about ECCLESIOPHILIA

While I am not sure if such a word already exists, the term refers to my fondness to the majestic architecture of some of the Philippine religious structures-- a loanword from the Greek root "ecclesio-" meaning "church" and "-philia" meaning "love." However, the word "ecclesiophobia" was officially introduced by the medical world and means otherwise.
I mostly fancy the façades of various antebellum Roman Catholic churches scattered across the country for their splendid European influences.

18 October 2009

The Manila Cathedral (Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception)

The very first time I saw this magnificent structure is when I was in my second year in college, when I had to go to Intramuros for my Tourism project. Ever since then, I make sure to at least pass by its grandeur when visiting the area. In all my visits though, I was not given the chance to admire its interiors.

The current cathedral is already on its sixth incarnation, and is originally built out of nipa and bamboo. It has survived four centuries of fires, storms, earthquakes and war.

The Manila Cathedral facade after the war, 1948. Photo courtesy of the Old Philippines page in Facebook.

I'm a sucker for everything Roman, hence I loved the Romanesque architecture and particularly this Latin phrase inscribed on the arch of the cathedral's doorway: Tibi cordi tuo immaculato concredimus nos ac consecramus-- "We consecrate and offer to your Immaculate Heart."
The façade is adorned with the statues of six saints: St. Rose of Lima, St. Jacob the Great, St. Andrew the Apostle, St. Francis Xavier, St. Polycarp and St. Anthony Abbot.

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