HomePhilippiniana Sacravol. 45 no. 135 (2010)

A Visual Documentation of Fil-Hispanic Churches

Regalado Trota Jose



The Philippines is slowly being recognized internationally for its rich heritage of church art produced during the Spanish colonial period (hence the term, ‘Fil-Hispanic’, as opposed to the erroneous ‘Spanish churches in the Philippines’). We Filipinos, are gradually recognizing the varied characteristics of this art, such as the low, squat proportions of the buildings, the ‘earthquake baroque’ style of architecture, adaptation of introduced motifs and so forth. However, whatever scientific studies have been conducted are still lacking in breadth and depth. For example, we have to amplify our knowledge about how the many Filipino cultures responded to various artistic and social factors in creating this church artistic heritage, through space and time. We seem to be far from ‘owning’ our church cultural heritage in the sense of deeply understanding its implications—rtistically and otherwise, but especially spiritually—uch that we find it difficult to pass on this sense to others. The editors of Philippiniana Sacra wish to assist in this endeavor by making accessible a series of photographs of Fil-Hispanic churches presently kept in the Archives of the University of Santo Tomas.