated in the project were national artists for visual arts, Arturo Luz (floor), and Ang Kiukok (Stations of the Cross), national artist for painting, Vicente Manansala (also Stations of the Cross), and national artist for sculpture, Napoleon Abueva (crucifix and altar base). According to historian Ambeth Ocampo, this building is a masterpiece of Filipino artistry and ingenuity.

The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in New Manila is a majestic church with the image of the Virgin Mary adorning its front. Built by the Carmelite Order, the towerlike church has spacious interiors that exude an atmosphere of peace and solemnity. The church is well-known for its large, ornate array of stained glass windows depicting the mysteries of the holy rosary, and the miracles and apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Meticulously sculpted statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila, among others, also adorn the church.

The Iglesia ni Cristo Central Temple located in the Commonwealth area is just one of the many structures in the 4,000-sqm INC Central complex. This structure of Gothic-Moorish architecture serves as the headquarters of the Philippine independent church founded by Felix Manalo in 1914 and now headed by his son and successor, Eraño Manalo. Created by the firm of national artist Leandro Locsin, the temple is famous for its architecture, intricate interiors and its 7,000 seating capacity. It is the biggest Iglesia ni Cristo temple in the world. Other structures in the complex are: the six-storey central office, the multi-purpose tabernacle hall, the 30,000-seat central pavilion, the College of Evangelical Ministry for future ministers, the New Era General Hospital, and the New Era University.

The temple of the Church of Jesus of Latter-Day Saints located in Quezon City is the first Mormon temple to be built in the Philippines and the second in Asia after the temple in Tokyo, Japan, and the 29th all over the world. The temple was built in 1982 and was opened to the public in 1984. Its design is patterned after the six-spire design commonly used in Church of Jesus of Latter-Day Saints temples all over the world. The temple sits in a 3.5 hectare property.  Since its construction, the name of the street where it is located was renamed as Temple Drive. Inside the temple complex are the temple annex, patron housing facility, missionary training center and other offices that help the church propagate its faith and fulfill its missions. Aside from being a place of worship, the temple has an archive of all civil registries and Catholic Church records like baptismal certificates and marriage certificates in the country. The oldest document in its archives collection is a baptismal record signed in 1542. The collection is open to the public who wish to trace their ancestors. Integral to the belief of the Mormons is the importance of family, that is why the church is really serious in filing public records.

The Salam Mosque Compound in Barangay Culiat is one of the well-known Muslim communities in Metro Manila. There are four mosques inside the compound, one of which is the Salam Mosque after which the area is named. An important function of the mosques is to broadcast the call to prayer five times a day beginning early in the morning. In 1971, the Libyan government funded the foundation of an Islamic center, which later on became this compound. It is now home to seven different Muslim groups, namely, Maranao, Maguindanao, Tausug, Iranun, Yakan, Samal and Balik-Islam. Salam means peace in Arabic. In keeping with its name, the compound hosts various interfaith celebrations among different Muslim organizations. A traditional Islamic school called madaris or madrasa can also be found in the premises.

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