Gavino, Arvenz C. September 6, 2012BSIE-ENG204 S415-10:00-11:30-M-Th San Agustin Church and San Sebastian Basilica Detailed Account of My Visit My visit in Manila is one thing unforgettable. Why? Because I feel that I explore alone, myparents are now with me that time. This is not the first time that I visited Manila but it was very a longtime ago having not seen Manila. So it seems that I’m not very familiar with the place. My August 22,2012. Became more fun because of my classmates was with me. Im not as late as before the first timewe went to SM Megamall. We are standing on the bus because the bus filled by the people even earlier.We arrived in Lawton as early as ten o’clock. We were pretty hungry but we preferred to prioritize thetwo churches. We spied Bayleaf of LPU Manila. We actually looked crazy that time because we enjoyedtogether and shout "Bayleaf!” And we also remember Sir Bernie because of that. We decided to goahead first in San Sebastian. We went on a jeep to Quaipo, as in all of us. We are actually twenty sixpeople inside the single ordinary jeep then we dropped in Quaipo area and we even exceeded. Wewalked and asked somebody to help us to find the right way going to San Sebastian. There are peoplewho answered us but not necessarily very helpful. And then we crossed with the flyover. After that, wewalked on again until we got to the church of Quaipo and there we stopped because no one knowswhere to go. We are trapped there. I asked a traffic enforcer regarding with our problem then when I
turned back, they disappear already. Aira and I just left behind. We passed the underpass and call a jeepin Hidalgo Street. They are glad we found the way out to San Sebastian Basilica. They think we actuallylost. The exterior of San Sebastian is quite impressive for me besides of its huge, lofty spires. But I knowthis is a revival of neo-gothic architecture of the church in the Philippines, its twin open-work towers,and its light green exterior. Some people think it is just another place of worship. While it is near theprestigious San Sebastian College, the church’s location is probably its biggest drawback. This church islike modern face because of it’s viewed from outside plus it blue green color. I actually compare thecolor to the church of Iglesia Ni Cristo. The wooden door was painted light green, with white hue on itsneo-Gothic lines. The pastel exterior finish gives a bright and clean look to the church. Situated in a placewhere ramshackle dormitories and not-so-hidden stalls selling fake diplomas are thriving, characterizedwith dark alleys where not-so-good elements lurk, it would definitely be challenging to summon theartistic muse and appreciate this architectural gem. We do not pass through the main entrance becauseit was closed so we just passed by in the side ways. Once I was inside, I was surprised. The interior of SanSebastian is beautiful. Or I must say San Sebastian Church is very beautiful. The beauty! I couldn’timagine the scene before entering. As the Church doors opened, visitors would be awed by the sheermagnificence and vastness of the church interior. Columns made of steel were lined up leading to themain altar. Chandeliers with dramatic dim-lighted luminosity light up the entire church. Imagine? I haveseen the beauty of National Shrine of Our Lady of Carmel. In fact, it is the only all-steel basilica in Asia! Itwas a National Historical Landmark, I must be proud because of that. Then we took pictures there and
returned to Lawton quickly. I’m excited to see the famous church of San Agustin. The beauty ofIntramuros is like going back to the past where life is simple. As we walked, we have passed by theManila cathedral. It was very beautiful cathedral, indeed. It has a very nice design; its exterior is veryattractive and elegant. But it was still closed, maybe because of renovation is still going on. If I thoughtSan Sebastian was beautiful enough, then there are no words to describe enough the beauty of SanAgustin. The exterior of San Agustin for me is not so beautiful because of its belfry. The other side wasremoved due to the Japanese bombing in World War II. We just disappointed with the staffs therebecause we are obliged to pay fifty pesos just to enter the church. We are there not really for themuseum but we went to see the only church. But suddenly our mind changed because we think that it isa very big chance for us. It is just once in a life time experience so we paid the so-called “admission fee”.When we entered the church, I was fascinated with baroque style of the oldest church still standing inthe Philippines. No other surviving building in the Philippines has been claimed to pre-date San AgustinChurch. The facade is unassuming and even criticized as "lacking grace and charm", but it hasnotable baroque touches, especially the ornate carvings on its wooden doors. The church interior is inthe form of a Latin cross. The church has 14 side chapels and a trompe ceiling painted in 1875 by Italianartist Cesare Alberoni and Giovanni Dibella. The church contains the tomb of Spanish conquistadorMiguel López de Legazpi, his bones are buried in a communal vault near the main altar. In themuseum, I have seen some good work of arts like retablos that are devotional or votive paintings. Myfifty pesos are not wasted for what I’ve seen. It is such a wonderful experience I will never ever forget.