Angles of the Manila Cathedral

For the past couple of months, I've been spending an awful lot of time in Intramuros. The walled city, aside from its thick history, is also the seat of important government offices that run the country. There's COMELEC, the star (infamous or otherwise) of every national elections, and the Bureau of Immigration, where I've been hanging and playing the familiar bureaucratic waiting game in the 4th floor. I'm quite lucky, I guess, now that the building has been redesigned and renovated, with professional spaces and 21st century equipment. It's what the contemporary government agency should look and feel like.

Despite the 3-hour collective travel time daily, I find going to Intramuros for field work instead of reporting in the office preferable. And the main reason has got to be because the Manila Cathedral, less known as the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, is a few-yards walk from the Bureau. What's so fascinating about it is how much it attracts foreign tourists and local visitors such as moi not only by its history but by its imposing structure. I, for one, love that there's something new I discover about it everyday - a hidden statue, an intricate carving on wood, a Latin aspiration.

As memento of probably my last official work day in Intramuros, I took several photos of the Cathedral, and some vain attempts to translate some inscriptions into English.

Flags lined up by its curtilage marking the liturgical season of Advent.

Tibi cordi tuo immaculato concredimus nos ac consecramus, or roughly, "To your immaculate heart we commit and dedicate" written at the facade. Okay, so I'm missing a pronoun.

nativity scene

The lovely belen or nativity scene at the side.

Pieta at the Manila Cathedral
An almost-exact copy of Michelangelo's Pieta in one of the Basilica's side chapels.

St. Peter's Statue at the Manila Cathedral
Praying by the foot of this life-sized statue of St. Peter as Pope holding the keys to the kingdom
of Heaven is most inspiring.

Our Lady of Guadalupe in Manila
A verified copy of the original Our Lady of Guadalupe in one side chapel.

Latin mosaic
A Latin phrase in a mosaic I gave up trying to translate. I think it's an address, something like, "You, my beloved, shall be mindful of your words foretold by the apostles."

Pipe organ in Manila Cathedral
The grand pipe organ played by international masters through the years.

Altar poinsettia
The main altar with the image of the Immaculate Conception atop the tabernacle adorned with beautifully-arranged, fresh poinsettias.

Manila cathedral dome
A dome reaching out to the heavens, with stained glass windows unseen by human eyes dedicated to God alone. #