The Most Remarkable and Significant National Shrines in the Philippines
National Shrines in the Philippines with great historical significant includes Corregidor, Aguinaldo Shrine, Intramuros, Barasoain Church, Quezon Memorial Circle, Libingan ng mga Bayani and Fort Santiago.
The centuries-old Fort Santiago is a defense fortress built for Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. This national shrine is located at the mouth of the Pasig River. The fort is part of the structures of the walled city of Intramuros, in Manila. The fort’s location was once the site of the palace and kingdom of Rajah Suleiman, a Muslim chieftain of pre-Hispanic Manila. It was destroyed by Spanish conquistadors in 1570. The following year, Fort Santiago was built on the site. The fort, which was made of logs and earth, was destroyed during the Spanish-Chinese War of 1574-75. Reconstruction of the fort with hard stone began in 1589 and finished in 1592.
The fort is shielded by 6.7 meter high walls, with a thickness of 2.4 meters and an entrance measuring 12 m high. It was heavily damaged during the Battle of Manila (World War II) but was later restored by the Intramuros Administration during the 1980s.
Today the fort serves as a museum and is known in Filipino language as “Moog ng Santiago”.
The Rizal Shrine, dedicated to the lifework of Jose Rizal, is located on Santa Clara Street, Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. This is a fortified complex which houses the building Rizal spent his last night and where his family later found concealed in an oil lamp, the famous poem Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell). The shrine is home to various memorabilia, books, manuscripts and artworks belonging to the polymath and Renaissance man Rizal.
The historic Intramuros is located along the southern bank of the Pasig River. It was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century and is the oldest district of the city of Manila. Intramuros is a Latin word which literally means “within the walls”. The site is surrounded by thick, high walls and moats and during the Spanish colonial period, Intramuros was considered Manila itself.
The famous and historical Manila Cathedral is a prominent structure located within the walls of Intramuros. It has been destroyed many times but was rebuilt as many times as it was damaged.
One of the most historical places in the Philippines is Corregidor. It was the site of one of the bloodiest confrontations between Allied soldiers and Japanese Imperial forces during World War II. This national shrine is an important historic and tourist site and is managed under the jurisdiction of Cavite City.
Corregidor Island is about 48 kilometers west of Manila. Corregidor Island along with Caballo, it partially blocks the entrance to Manila Bay. Also known as "the Rock", Corregidor is 6 km long and about 2.4 km at its widest point, with a total area of 9 km². The island contains the headquarters, barracks for enlisted personnel, a branch of the Philippine Trust Co. bank, the Cine movie theater, officers' quarters, underground ordnance shops, the traditional parade grounds, an Officers' Club with a 9 hole Golf Course, tennis courts, and swimming pool and the bulk of the batteries.
The Aguinaldo Shrine is in Kawit, Cavite is the historic site where the Philippine Flag was raised for the first time during the declaration of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898. The Philippine Flag is raised here by top national officials every June 12 to commemorate Araw ng Kalayaan. This national shrine is the ancestral home of the Philippines’ first president – Emilio Aguinaldo.
Barasoain Church, a Roman Catholic Church in Malolos City, Bulacan, is a national shrine known historically as the Cradle of Democracy in the East. This historic church which was built in 1630 is the most important religious building in the Philippines. It was the site of the First Philippine Republic. The church had been the inaugural venue of General Emilio Aguinaldo and Joseph Estrada as Philippine presidents. It is also known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish.
Quezon Memorial Circle
The Quezon Memorial Circle is a national park and shrine located in Quezon City. Situated at its center is a mausoleum that contains the remains of former president Manuel Luis Quezon and her wife Doña Aurora. The monument is consists of 3 vertical pylons that represent the three main geographic divisions of the country: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The structure is 66 meters high representing Quezon’s age when he died.
Libingan ng mga Bayani
Cemetery of the Heroes or Libingan ng mga Bayani is a national cemetery located in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City. It was established as burial place for Filipino heroes and martyrs.
If you haven’t been to any of this National Shrine, please do so… they are worth the visit. Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you!