“The church of San Agustin possesses exceptional universal value that deserves protection for the benefit of all humanity” – UNESCO

I’m not much of a church goer, but when I saw what has become of the oldest stone church in the country, the “mother of all churches,” the San Agustin Church in Intramuros Manila; I can’t help but speak out against what I believe is a veritable sacrilege done to its exterior walls.


San Agustin’s new facade, I think,  is similar to what folks over at MMDA does in their sidewalk painting jobs under its Urban Facelift Program. But seriously though, what infuriated me was the fact that contractors cemented and painted over the church’s magnificent centuries old adobe bricks.


Here’s how they did it:


The San Agustin Church was among the four Agustinian churches in the Philippines declared in 1993 by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

It was the place where the Spaniards inked their surrender after lording over the country for more than three hundred years. It has withstood countless earthquakes, typhoons and even wars in its more than 400 years of existence.

But now, my favorite church looks like a prosaic MMDA project minus the Metro Guwapo sign. Sad.

What do you think?

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