Maynila or Manila is a capital of the Philippines and was founded by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, a Spanish navigator in 1571. With approximately 1,660,714 people, almost 90% of the populations are Roman Catholic. I believe colonization of the Philippines by Spain during 16th and 17th century leads into Christianization of the local. Here are some of the well known and most visited catholic churches by pilgrims.
1. St Jude Thaddeus Archdiocesan Shrine
St. Jude Shrine is visited by numerous devotees and pilgrims from far including students, workers and others with all kind of request either for their needs or other’s. If you are asking for special favours through intercession of the saints, I believe St. Jude Shine is the place to be.
2. Quiapo Church
If you got the chance to visit Manila, You surely do not want to miss the opportunity to shop at Quaipo district. Also referred as “old downtown”, it is known for its cheap prices of items especially electronic goods. While in Quiapo, please make sure to visit one of the most famous churches in Manila; Quiapo Church. Known as Basilika ng Nazareno (Church of Black Nazarene) by the local, it is famous for its large black wooden statue of Christ bearing the cross (Black Nazarene) and said to have miraculous powers. Feast Day of the Black Nazarene is celebrated every January. During that day thousand of devotees will parade through the street and try to touch the statue.
3. Basilica of San Sebastián church
Basilica Of San Sebatian is also located in Quiapo Area. This church is the National shrine of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the only prefabricated steel church in the world. Surely you don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the only all-steel basilica in Asia and listed in the tentative list for possible designation as World Heritage Site.
4. Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz
Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz is also known as Binondo church since it is located in Binondo area. Binondo area is also known as Chinatown in Manila and it is the center of business run by the Chinese commmunity. Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz was founded by the Dominican priests in 1596 and was named after the first Filipino saint; San Lorenzo Ruiz.
5. Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Sta. Ana
If you ever visited Marikina City, be sure to visit Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Sta. Ana. It is also known as Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados. It is founded by the Franciscan Missionaries in 1578 and home to an image of the Virgin Mary which received papal recognition.
6. Redemptorist Church
Redemptorist church is also known as Baclaran Church. It is one of the largest churches in Philippines and said to be the most attended church in Asia. It houses and icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help which is the most respected Marian images in the Philippines.
7. Parish Church of St Joseph
This church is located in Las Piñas City and made of volcanic stones. The interesting part about this church is the 19th century Church Organ which is almost entirely made of bamboo and to be “the only bamboo organ in the world”. Quite Interesting huh?
8. Malate Church
If you are happen to stay in Malate Area, be sure to pay a visit to Malate Church which faces the Manila Bay. This Baroque-style church is said to be the oldest churches in Manila outside of the walled city (Intramuros). Built by the Augustinians, it is dedicated to Our Lady of Remedies (Patoness saints of women in childbirth).
9. San Agustin Church
Located inside the walled city (Intramuros), this church was built by the Augustinian Monks and inscribed in the UN World Heritage List. It is also said to be Manila’s favourite wedding church with hundreds of wedding ceremony been held every year.
10. Manila Cathedral
Manila Cathedral is also located inside the walled city and few steps away from San Agustin Church. It is also known as the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and seat of the Archbishop of Manila.