Our office had a foreign visitor and after visiting our office, he asked the bosses for a tour around some interesting places in Manila before he go back to the USA. Fortunately, my boss appointed me as the visitor's tour guide. I brought him in Intramuros and the first place that we visited is the Manila Cathedral, where we were awed of its magnificent pipe organ.
The next place that we visited is the San Agustin Museum located right beside the San Agustin Church. I already visited San Agustin Church during my previous tours inside Intramuros. I can't remember what the interior of San Agustin looks like because I just saw it briefly during my second visit. What I do recall is the outside of San Agustin Church, with its stone statues of lions.
I brought our visitor to San Agsutin Museum to show the Philippines' rich Catholic heritage. Just like my visitor, it is my first time to enter the museum. Entrance fee to San Agustin Museum is 100 pesos per person. There are few people during our visit so there is no queue at the ticket booth.
We were greeted by a giant bell when we passed through the main entrance of San Agustin Museum. The giant bell is similar to the one I saw at Puerta Real and Revellin de Real during my first visit to Intramuros.
Embossed on the bell is the year 1829. It may mean that the bell was made in 1829, which made the bell about 182 years old.
We then entered a room that is full of Catholic religious items that were obviously crafted hundred or so years ago. We saw statues of Mama Mary that is made of ivory. We saw crosses that are made of precious metals like gold. Most of the religious items we saw were made of ivory or gold that will make thieves drool. I am awed by the fact that people during those times venerated Mama Mary and the saints so much that they are willing to offer up their ivory and gold to make images in their honor. The fact that many old images of Mama Mary and saints are of precious items made them the favorite targets of thieves who just want to sell them at the black market at high prices.
Taking photos is not allowed inside the room where the precious religious items are located.
We just walked inside the San Agustin Museum where we saw few interesting things like a painting of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi's landing on the Philippines:
What caught the attention of our visitor is this painting:
He thought that the lady in the painting is a Muslim woman because of her dress. I told him that the lady is a nun and it is one of the usual garbs of some nuns up until now. His is reaction is not surprising because it is very rare, nowadays, to see a nun in public wearing a dress that is similar with the one in the painting.
We decided to get out of the museum when we reached the garden at the back of San Agustin Church. Too bad that we didn't know that the San Agustin Museum has a second floor and there are other areas worth visiting.
The next time I visit San Agustin museum, I will make sure that I will look at its every nook and crannies.
The next place we visited is the walls of Intramuros and Fort Santiago. I have no new blog post about those two places. So if you are interested, just read my first visit to Intramuros.
You can contact the San Agustin Museum at telephone numbers 527-4060 and 527-4061 for more information.