Friday, May 22, 2009

Barasoain Church

I have this model of a historical Romanesque church called Barasoain. It is a wedding souvenir dated August 2003 (as inscribed below the church, along the base). The squishy bunny gave this to me recently because I like models, especially architectural forms, and it had been stocked along with other old things in their house for so long, without anyone taking notice of it.

I never made a Romanesque church model before, and probably, the church was modeled and carved by hand from modeler's clay. After it was dried, it was painted with a gold-coloured medium, probably acrylic, or something like special paint.

I never been to the actual church, but the bunny has been there when she was a very little bunny in elementary. She saw it on a field trip, but was unable to get a picture of it from the inside (digital cameras were nonexistent then). She tells me that there is a wide stone plaza before the church, as in the typical Spanish colonial town plans in the Philippines. The doors of the church are made of massive planks of wood, and were quite imposing from the outside. Inside, since the trip was made during the week days when the church is closed during the middle of the day, the windows and side doors were closed, but in front was this terribly grand
retablo or altar-pieces with niches for religious statues. It was gilded in gold paint, and at the very center was the figure of the Virgin, in her complete embroidered regalia and the golden halo. She says that it is similar to the Virgin figure in main church in the town of Angeles in the province of Pampanga, but that one had a silver halo.

Anyhow, I had been in one of the most beautiful churches, for me, in the country. This is the Manila Cathedral. I took this picture almost two years ago for my photography class.Manila Cathedral was builtt in Romanesque with other elements, with a monument of a Habsburg monarch, Carlos IV, in the town square fronting the cathedral.

I had also been to the San Agustin Church, also inside Intramuros, Manila, the famed Walled City and last bastion of the Spanish colonial forces, as is the Manila Cathedral.
The San Agustin church is, however, older, and shows more of a Mexican Baroque style, and I love their doors. They are heavily carved with obscure figures of saints and clergymen. It is sadly in a state of poor repair, and the doors are terribly exposed to the traffic and pollution from the streets, with little protection to preserve their beauty.

These are some of my pictures during our trip.

The crucifix facing the dungeon beneath the Manila Cathedral.

The grand but fading side door of San Agustin church...

The Manila Cathedral's main door (it is now not the original.)...

Detail of the door. A mass scene...

And a window from the former monastery.

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