Cavite City will not be dubbed as a City of Churches for no reason. During the era when the small town of Cavite is still progressing, it also became a cosmopolitan town that attracted the different religious orders to set up churches, convents and hospitals. At the most, the city was enclosed with eight churches including the San Diego de Alcala convent in 1608, the Porta Vaga (La Ermita), Our Lady of Loreto (Jesuit), San Juan de Dios (St. John of God), Santo Domingo (Dominicans), Santa Monica (Recollects), and San Pedro which serves as the port’s parish church. Most of the churches were utterly destroyed during the World War II (while some of the church towers remained especially the bell tower of Santa Monica).
The old and original Saint Peter Parish which was popularly known as the Parish of Cavite el Puerto was established in 1586 and was completed in 1591.The church was located in San Pedro St in the old Port City of Cavite (the area is now called PN near the present Philippine Naval Base). In time, San Pedro del Puerto Parish was to minister to the needs of the Chapel and Devotees of Nuestra Senora Soledad de Porta Vaga until 1941-1945. Unfortunately, during the World War II, the church was completely destroyed after the massive aerial bombings.In 1945 to 1965, the Saint Peter Parish was non existent until it was revived through the efforts of Bishop Felix Perez and the then Parish Priest of San Roque, Monsignor Pedro Lerena. This time, however, the parish was relocated to Caridad. Today’s San Pedro Apostol Paris was built in 1984-1986 by the community under the artistic direction of the historically conscious parish priest then, Rev. Fr. Isagani Avinante.The separate belltower of the San Pedro Apostol church. The image of Immaculate Conception warmly welcomes the parishoners. The nave and the altar.At the alter, you’ll find a huge portrait depicting the images of Jesus lending St Peter the key. The altar is notably covered by ciborium made entirely of concrete.The choir loft.The stained glass window with image depicting the events stated in John 21: 15-17 (“Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”)The wooden image of Saint Peter the ApostleThe image of Crucified ChristThe current parish priest of San Pedro Apostol Parish is Rev Fr Hector Arellano. The church is also one of the designated Jubilee Churches in Cavite for the year of Mercy.
Located next to Aguinaldo Highway lies a 199 year old bridge that has a huge historical significance not just in Zapote and Las Piñas alone but for the entire country. Zapote Bridge was built in 1817 under the leadership of Don Agustin Dela Cruz through the initiative of Padre Diego Cera of the Augustinian Order. Interestingly, this bridge has witnessed not just one but two major historical events in the Philippines.Topographically, Zapote Bridge connects towns of Bacoor and Imus to the south and Las Piñas and Manila to the north. Half of the bridge was destroyed during the battles but the other half remains intact. Thanks to the local government of Las Piñas who funded the bridge’s restoration. Today, the bridge serves as a pedestrian promenade, connecting Barangay Zapote, Las Piñas to Barangay Zapote in Bacoor, Cavite.
Appearance wise, the historical Zapote Bridge has nothing much to offer. Some of you might even say that it is just a freaking small bridge but as soon as you learn the history behind this infrastructure, you’ll know that this site is absolutely worth visiting. Like I said, the bridge has witnessed two major historical events. First is the Philippine Revolution against Spain in 1897 and the other one is the Philippine–American War in 1899 which is considered as the second largest Philippine American battle after the Battle of Manila five months before in February 1899.
The Old Zapote Bridge
Zapote Bridge became the battlefield for two decisive battles. The Filipino Revolutionary forces led by General Edilberto Evangelista fought against the Spanish troops which took place in February 17, 1987. Evangelista, however, was killed in the battle. Two years later, another war occurred on the same site and this time it is between 1,200 Americans and between 4,000~5,000 Filipinos.(A historical marker attached to the bridge). Despite of being outnumbered by Filipinos, Americans still won the war but sides suffered heavily where in the American suffered 75 casualties with 15 killed, and the Filipinos suffered 150 deaths and 375 wounded.To pay tribute with this historical battle, monument parks were established on both ends of the bridge. What makes it more interesting is that these sculptures were made by the late Eduardo Castrillo who recently passed away due to cancer. Ed Castrillo is the genius behind some of the iconic sculptures in the country include the People Power Monument in EDSA.Located next to the Zapote Battlefield Monument is another sculpture paying tribute to General Edilberto Evangelista who made huge contributions during the Philippine Revolution.Located on the other end of the bridge is another monument depicting three women holding different items like torch and leaves which is probably a symbolical representation. Much like the Zapote Battlefield monument, this one is also a masterpiece by Ed Castrillo.These women are like Charlie’s Angels of the Zapote Bridge battle.. haha just kidding.
The National Museum of The Philippines is now inviting everyone to explore their galleries that will showcase our rich history and culture this month of May in celebration of the National Heritage Month and what really makes it more exciting is that the admission is FREE. Visiting the National Museum has always been on my bucket list so I finally have a good reason to visit the place not just because it’s free but also because of their special activities including the special retrospective exhibition of BenCaB’S masterpiece dubbed as the Appropriated Souls which will only last until May 29.
Me in front of the National Museum! You can clearly see the long queue of people behind me. National Museum is a government institution in the Philippines and serves as an educational, scientific and cultural institution in preserving the various permanent national collections featuring the ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological and visual artistry of the Philippines.The facade of the National Museum adorned with stylized Corinthian columns. The building itself is already a masterpiece. Interestingly, The building was originally designed as the public library by Ralph Harrington Doane, the American consulting architect of the Bureau of Public Works, and his assistant Antonio Toledo. Construction began in 1918 but was suspended several times because of lack of funds. When it was decided that the building should be used by the Legislature, the revisions of the plans was entrusted to Juan Arellano, then supervising architect of the Bureau. The building was inaugurated on 16 July 1926, and by then had cost four million pesos. Upon its completion, the second, third, and fourth floors were occupied by the Senate and House of Representatives while the ground floor was occupied by the National Library. In mid-1996, the Senate of the Philippines moved out of the building. In 2003, renovation started to transform it into the National Art Gallery of the National Museum.The NM doorknobs. NM obviously stands for National Museum.
The Spoliarium – The first masterpiece that will welcome you is the huge and famous art made by Juan Luna Y Novicio, The Spoliarium. It is arguably the most internationally renowned piece of modern Filipino art. It was so huge that it measures four meters in height and seven meters in width. The painting basically depicts the bodies of dead gladiators being dragged from a Roman arena.Me in front of the famous and historical painting! Opposite to the Spoliarium is another huge painting by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, the El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante (The Assassination of Governor Bustamante) which is also known as The Church Against the State. This stunning concrete sculpture dubbed as Diwata will also welcome you as you enter The Old House of Representatives Session Hall. This 3 meter high sculpture of a winged lady is created by Guillermo Tolentino.
The Cathedral Parish of St Andrew or more commonly referred as the Parañaque Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines which was established in 1580 and administered by the Spanish Augustinian Friars. The four century old church is situated in Quirino Ave, La Huerta,Parañaque. The church is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Parañaque, the local church that comprises Parañaque City, Muntinlupa City, and the Las Piñas City.
(The cathedral’s facade) The church has a baroque style. It has a very engaging concrete facade with the image of Saint Andrew on top. It has a four story high bell tower with a style the reminds me of the Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Kawit, Cavite except that it has a cross on top instead of a wind vane. It notably has thicker buttress too. The Cathedral Parish of Saint Andrew is also considered as one of the Jubilee Churches for the Year of Mercy. It means that pilgrims were encouraged to enter through the Holy Door and receive the so-called plenary indulgence.The Holy doorA historical marker found in front of the church. Aside from Saint Andrew the Apostle, the cathedral is also under the patronage of Nuestra Señora Del Buen Suceso (Our Lady of Good Events). Another marker officially declaring the church as the Diocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora Del Buen Suceso. Marked August 10, 2012.The Belltower. During the 16th and 17th century, the Parish of St. Andrew was made up of only a few homes, found mostly along the Parañaque River and Manila Bay in the present barrios of Don Galo, La Huerta and San Dionisio. Later, Tambo, Santo Niño and Baclaran developed. Barrios Don Galo, La Huerta and San Dionisio built bisitas, or satellite chapels with facades built facing the St. Andrew Church. The San Nicolas de Tolentino Chapel, the one located at Barrio La Huerta, still has the inscription 1776, the year the said chapel was erected.I found another historical marker at the side of the church paying tribute to Padre Pedro Dandan Y MasangkayPadre Pedro Dandan Y MasangkayI failed to get a decent shot of the church’s interior but here’s the church’s main altar. In 2009, the church underwent major renovation which has changed the Major altar placing the Crucifix on its center, adding two side altars and more. The Altar of Saints on the right Sanctuary.The left Sanctuary is dedicated to their patroness, Nuestra Señora Del Buen Suceso. The image of Our Lady of Good Success was canonically crowned “Patroness of the City of Parañaque” on September 8, 2000 (the Feast of the Nativity of Mary). The origin of her title is also interesting. Father Alonzo De Mentrida, (the Augustinian Superior) do not know what to call the image so he asked the other friars to write the name of all the famous titles of the Blessed Mother in Europe on strips of paper and placed them in an urn. A young child was asked to draw the name and for six consecutive times, the title “Our Lady of Good Success” (Buen Suceso) was picked, so they named the image as such.A stunning portrait depicting various events associated with the patroness , St Andrew and the Parañaque.The Adoration chapel