September 13, 2009

First five

The Spanish conquistadores who conquered the Philippines in the 16th century arrived with Catholic missionaries and through three hundred years of colonial rule firmly established the Philippines as the only predominantly Roman Catholic country in Asia until the independence of East Timor in 2002. This group of badly damaged and neglected sculptures in front of the ruins of the San Ignacio Church in Intramuros represents the first five Catholic religious orders that arrived in the country. The sign posts are decorated with each order's symbols but the plaques describing them are long gone. When the Intramuros Administration rebuilds the San Ignacio into a museum, I hope they also rebuild the statues and the plaques.

statues of the first five Catholic religious orders in the Philippines located in Intramuros

1. Augustinians
Fray Andres de Urdaneta and four other Augustinians landed in the province of Cebu on April 27, 1565 after sailing to the Philippines from Mexico with Miguel Lopez de Legazpi himself. The first Augustinian mission house in Manila was established in 1571. Source: Augnet

Agustinians, first Catholic religious order to arrive in the Philippines

2. Franciscans
The Ordo Fratrum Minorum (OFM), the First Order of Franciscans, Friars Minor, arrived in Manila on July 2, 1578. Source: OFM Archives Philippines

Franciscans, second Catholic religious order to arrive in the Philippines

3. Jesuits
First arrived in 1581, expelled in 1768 as a result of the suppression of the Jesuits in Europe in 1767, and returned to Manila in 1859. Source: Ateneo de Manila University

Jesuits, third Catholic religious order to arrive in the Philippines

4. Dominicans
The first fifteen missionaries of the Dominican Order, also known as the Order of Preachers (OP), arrived from Spain by way of Mexico on July 21, 1587. Source: OP Holy Rosary Province

Dominicans, fourth Catholic religious order to arrive in the Philippines

5. Recollects
The volunteers of the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR), also known as Discalced Augustinians because of their practice of walking barefoot and who follow a more austere and ascetic lifestyle than their other Augustinian brethren, boarded a ship in Cadiz, Spain in July 1605 and arrived in the province of Cebu in May 1606. By 1608, they had a priory in the walled city of Intramuros. Source: Recoletos Communications

Recollects, fifth Catholic religious order to arrive in the Philippines

23 comments:

Avignon said...

Statues and this place are impressive. And the shootings are original.

Vogon Poet said...

Impressive group of statues, a pity for the neglection, but they retain
their strenght. It is strange to recognize some of the arcane symbols of the various orders: I am used to see them on chapels and churches here.
Very interesting post and beautiful monument. The way you shot the photos is spectacular.

hadv said...

Hmm.. I haven't seen these yet!

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Wow! What an education, right here on your blog. I've learned so much about Catholicism in the Philippines. If I ever get to Manila, these will be on my list of statues to see!

Pam said...

The damage to these historical statues is a shame. I will never understand why some people feel the need to destroy religious images... It will never destroy the faith!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Statues are really fantastic !! I really loved the shots !! Great..Unseen Rajasthan

the donG said...

for this post i give two thumbs up! i like how you presented it so briefly yet so significant.

it's really sad to see statues like these. the filipinos somehow have that attitude of just building monuments not setting enough funds for its maintenance.

James said...

A wonderful and very informative post Hilda. The statues look very impressive and make me think of what life was like back in those days.

FA said...

What no Carmelites? Well, actually I know that the Discalced Carmelite Friars didn't go to the Philipines until much after the sixteenth century - and there they thrive today.

I like this post very much. I am saddened, however, at the neglect and vandalism.

Happy Sacred Sunday!

arabesque said...

you just gave us a tour and a brief history of everything!
amazing! ^0^

George said...

I'm fascinated by history and really enjoyed this post, not only for the photos, but for the information you give. I, too, hope the sculptures will be repaired as part of the rebuilding project.

Lois said...

They are magnificent Hilda! I hope they are restored some day.

Amit Gupta said...

brilliant statues.....thanks for the history lesson .... I love the way you ve composed this post....

Cezar and Léia said...

My dear Hilda, this post is wonderful!Beautiful sculptures and unique! It's a pity the Jesuit is with the hands broken.
Have a great week!
Léia

bfarr said...

Very interesting. Even damaged, they are quite striking

Jacob said...

Well, I'm totally impressed with your photography...fantastic shots that go so well with your excellent prose!

These statues are very well done. It would be a shame if they could not be restored and preserved.

Layrayski said...

I missed this when I went to intramuros. I love this history lessons Hilda. Thank you. You know I find it curious that both hands of the statue of the Jesuit were cut off. It must've been an interesting place. Sad in its decay (?) but photographically interesting.

ellievellie said...

I like the angles you shot from - give the sculpture emotion - kind of movement! Lovely!

Don and Krise said...

Hilda, you get an A+ on this post. Very informative, and I really like your choices of photos. The statues may have been damaged but the spirit will always be there. Thank you once more for furthering my education.

Leif Hagen said...

Wonderful sculptures with a lot of history!

Ming the Merciless said...

All the statues are really nice. I like the gate structure behind them too. It perfectly frames the group.

White Oleander said...

There's a Danish Church with similar statues. I find it quite fascinating.

Dina said...

This is mighty powerful!