When thinking of Poblacion, Makati, you’d probably dismiss it as Makati’s version of Malate or Ermita. While it is known to house one of Manila’s red light districts, Poblacion is also home to the Saints Peter and Paul Parish (also known as San Pedro Macati Church). This 17th century edifice is one of Makati’s oldest historical landmarks and is recognized by the NHCP as an important cultural property.
Here are 13 things you probably didn’t know about this historical structure:
1. Located in front of Plaza Cristo Rey, San Pedro Macati Church was constructed by the Jesuits and completed in 1620.
2. The church stands on the land donated by Spanish Alferez General Capitan Pedro de Brito and his wife, Doña Ana de Herrera. The donation was done with the condition that a church and novitiate be built under the patronage of San Pedro.
3. The construction of the church was done with the supervision of Rev. Pedro de los Montes.
4. Like most churches in the country, San Pedro Macati incorporates baroque architectural style in its design.
Baroque is a style of art that started in Italy and eventually spread to Catholic countries in Europe including Spain. The word Baroque comes from the Italian word “barocco” which means bizarre or strange.
From the long list of Baroque Churches in the Philippines, four were included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List in 1993. This includes the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Santa Maria Church in Ilocos Sur, Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, and the Miag-ao Church in Iloilo.
5. Locals in the area fondly refer to the church as “Sampiro” (San Pedro) which referred to the town and the church.
6. During the British occupation of Manila in 1762, the church had been badly damaged similar to other places of worship in Manila.
7. The church was reconstructed in 1849 using adobe from Guadalupe (Makati) and Meycauayan (Bulacan), yakal, and molave. Guijo timbers and baticulin, as well as conchas or sea shells were used for its windows.
8. Having undergone multiple restoration and redesign since it was first constructed, most of its original features are still found in its retablo and bells.
9. The church houses the images of Nuestra Señora de la Rosa and the Sto. Niño de Pasion which can only be found in Makati.
10. The ivory image of Virgen de la Rosa was brought from Mexico through the Manila-Acapulco trade by Fr. Juan Delgado in 1718. While the image can still be seen in the church’s altar today, it is missing its original breast and hands.
11. According to Fr. Pedro Murillo’s description in his “Historia de la Provincia de Filipinas de la Compania de Jesus”, the breast of the original image contained the hair of the Virgin Mary.
12. At the height of the Philippine-American War (1899-1902), the church was utilized as a hospital to house wounded American soldiers.
13. In 1937, it was recognized by the government as an important cultural property and a historical marker from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines was installed.
The Manila Project
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