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.

24 October 2009

Sta. Ana Church (Nuestra Señora de los Samparados Church)

I consider myself lucky to have an officemate (who happens to live near the church) tour me around this venerable, well-preserved gem in the middle of the busy neighborhood of Sta. Ana in Manila. And even luckier, I had the chance to take some photos of the altar mayor, as her dad was there and very kind enough to ask permission from the administrators for us. FYI, I don't usually take photos of the churchs' interiors since it takes the long process of interviews and explanations.

It was a very early Saturday morning at around 5:00 AM when we arrived in the area, and at first glance I was not really impressed. Not until a soft hint of the rising sun showed a preview of this church's wonderful and venerable exterior.
Shot from the left side of the church

It is considered to be the first Franciscan mission church established outside the walled, then-capital city of Intramuros in 1578, first made of bamboo and nipa. In 1720, the first cornerstone of the stone church was laid, and it is now what it appears today.

Cams (the name of my officemate) was also very accommodating when she showed me around although it was really eerie walking inside the rooms during the dawn, knowing that the church grounds was a traditional burial place for the affluent in the colonial times.

the altar mayor

I was stunned with the reverent glow of the altar with the images of the saints, all lined up with The Lady of the Abandoned in the middle.

Although I am aware that it would be more worthwhile to see the famed Camarin de la Virgen (Dressing Room of the Virgin) somewhere around (most probably the second floor), I didn't have the chance to see it because the second floor of the sacristies was closed at that time. The Camarin was also said to house the oldest paintings in the Philippines, and are found on the room's ceilings depicting the life of Jesus and Mary. I will definitely re-visit the place for this soon.

The statue of St. Joachim adorning one of the niches on the church's façade. He is the husband of St. Anne, the mother of Mary

The awesome belfry

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