San Agustin visited

I included Intramuros in my itinerary when I went home for the holidays last December. I am an admirer of grand old Philippine churches. One of my favorites is the San Agustin Church located inside the former walled city. I remember last year when my wife’s friend got married in this baroque church—that in a small chapel near the main altar, I got my first glimpse of the sarcophagus of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the founder of Manila. It was slightly surreal for me. In the chapel were the remains of an important figure in Philippine history.

The UNESCO marker on the left side of the church front yard states:

One of the four Baroque Churches of the Philippines inscribed in 1993 on the World Heritage List pursuant to the 1972 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

The Church of San Agustin possesses exceptional universal value that deserves protection for the benefit of humanity.


However, there was something new to me. The church facade was painted… is that peach? Is that normal? Is that the original color? Is that part of heritage conservation? Honestly, I prefer the walls without any cosmetic.


I bet my friend Nold would have some inkling about this interesting front wall color; or if you know what’s happening would you please tell me?


Here are some references about San Agustin:


5 Responses to “San Agustin visited”

  1. 1 duskfading Linggo 11 Enero 2009 bandang 3:13 hapon

    For the love of God…. why peach?
    Joe: Why? Why? Why?

  2. 2 nold Lunes 12 Enero 2009 bandang 1:05 hapon

    The new paint I am told, was a direct expression of our the time [?], its a distinctive trend that can be seen with the other old Catholic churches throughout the hispanic world, although I agree with you Joe, that the bare aging adobe, crumbly and roughly weathered have a unique appeal – in San Agustin’s case, however, painting over the original surface has been done before, the interior loft once bare was painted by two imported artiste. I haven’t seen this recent changes yet in person but I was told by a friend that the fascade has been painted over. Pero parang medyo nagiba nga ang itsura – thanks for posting the pics.

    Curiously, the baroque church in Chalcatzingo Mexico, which shares a striking likeness with San Agustin [it could be a duplicate since Chalcatzingco is Agustinian dominion], is also painted with a “peachy” coat [I think the technical name is “chamois”?]. So it could’ve been the inspiration behind the tinge color of San Agustin today.
    Joe: I knew you would know the answer hehehe. Thanks a lot!.. I still prefer the adobe facade bare. The color has diminished the ancient ambiance which I so liked about this church.

  3. 3 KWENTULANG MARINO Martes 13 Enero 2009 bandang 7:26 hapon

    Karaniwan kung sino ang kura-paroko sya ang nasusunod kung ano ang gagawin sa simbahan sa ngalan ng renobasyon.

    May alam nga akong simbahan ‘yun pinaka-aranya na kung ilan daan taon na eh tinanggal!
    Joe: Nakupo! Pero kapag UNESCO World Heritage site ibang usapan na yan hehe. Salamat sa pagdalaw kaibigan!

  4. 4 nold Miyerkules 14 Enero 2009 bandang 9:54 hapon

    Kwentung Marino – That’s usually the case, I think this should be an area of concern among our beloved Catholic leaders instead of meddling with political affairs. Napakaraming case na ganyan. The guidelines are loose and often disregarded by local priest.

    Joe- I did ask Carlos Celdran in his blog about the newly painted facade, he too was a bit surprised by the recent makeover. Even he don’t know why it was painted.
    Joe: Hala! Ano ba talaga kaya ang nangyari? Alam mo hindi lang sya basta pininturahan e. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali e mukhang pinakinis pa yung pader. Hindi na tuloy mukhang luma. Mukhang pangkaraniwang simbahan na lang.

  5. 5 Hotsphere Miyerkules 13 Mayo 2009 bandang 11:36 umaga

    Ang nangyayari ngayon sa San Agustin facade ay project financed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts implemented by the National Museum. Part iyan ng isang package kung saan kasali pa ang 3 simbahan sa Pilipinas na nasa World Heritage List.

    Noong decada 70 naging uso ang pagtanggal sa mga palitada o protective coating sa mga simbahan para mag-mukhang luma o “original” ayon pa sa mga “experts”. Originally, may palitada or protective coating ang facade ng San Agustin para pangalagaan at protektahan ang adobe stone na nagpupulbo kapag na expose, kagaya ng nangyari sa malate church at sa las pinas church.

    Bakit nga ba may palitada o protective coating ang mga simbahan? Bakit di nalang pinabayaan ng mga nagtayo nito na naka-expose ang adobe stones o ang bricks? Sa ganun di na tayo gagastos pa para balatan natin eto para mag-mukhang “original”.

    Kung wala ang palitada, ang itsura siguro ng simbahan na yan ay parang taong may ketong, uka-uka na yan at higit sa lahat may tumutubong kung ano-anong punong kahoy as in cases in some churches in luzon.

    Regarding sa kulay ng simbahan, kung UNESCO World Heritage Site and isang simbahan am sure may approval yan ng UNESCO and of course dapat aware ang National Commission for Culture and the Arts at ang National Museum niyan as they are part of the UNESCO Philippine Commission.

    Joe: Salamat po sa teknikal na pagpapaliwanag hinggil sa “bagong mukha” ng San Agustin.

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