Category Archives: Architecture

Inside the Manila Cathedral Now

LOCATION: Intramuros, Manila City Philippines

Inside the MANILA CATHEDRAL Now.

Renovated. Retrofitted. Beautiful.

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After 2 years, the Manila Cathedral opened its doors again to the faithful.  It was worth the wait.  A work of art and a labor of faith.  It is awesome.  I encourage everyone to come visit (even hear a mass).  Bring your cameras, if you don’t, you will regret not having one when you are there.  It is really BEAUTIFUL . . . 

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View the new Manila Cathedral in this photo gallery.  (click on the thumbnail to better appreciate the image)

You may also want to check out the photos of the actual event (mass) of the Re-opening in this link.

https://adelle125agustin.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/inside-the-manila-cathedral/

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The Manila Cathedral Reopens

THE REOPENING OF THE MANILA CATHEDRAL

LOCATION: Intramuros, Manila City Philippines

After more than 2 years, the Manila Cathedral re-opens its doors to the faithful.  Retrofitted. Renovated.  BEAUTIFUL!

The Manila Cathedral underwent major renovation, repairs and retrofitting the past two years.  And finally on April 9, 2014, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Manila, His Eminence LUIS ANTONIO G. CARDINAL TAGLE, held a special mass to commemorate the event.

I love taking pictures of churches.  I have great respect for the craftsmanship, artistry and creativity of the artisans and artists that contribute to the grandiose beauty of these structures.  However, in all these years that I have been doing it, the Manila Cathedral is one major church, a basilica at that, that I haven’t had the opportunity to take its photos.  I only have taken pictures of its facade and its outside walls, but never the interiors.  Not once.  I posted a set of black and white photos of the cathedral before.

Here is the link: https://adelle125agustin.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/its-iconic-its-historical-its-a-cathedral/

Prior to its re-opening, I only had one chance to see its interiors, it was during the wedding of my sister.  Thus, it was one of my photography goals to shoot the interiors of this minor basilica.  However, when I went there two years ago, it was closed.  I had no choice but to wait for two years. When I saw it in the news that it will be finally opened this week, I made sure that I will be there.  I went there with the intention to just take pictures and feast my eyes with its beauty and also to document the historic event as an ordinary churchgoer. I left home early to make sure I have a good spot and will take my time going around and take pictures.  However, when I arrived the people were already lining up to enter the church.

I realized I was already late.  I was guessing, there were already a lot of people inside.  But that did not dampen my spirit.  As I was looking at the people lining up, I could feel their enthusiasm.  I could sense the joy tingling in my body.  That got me more excited.  I took some shots first on the ground before I fell in line.  As I was getting near the door, one of the security people waved at me and asked me to go to a separate line.  It was the line for the media.  They put a tag on my camera and let me in.  Just like that … 🙂  And I whispered, “Thank you Lord.”

Finally, I was inside, and WHOA!  My jaw dropped and for a while my eyes ogled at the beauty of the church.  The altar, the columns, the arches, the lights, the stained glass (even the flatscreen TV sets that were all over) … oh, the sight was beautiful!  When I got back to my senses, I remembered I had a camera, hence I didn’t waste one more second, and fired away.

I still had about an hour to shoot.  But the church was already teeming with people, plus with the security that was in place, I knew it will be hard to move around, much less get to the altar.  I heard that the President and his family will be there.  Also, the Vice President, the Senate President, and some important people in government, business community and church community are also present. Thus, the security was kinda tight.  But that did not hamper me to go around and shoot.   I squeezed my way among the crowd, I saw some familiar faces (celebrities, business people, politicians, church people) as I was inching my way towards the altar.  Surprisingly, I never thought of taking some photos of them.  I was enjoying my experience.  I was mesmerized by the interiors of the cathedral. And the lights added to the magnificence of this work of art and of faith.

Finally, I was in front near the altar.  I was surprised that I got there with no hitch at all.  I was so happy that I got there, I wasted no time in taking more photos.  I knew, not everyone has got that chance.  At this time, the church is now getting filled to the brim.  Since I was expecting that the security people will eventually ask me to leave my spot anytime, I might as well make the most of my opportunity.  Thus, I kept on firing my camera.  Taking every shot that I could get.

But to my surprise, I wasn’t asked to leave.  There were people who were asked to leave that spot reserved for media, but not me.  I was just reminded by the usher not to cross the line that was marked for security purposes.  I whispered again, “Thank you Lord.”  🙂  It was at that point that I knew I was meant to be there.  I knew it was meant that I am there.  And it is not only for the photos to document this event.  But more importantly, to hear the word of God.

As I was taking these shots from my sweet spot, I noticed that the warning light in my camera was blinking.  (Oh gosh, I forgot to charge the battery!)  Thus, I decided to turn it off and save it for later shots.  When I turned it on again, the battery was already empty.

The empty battery left me with no choice but to hear mass and fully participate in it.  And it turned out to be my biggest blessing that day.  I came for some shots of the beautiful interiors of the cathedral.  And I went home with more than that.  My mind was cleansed, and my soul was nourished.  I was at peace.  The readings boiled down to faith and staying true to our faith.  In the end it is the TRUTH that only matters.  And that, “The truth shall set you free.”  I needed to be reminded of that.  It felt good. I was blessed.

To God be the glory!

(Click on the thumbnail for a better appreciation of the images)

You may also check out some of the details of the cathedral’s interior in this link:

https://adelle125agustin.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/manila-cathedral-now/

Downtown Manila Today

The ORIGINAL MANILA BUSINESS DISTRICT

Location:  Binondo, City of Manila, Philippines

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The original Business District and center of power of the country. This used to be the hub of the Stock Exchange, banks, big department stores and other primary businesses.  Though the banks’ main offices have moved to Makati and Ortigas, also in Muntinlupa,  the Binondo district is still the primary business district of the city of Manila where the Chinese business community are mostly based.

Regina Building
Regina Building
Perez Samanillo Building
Perez Samanillo Building
Post Office Building along the Pasig River
Post Office Building along the Pasig River

The old buildings are still standing inspite of the urban modernization and development.  Efforts are now being made to preserve such structures.  Noteworthy in the list are the Regina Building, First United Building, Capitol Theater, PNB, BPI, Calvo Building, and the other establishments such as the Syvel’s Dept. Store., Berg Department Store, etc.

It is rich and enchanting.  Even with the grime and dirt, one cannot not be fascinated by its charm and whispers.  I am definitely going back and savor the essence of the place.

Check out the gallery… (click on a thumbnail for a better appreciation of the image).

The University of Santo Tomas @ 400

Location:  Manila City,  Philippines

My Alma Mater. The UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS is the oldest existing university in Asia. In terms of student population, it is the largest Catholic university in the world in a single campus.

It has been a while since I stepped  on the soils of my alma mater.  Thus, in the celebration of it’s 400th year I made sure I visited..  Felt a bit nostalgic and proud at the same time.

I am a Thomasian!

(You may click any of the thumbnail to see the larger version of the image)

The Bangui Windmills

LOCATION:  Bangui, Ilocos Norte  Philippines

Up close with the windmills, one can feel its indifference towards its visitors.  I am talking about these 20 gigantic structures standing on the shores of this town of Ilocos province.

You can’t blame them.  They weren’t built as tourist attractions.  These man made engineering marvels were simply going about its daily business.  To provide electricity to some 7 towns of the province.  The attraction for tourists and photographers is purely incidental.

Thus, when you get there, don’t expect to be warmly welcomed.  Just go about your business too.  Marvel at the gigantic structures in front of you,  experience the fierce power of the winds, and watch the thick white froth of waves as it slams into the sand.  While doing all these, don’t forget to shoot.  Then leave.

Shoot and leave.  That’s what this place was for me.  I got enough shots and I am ok.

(You may click any of the thumbnail to see the larger version of the image)