Photo Gallery

Binondo Church (built 1596 onward)

The original structure of the Binondo Church, formally known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish or The Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz, was constructed in 1596. Founded by Dominican friars, it is one of the oldest places of Christian worship in the Philippines. One of its significant early architects was Domingo de la Cruz Gonz�lez. Although repeatedly damaged from earthquakes (1645, 1863, 1880), typhoons and war the often rebuilt Binondo church still reflects its historic Spanish and European Baroque style and retains many elements of its original character. The octagonal bell tower, however, is the only significant remaining part of the original structure

Heavily damaged during the Second World War, the Binondo church was reconstructed in three phases and completed in 1984. A new three-story parish center and convent was added at the back of the church.. The most striking feature of the rebuilt interior is the more marble and gilded reredos depicting the fa�ade of St. Peter�s Basilica in Rome.

The Spanish had barred Chinese from living within the walled city of the Intramuros, so they set roots north of the Pasig River. There the Filipino-Chinese Christians built their church on what is now Quitin Paredes Street at Plaza Calderon dela Barca. The numerous Chinese Christians in the community still provide much of the support for its maintenance. The neighborhood around the church remains Manila�s Chinatown with numerous �Old World� style Chinese stores, restaurants and banks�amidst the modernity of coffee and gift shops. A number of the buildings in the neighborhood managed to survive the extensive bombing of the Second World War.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz (c. 1600- 1637) was the son of a Chinese father and Filipina mother; both were Catholic. He initially served as an altar boy for the convent of the church and later served as a notary and clerk for the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. Falsely accused of murdering a Spaniard, in 1636 he took refuge on a ship that was sailing to Okinawa. Together with three Dominican priests on the ship, he was arrested, tortured and killed (he died September 19, 1637, in Nagasaki) without renouncing his faith. This occurred during intense persecution of Christians in Japan in the early Tokugawa period (although before the persecutions that followed the Shimabara uprising).

Pope John Paul II beatified him on February 18, 1981, in the first beatification to occur outside of the Vatican. Lorenzo Ruiz was canonized on October 18, 1987, and was the first Filipino saint.

Text by Robert D. Fiala, Concordia University, Nebraska, USA


All images copyright 2007 Robert D. Fiala. Photographs taken May 2004

Alarcon, Norma I. Philippine Architecture During the Pre-Spanish and Spanish Periods
  UST Publishing House, 2003. Manila

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Ember L. Esclamado posted on Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:36 am:

Dear Ma'am / Sir,

Cecilio Madridejos posted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:48 pm:

To sustainable architects, My Father Pablo C. Madridejos is the Design Architects after the IIworld war and we live in the church from 1953 to 1970. the parochial priest that time is my God Father, Mo senior Gatpayad from Pateros. thank Cecilio ( Ely ) Madridejos Sacramento CA. USA

sustainable architects posted on Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:56 pm:

The church built in this Chinese quarter, founded in 1596, was the work of the architect Domingo de la Cruz Gonzlez, and is one of the architectural heritages of Manila.

Iris mae roco posted on Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:44 am:

Hi i want to inquire how much will be the rent for the church for my wedding, this august 04 2012. Hope you can reply. Thanks!

for export posted on Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:37 pm:

Beautiful church

priscilla posted on Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:58 am:


priscilla posted on Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:53 am:

i interested to go in binondo church i never knew that having church in binondo my loving mother of shrine i wish ill will be visit one day or atend ,i always see the binondo chucrh because of the teleserye my binondo girl thanks my binondo girl!!!!

eihcner posted on Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:47 am:


Pastor Darpen Kumar posted on Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:24 am:


Website: none
Aida Punzalan posted on Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:38 pm:

I would like to get in touch with Sabrina CARAG who posted this on the Google. I am looking for a classmates who went to Columban College in Olongapo City name Paredes CARAG. If you are a relative please email me. I was always at that church when I was growing up and lived in Manila for awhile but always went to church same place.

Cecilio (Ely) Madridejos posted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:20 am:

I Hope someone can remember that little boy in the church playing!

Cecilio (Ely) Madridejos posted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:16 am:

I was raised and live in the church for 17 years and I`am glad that some people are still remembering the Old Binondo in china town.

Website: N/A
Sabrina Carag posted on Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:57 pm:

Thank you for the info regarding Binondo Catholic Church. I was baptized in this church in 1956 and knew it as the Parroquia de Chinos de Binondo. I never knew the history of this church and found it fascinating.