June 7, 2009

Like the phoenix

This is all that remains of the San Ignacio Church in Intramuros, the sueño dorado (golden dream) of the Spanish Jesuits when they returned to Manila in 1859 after an absence of almost one hundred years. Inaugurated in 1889, the church survived the battles during the Spanish-American war period and a big fire in 1932 that destroyed the adjoining school building of the Ateneo de Manila. In February 1945, the Japanese put the church to the torch and because all the interior details and furniture were made of hardwoods, it took four days for the fire to consume everything. The church is lost forever, but back in September 2008, the Intramuros Administration announced its plans to build an ecclesiastical museum amid the ruins of the San Ignacio. With the assistance of the Department of Tourism and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the project is finally pushing through. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new museum will be next Sunday, June 14—the same day that the returning Jesuits disembarked from their ship one hundred and fifty years ago.

ruins of the San Ignacio Church in Intramuros

18 comments:

Jacob said...

One cannot help but wonder at the perverse human need to destroy - especially that which belongs to others...

Fortunately, we can also build and help one another...

I'm so glad this will be a museum. I love this photograph, Hilda!

James said...

It's such a shame that it was destroyed, but I'm glad that a museum is on the way.

m_m said...

Yes, looks sadly...

Cezar and Léia said...

So glad news that this important cultural spot will be used like a museum!

Have a nice week there!
Kind regards
Léia

George said...

It's a shame that such an imposing building was deliberately destroyed, but I'm glad that a good use is being made of what remains. It will be interesting to see the progress of the new museum.

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

Ruins are a significant and constant reminder of the past. Perhaps the best warning against war! Hopefully, the new museum will not weaken this admonishing reminder of mankind's destructive capacities.

Buenos Aires Photo

Joy said...

I like the sound of that. We really ought to be pay more attention to the many historical treasures we possess in the Philippines.

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Don and Krise said...

What a story, and what a shame, I guess it will be a sort of rebirth. What a beautiful place it must have been at one time.

Leif Hagen said...

Holy photo! What character and history! Grooovy, Hilda!

marley said...

A shame but interesting ruins.

Frank said...

Wow, what a powerful story, Hilda. Thank you for photographing it and sharing the history.

Clueless in Boston said...

It's a wonderful thing to make a museum out of the ruins, since it would be impossible to re-create the original structure. And an appropriate day for the groundbreaking ceremony.

Denise Jelonek said...

What an historical photo. I'm glad that it's going to be a museum now.

Carraol said...

Impressive history of this wonderful structure, I´m sure the museum will deserve a lot of visits. Greetings from MC.

gogouci said...

Very intriguing history. Glad to hear that a museum at its location. It seems around these parts, historical foundations are demolished to make way for condos, offices or the unsightly parking lot.

Vogon Poet said...

Great building, sad story, with a relatively happy ending. This looks like a very good place to build a museum.

Abe Lincoln said...

It is too bad that the Japanese set fire to the place. They did some very nasty things during the war. It will not be hard to judge them if they get to Heaven.

Our Flower Pot

the donG said...

i havent been to that part. i hope buildings built around manila still adapts the features of the old buildings.