Then and Now – Santa Cruz Church
Posted by BCS on October 13, 2008
The first church to have ever been built on the site of the present-day Santa Cruz church is said to have been built in 1608, after the “territory” (which at the time was comprised of marshlands, orchards, rice fields, and patches of greeneries) was awarded to the Jesuits by a Spanish expedition after claiming it in 1581. The church was built to primarily serve the ever-growing number of Chinese Christian converts living in the area.
Some 35 years after the church was built, in 1643, the Jesuits enshrined in it the image of the Nuestra Señora del Pilar.
Sadly, that church was destroyed during World War II.
However, before the church was rebuilt, its ruins once hosted a concert (on May 9, 1945) held by the Manila Symphony Orchestra under the conduction of Vienna-born Dr. Herbert Zipper.
The present-day Santa Cruz Church was constructed in 1957.
Before I end this, I would like to share to you this excerpt from the book “Interesting Manila” by George Amos Miller (1906):
“The Santa Cruz Church contains an organ that was the pride of Manila in its day. The console is detached from the organ and reversed, facing the altar, and furnishing the only example of its kind in the city. But this console is a curio in its way. The keys are of all heights and sizes, and are brown or black with age. Many of the ‘ivories’ are missing, and the ‘dip’ or distance the key may be pushed down varies from nothing up to an inch or so. The pedals are something for an organist to never forget. They are simply pegs pushed up through the floor and capable of being played only in the most elemental fashion. For that matter, the pedal key board of the organ in the cathedral is of the same sort, which makes on smile at the statement that this is the most modern organ in the city.”
Note on the use of the old photograph:
From the University of Michigan Library website:
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