Built in the 16th and 17th centuries by Spanish colonial missionaries, all 4 are all included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Click “launch the slideshow” in the image below:
There is still discussion about where and when the first Mass in the Philippines was celebrated. Some claim it was on a small island near Bukindon Province on Easter Sunday of 1521; others affirm it was instead celebrated in Mazaua, on the very same date; documents from the Magellan expedition back the second claim. What is not argued is that Fr. Alfonso Jiménez, an Augustinian friar, was the pioneer of the Philippines evangelization. He’s known, indeed, as the first apostle of the region. No wonder, then, the San Agustín church in Manila was the first church built in the country, in 1571.
The Spaniards, and later other Hispanic settlers from Mexico, brought the Baroque style of architecture to the first Catholic churches of the Philippines. Launch the slideshow to see the four great Baroque churches listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites and cultural treasures of the Philippines: San Agustín, Manila (also called “Church of the Immaculate Conception”); Santa María, Iloco Sur; Paoay (another church of San Agustín); and Miagao, better known as the Church of Santo Tomás de Villanueva.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?