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INTRAMUROS OF MEMORY: Laya & Gatbonton, Ministry of Human Settlements, Intramuros Administration, Manila 1983

Photo-documentation of the walled city of Intramuros. It showcases the various aspects of the city from the fortifications, showing the various puertas or gateways to the ravelins and bulwarks and Fort Santiago, Manila’s Citadel along the Pasig River. It also highlights the numerous churches that graced Intramuros which made the city the area with most churches within a walled community. The churches shown are Iglesia de Imaculada Concepcion or Manila Cathedral, Iglesia de San Agustin, Iglesia de San Ignacio, Iglesia de San Jose, Iglesia de Lourdes, Iglesia de San Nicolas Recoletos, Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Iglesia de San Francisco and Iglesia Minor de Orden Tercera. All except for Manila Cathedral and San Agustin were destroyed during the liberation of Manila which is also featured in this book. Other structures of note presented in this book are schools and convents that were numerous during its heyday such as Ateneo Municipal, Colegio de Santo Tomas, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Beaterio de Santa Catalina, Colegio de Santa Rosa, Colegio de Santa Isabel, Beaterio de la Compania, and the Convento de Santa Clara. Government agencies were also photographed such as the Ayuntamiento, Intendencia, Aduana, and others.

       It is a  noteworthy book for architectural historians who are  fascinated by what the city of Manila looked like prior to the second world war.


       Photo documentation as well as historical survey of the numerous churches which the Agustinian Order erected throughout its long illustrious history in the country. The Agustinian Order, the oldest order to have established missions in the country was also blessed with evangelizing the most wealthy and secure places in the archipelago, which is reflected in the wealth of their architectural heritage. The photos here are in full color with external and internal shots of selected churches. It traces the evolution of the structures from when the town or pueblo was established as well as the consequent erection of the church, to the present growth of the community. It also looks into the construction of the churches, discussing such aspects as to materials used, cost, design aspects and motifs as well as construction principles employed, all analyzed in a layman’s point of view. Noted structures analyzed in this book are the San Agustin Church and Convent, the churches of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pampanga, Bulacan, Cebu, Panay Island, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Abra.

       It is an interesting coffee table book for lovers of ecclesiastical architecture particularly Agustinian Architecture in the Philippines.


       A pictorial essay on the Spanish colonial fortifications found all over the islands. The author discusses the role which the Spanish fortifications played in the colonization of the archipelago. The book  highlights the beginning of fortifications in the country with examples found in the Batanes Islands, to early indigenous fortifications. It is also a historical look of colonial fortifications, its strategy and construction. The development of colonial fortification in the country beginning with Fort San Pedro in Cebu was identified, along with Intramuros walls and Fort Santiago, Fuerza San Felipe in Cavite was also highlighted as well as numerous other fortifications in the country. Smaller bastions such as the defensive moro watch towers which dot coastal communities was also mentioned as well as the Church fortresses such as the Iglesia y fuerza de Cuyo, Iglesia y Fuerza de Culion, Iglesia y Fuerza de Capul and others.

       The book traces the development of military architecture in the country highlighting not only its defensive purpose but its religious and social uses as well.


       Book on the origin and development of ecclesiastical art and architecture of the Jesuit Order in the Philippines. It traces the legacy of Spanish Jesuit contribution from the establishment of the pueblo to the division of the land into reducciones as well as the mission of the Jesuits with ad majorem dei gloriam as their motto for conversion.

       The book looks into the Jesuit builders themselves, the architects, builders, artisans and artists who contributed their skills into the construction of these monuments of faith. Highlight of this book is the discussion on the construction of the Iglesia de San Ignacio in Intramuros. In latter chapters, the various missions established by the Jesuit order was identified, discussing its architecture, its interior decoration (reredos and retablos). Some notable discussions and photographs presented are those of the churches of Antipolo, Siland, Boac, Sta. Cruz as well as that of San Ignacio.

       The book is significant in its telling of how missions such as that of the Jesuit order established themselves in the country and provides a look into the mission-building of a community and the outcome and history of this community endeavor.


       Book on the development of architecture in the country from the pre-Spanish period to the Spanish era. It traces the development of architecture through the various factors involved in shaping architecture. From climate, topography, geography and geology, culture, religion, and history. It looks at samples of ethnic architecture, from the traditional bahay kubo to the more tribal examples of the hinterlands. All examples are illustrated. During the Spanish regime, focus was concentrated on ecclesiastical architecture and the numerous churches erected during this period by the five religious orders present in the country. The book  reviews  historical architecture which resulted in the establishment of renaissance architecture in the country. The book also presents an analysis of numerous churches in the country and  discussed the Law of the Indies as well.

       The book, the first in a series of 2 books,  discusses in detail the evolutionary process of developing architecture in a country. The second book will cover the evolution of architecture in the country during the American and the contemporary period is still to be published.

SIMBAHAN: CHURCH ART IN COLONIAL PHILIPPINES 1565 – 1898: Regalado Trota-Jose, Ayala Museum 1991

       History of church architecture in the Philippines and how such architecture played an important role in the evangelization of the nation. The book identifies the religious orders which shaped the religious nature of the country and traces the missions established by these religious orders. Other parts of the book discusses the methods of construction of all parts of the building. The different parts and uses of the church complex are also mentioned. Aside from architecture, the author discusses the interior aspects and significance of church imagery in shaping the religious minds of the people. Period photographs of various churches, exterior and interior are presented to give the reader an idea of how Philippine churches looked like prior to destruction due to wars and natural calamity or simply wrong renovation ideas.

       The book is noteworthy for discussing religious architecture  in detail without stepping into religious or  missionastic ideas for building such churches.

HERITAGE: PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE; THE ILOCOS REGION: AN ARCHITECTURAL TRAVEL GUIDE:Manuel L.C. Noche, United Architects of the Philippines, Center for Philippine Architecture

       Book on the significant architectural structures in the Ilocos Regions, comprising the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan. The book identifies historical architecture such as ancestral houses, churches and convents, lighthouses, moro watch towers, government buildings and other buildings deemed historical due to age. It also discusses the significant towns in the Ilocos region by tracing the history of their names. Drawings and maps of structures are included.   

DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE: 1993 Santa Barbara Publishing Corp.

       Monthly publication focusing on the arts and architecture. Various articles showcase the best in Philippine arts with architecture highlighted in each  issue. Some features of the magazine deal with present-day art, architecture and interior design. Historic design are presented well to remind the reader of the importance of historical art and architecture.

GREAT CHURCHES OF THE PHILIPPINES: Pedro Gallende O.S.A. & Rene Javellana S.J.

       Two of the country’s foremost writers on church architecture, Gallende and Javellana, identifies the most artistically significant churches in the country. Photo essays on the various churches gives the reader an opportunity to see the beauty of the various churches found around the country. The book provides a very good preview of churches including a prelude to Gallende’s, Angel in Stone and Javellana`s Wood andStone.

       The book is an important collection for architects and art lovers of church architecture.

About the Author:
Manuel D. C. Noche took up masteral studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture & Planning, London majoring in Environmental Design and Engineering. His love for travelling and photography eventually led him to the doors of the country’s historic churches, which he hopes to someday catalog in a book. He is currently the principal architect for Art, Architecture, and Design.