by - 12:33 PM

Is there really something wrong with the new facade of the Binondo Church?  I for one have made my reservations and comments, but this is reality that we have to accept.  It can't be undone.

As a center for confession of faith of the Filipino-Chinese community, the Binondo Church also known as the Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish is inevitably a part of the rich culture and heritage of our country, without a doubt making it a tourism hub in itself.  Thus, the concerns and protests of a few wanderers relative to the new facade of the church.

The Binondo Church hails at the center of a Filipino-chinese community in Manila.  The Chinatown has been painted in red since time immemorial with signs of commercialization via billboards and pagoda lanterns hanging along the streets of the district.  It is no wonder red is the imposing color of the new Binondo Church, significantly altering the old structure's aura.

Red has varied meanings.  From the all-time favorite musical Les Miserables, red is the blood of angry men, a world about to dawn and the color of desire.  We can only speculate on why the color of the church facade has been altered.  Painted with only one additional color, for some it has significantly altered our culture.  Yet for some, it connotes acceptance to the changing times - when early civilization meets modernization.

But for whatever the facade may be, the grandeur of its interiors remain.

the ceiling

the old facade of Binondo church 
Resisting to change is quite a game plan every Filipino possess.  While we do have our own opinions and predicaments on whatever is new and self-proclaimed debatable subject matter, we seldom look at the rationale behind and understand the situation.  But the situation is different when no explanation is provided and one is eager to obtain, thus, we simply have to speculate and wonder.

In relation to the new facade of the Binondo church, I'd say yes the structure has been enhanced and modernized, yet we lose the historical sense and value that the church supposedly projects.

So, what's your take on the new facade of the Binondo church?

You May Also Like


  1. Wow, I'm glad I got to see it before the change! I liked it before...great shots!

    1. your one lucky guy. :) thanks nathan! go back to the philippines soon,

  2. I don't like it... :(

    I can't find sa google the reason behind the renovation. Bakit kaya? :)

    1. i don't like it too but we are left with no choice but to accept. haha wala ring explanation bakit red ang nilagay inassume ko nalang kac nsa chinatown red halos lahat ang kulay nila. haha

  3. It's different but it looks better.

  4. If renovated for structural integrity.. that I would concede..
    but if its for the facade.. like how many parks in Manila are changing.
    I have my doubts.

  5. You have to understand that red is an auspucious color for the Chinese. There's context to the facade decoration, so I'm OK with this.

  6. Churches and other buildings during the Spanish Colonial Period are "painted" often with bright colors. Think Puerto Rico, or any other Spanish colony in Latin America. Bright Yellow, Orange, light blue, lime green, brick red, etc. But here in the Philippines, rusticated and exposed stone is the most acceptable for heritage structures. I hate it that they removed the paints of San Agustin Church and now it is so dull and lifeless, but then again that is another debate.

    As a designer and architect, personally I think "Red" is ok but not that kind of chinese like red. It could have been better if they painted the whole facade in sort of Ocre tone with White and Brick Red accents. The thing with this paint job is that, they only painted the cornices and other architectural moldings leaving the walls in cement or dull gray. That is why it looks so bad

    But then again, to each his own.

  7. I love the fact that you really alloted a space on your blog for this. You are right we can do nothing about it anymore except to accept the fact that it was already change for whatever purpose it may serve. But i guess we dont lose the history and culture just because the facade was painted. It will diminish our appreciation, it did to me, but the purpose of the structure is still standing strong. There you preserve your heritage and culture. Nice read atty ;)