An Excursion To The San Sebastian Church

One fine Sunday afternoon, my friends and I went on a visit to the San Sebastian church, the only Gothic structure in the Philippines. Getting to the San Sebastian church is very easy. From Cubao, we just took the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and got off at Legarda station and from the train station, San Sebastian church is just a few meters away by foot.

I first heard about the San Sebastian church a few years ago and have always resolved to visit it someday. The San Sebastian church is the only all-steel church in the Philippines and the only prefabricated steel church in the WORLD. The steel parts of the church were made in Belgium and were transported to the Philippines using steamships. The steel parts were assembled in the Philippines under the supervision of Belgian engineers. If you think about it, this was pretty much 'globalization' at work in the nineteenth century.

If you're wondering why steel was used in making the San Sebastian church, it was probably because steel is fire and earthquake resistant. The first four previous structures of the church were destroyed by fires and earthquakes.

We arrived at the San Sebastian church at around six in the evening. Inside the all steel church, one will be greeted by an impressive vault ceiling. According to an article I read, the interiors of the church were painted to look like stone. Up close, though, the interiors looked more like they were made of wood than of stone.

My first thought upon laying eyes on the San Sebastian church was: someone should do something about the corrosion.

And something is being done, indeed. A ten-year restoration program for the San Sebastian church is currently ongoing. As stated on the photo below, though, everything is still dependent on funding.

One of the things that really struck me was the inscription on this holy water font made of marble which read Romblon año de 1893. It is very likely that the marble or the holy water font itself came from Romblon which is well known for its marble deposits.

Adjacent to the San Sebastian church is the San Sebastian college.

The San Sebastian church was truly worth visiting. For me, reading about this church and seeing it in person made me appreciate my country's rich history even more.

Bucket list item crossed off!

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