Visita Iglesia: Malate Church

The church in Malate is one of the church that I occasionally pass by whenever I go to a meeting. This church is so out of the way that my chance of visiting this church is little. That’s why I was both surprised and pleased when I accidentally entered the church one afternoon. I say accidentally because I only realized that I entered Malate Church when I was already inside the church.

Malate Church

The church of Malate, built by the Augustinians in 1588, is one of the oldest church outside of Intramuros. Its stone structure was built in 1591. Just like many old churches that I visited, Malate Church served as a beacon of history. It was damaged by earthquakes. The original stone church was demolished in 1667 by the colonial government due to fear of an invasion of the Chinese pirate Koxinga.

Malate Church in 1831
Malate Churh in 1831 as painted by the Frenchman Cyrille Pierre Théodore Laplace's Voyage Autour du Monde par les Mers de l’Inde et de Chine. Notice the nipa houses and trees, and the Manila Bay is so near the church. (Source: Filipino eScribbles, seen from Wikipedia)

The British used Malate Church as headquarters during their invasion in 1762. It was then destroyed by a typhoon in 1868. The destruction of the church didn't make the faith of its parishioners falter. Together with their parish priest, the parishioners (who were mostly poor fishermen) asked for funds around Manila and the neighboring provinces.

The church rebuilt by the sweat and blood of the residents of Malate was burned during World War 2 with only the walls remained standing. The current structure of Malate Church, a good blending of Muslim and baroque architecture, was built by the Columban fathers.

Interior of Malate Church

Malate Church is not that spacious. I felt the wall pressing all around me. The good thing is that I feel the oldness of the church. That I am walked the very same aisle where generations and generations of Catholics had walked.

What I like is the Stations of the Cross because the painting looks great. My favorite is this image of sinners nailing our Lord to the cross.

Station of the cross in Malate Church: Crufixion of Jesus Christ

Just like the first two churches that I featured for this year's virtual Visita Iglesia, Malate Church was also dedicated to Mama Mary, under her title as Our Lady of Good Remedies. Her image was brought by Augustinian Friar Juan de Guevara from Spain in 1624.

Icon of Our Lady of Good Remdies in Malate Church
Malate Church's icon of Our Lady of Good Remedies (Source: Wikipedia)

Devotion to Our Lady of Good Remedies became popular that it even spread to the provinces. In Pangasinan they have the “Virgin of Malate” and she is also hailed as the Queen of the Pampangeños.

I enjoyed my very short visit to Malate Church. I do wish to visit it again, especially now that bones and other relics of the past were unearthed at this church. Malate Church is truly a time capsule of Manila's history.


Plenty of information about Malate Church on this blog post was obtained from the Malate Church website and the Malate Church article in Wikipedia.


Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting seven churches during Maundy Thursday. For each day, this Holy Week, I will feature one church as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia.

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