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March 20, 2014

Historic Binondo Church

     When one is visiting Manila's historic Chinatown, one should not fail to visit the antique church of Binondo. Its official name is the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz. San Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino to be canonized by the Catholic Church. His feast day is celebrated on September 28. The Binondo church was established by the Dominican friars in 1563, making it one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was intended to serve the Chinese converts which predominated the area even until now. The church that stands today is actually not the original church since the original church that the Dominicans built was destroyed during the brief British Occupation of Manila in the 1700's and the liberation of Manila during World War II.

     It was in this church that Lorenzo Ruiz, who was actually half-Chinese (Chinese Father and Filipino Mother), was baptized, married and served as altar boy before escaping out of the Philippines and into his martyrdom in Japan.

     The church serves the Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and it holds Mass in English, Filipino and Mandarin. Upon entering the Church, the ceiling of the church immediately captures the attention of the individual. On its ceiling are artworks that depict the 15 mysteries of the Holy Rosario, with the Glorious Mysteries on the center aisle of the Church.

   Masses are held everyday from as early as 5:30am (depending on the days) and as late as 7pm (during Sundays) although the schedule can actually change.

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