Part of “Baroque Churches of the Philippines”, The San Agustin Church was the first Church that was constructed by the Spanish in the late 16th century. Baroque Churches are located in Manila, Santa Maria, Paoay and Miag-ao. Their unique architectural style is a reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine craftsmen. San Agustin Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, a position it has earned by surviving the terrible bombing holocaust of World War II. While it withstood the 1945 Battle of Manila that virtually destroyed the city around it, the Church’s interior was the setting for terrible atrocities inflicted by the retreating Japanese soldiers.
Originally known as “inglesia de San Pablo”, the San Agustin Church was started in 1571, it is the oldest stone church in the Philippines that was completed in 1589. Crown of thorns on the Christ statue fell from the head to the neck during the earthquake in May, 1647. According to the history, when they wanted to put it in its original position, the face of the figure bled.
The present church is the third one constructed in the same place. The second one was destroyed by the 1647’s earthquake. During 1665 and 1707 it was reconstructed, being damaged by the 1730 earthquake.
Its interior was restored and fixed between 1784 and 1803. In 1850, Fermín Vivaceta constructed the bell towers and, later, in 1863, the fronts of six columns. It impresses the great beauty of the San Augustine church – completely recovered -of three naves, the central one with ceiling painted in 1926 by Benito Rebolledo Correa. In addition, there are works of Pedro Lira and Eucarpio Espinoza. In 1993,