January 25, 2009

The golden apse

The elaborate gold ornamentation of the altar area of Malate Church belies its fortress-like exterior. Since the church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Remedies, it is her image that is prominently displayed behind the altar. But since the Roman Catholic faith is centered around Jesus Christ, He is also represented in the wooden crucifix attached to the stained glass window in the dome of the apse. Behind that golden (what do you call it?) display case is a narrow corridor with steps leading to a small access door where one can reach in through the curtains to touch the image of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. I remember doing so after attending Masses here with my aunt when I was a child, but I don't know if one can do that at any time or if the door is opened only on certain occasions. I took this photo late in December and the church still had its Christmas decorations. It was dark inside the church but the display case was brightly lit and the noon sun was coming in through the small windows high up the walls—if someone can coach me on how to take good photos in those conditions, I'd really appreciate it! To see the Malate Church's interior from farther up the nave (it has very pretty lamps), visit Anthony's "Inside Malate Church" post in Around Metro Manila. And while you're there, take a look at his other photos. Anthony has a wonderful touch with architectural details and his photos are always a treat to see.

altar area of the Malate Church

18 comments:

George said...

I think you got a good picture without any coaching. Thanks for a very interesting post.

Jarart said...

This is a good shot. So radiant and beautiful.

the donG said...

i didnt know it was that elegant. the last time i entered malate church was 4years ago.

Marc said...

What a wonderful scene, especially on a Sunday. Great colours and light. I don't thinks you did badly at all with this picture. In general, getting the best result is often a question of waiting until the light is at its best. Of course usually one doesn't have that much time.

MaCoBra said...

The picture looks good to me! But I am not a photo expert..

angela said...

I love the richness of the colour, Hilda, all that gold. I like the name too, Our Lady of the Remedies..

I've tagged you on todays post in Nice..

Pam said...

Your photo is wonderful! You do a fantastic job of bring us what your eyes see ;) be well, be happy

JM said...

Beautiful altar! I suppose those silver items are the Christmas decorations you are referring to as they don't seem to belong there.

Lois said...

I think you did a great job on this photograph Hilda! It is just beautiful.

Jackie said...

Yes, great job Hilda! (I don't know what the gold thing is called either)

Ruby said...

That is amazing. I clicked your photo to enlarge it so I could have a good look at the figure. The churches I've always gone to have never had anything so decorative.

Frankie / Nick said...

Personally I think you did yourself proud with that photograph. The lighting within the alter is a photographic challenge and you came out of it very well.
In response to your query, those rows are grapevines which produce the grapes for our local wineries.

Abraham Lincoln said...

The photograph you got is really OK in every way. If you wanted to take photos somewhere else in the church where there is less light, you would need to use a tripod, slow the shutter speed down and also increase the lens opening. I don't know what kind of camera you have but all of the things I mentioned are possible on the SLRs (single lens reflex) cameras.

Zsolt said...

I like this shiny shot!

Joe Narvaez said...

Nice picture! I miss going to Malate church.

tikno said...

So beautiful and look artistic.

Tamera said...

So beautiful! I will definitely make sure my mom pays your blog another visit.

John Felix said...

The crucifix above the dome of the altar [properly called retable is made of ivory. The colored glass behind it is called stained glass. Hope this would help.

Sadly, the original ivory image of Virgen de los Remedios was destroyed by the American forces during the War in Manila. It was brought here by the Augustinians in 1624. The new image, now venerated in the high altar, is now made of wood.

We have done a good replica of what used to be the original image based from the old photographs of the Virgin, and you could see it here: http://flic.kr/p/8Lk6Wc