Manila: Binondo Church

Located in the District of Binondo in Manila, Binondo Church is an old church built during the Spanish Colonial era of the Philippines.

Also known as Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, the church was built sometime in 1596 and was under the Dominican Order. The church was founded with the goal of converting the increasing population of Chinese traders and providing religious guidance to the people living in the area called Extramuros or outside of the wall. The "wall" of course refers to Intramuros.
Church interior
church altar

Check out the paintings on the ceiling

Left side of the church interior
Right side of the church interior
the church interior as seen from the altar
The original church was built using wood as its primary material. A bigger church was constructed to what is now its present site sometime in the 18th century. In 1778, the termite infested wood was replaced with nipa. The church sustained minor damages during the earthquake of 1863. Improvements to the church like the dome were built in 1781 and the current granite walls, octagonal bell tower, and facade in 1852.
the beautiful church altar
statues of saints line up the sides of the church interior

During the centuries that it served as a sanctuary to its parishioners, the church itself was subjected to the wrath of nature and man several times. It was damaged during the 1863 earthquake, burnt during the 1872 British invasion, and bombed by the Americans during the Second World War. 

After the war, the parishioners had to make do with a roofless church until it was rebuilt sometime in the 1950s. Binondo Church had been reconstructed and renovated many times due to its battle with time. Today, only the bell tower is what remains of its original 16th century structure. 
A bit of history for the church
NHI marker
I got to visit Binondo Church during my Binondo walking tour (well actually I was heading to Divisoria to buy some stuff). Overall, the church retained its classic architecture  despite its recent facelift. For those heading to Binondo and Divisoria (esp. the Catholics), I do suggest that you spend a few minutes of your time to visit this historic church and offer a simple prayer.

Getting there:

Ride a jeepney marked Divisoria. It will pass in front of the church.

Overall rating


  1. Are you conducting walking tours? Because that would be great!

    1. Hi coach Aileen! I haven't started that one yet but I would sure love to do that someday. =)


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