With all the skyscrapers and modern structures in Makati City, it’s hard to imagine that a church almost 400 years old lies hidden in this business capital of the Philippines. If you’re from the north, passing through the Guadalupe bridge along take Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) towards Makati City, the first thing you’ll notice are the huge billboards right before the San Carlos Seminary. Behind the seminary is the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church (to be precise, it’s located in 7440 Bernardino Street, Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City; 896-8444, 895-9141; see map and directions).
According to the marker placed in 1937 by the Historical Research and Markers Committee (Church and Monastery of Guadalupe):
“The foundations of this church and monastery of the Augustinian Order were laid in 1601 and construction work was finished in 1629. Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe was chosen titular patroness in 1803. After the Chinese uprising of 1839 this sanctuary served as a seat of devotion for the Chinese. The buildings withstood the earthquakes of 1645, 1658, 1754 and 1863. The masonry roof of the church collapsed in the earthquakes of 1880 and the structure was rebuilt in 1882 by Rev. Jose Corujedo, O.S.A. Site of an orphan asylum and trade school administered by the Augustinian Order for the benefit of the children of the victims of the cholera of 1882. Both church and monastery were gutted by fire in February 1898, during the early skirmishes between Americans and Filipinos.”
Very historic, I must say. Now, if only I could add something to that marker, I’d add that this is the church where I got married the first time (which is also the last time, of course).
The history and architecture of the church add to the solemnity of the wedding. The church is not huge like the Manila Cathedral, but that makes it perfect for intimate weddings, limited only for family and very close friends.
But you don’t have to get married just to visit this church, which I suggest you should do. (See map and directions.)