In the heart of Tondo Manila lies a church that has been a part of Filipino's life from generations to generations. This magnanimous church was believed to have completed its construction by 1695,by the end of the term of the dynamic Fr. Duque. It was reconstructed again after being affected by an earthquake June 3, 1863 and was rebuilt for the third time by Fr. Manuel Diez Gonzalez. The restoration was completed by Fr. Casimiro Herrero minister of Tondo from 1874 to 1880. He must have followed the plans of architect Luciano Oliver designed in 1873. Steel framing was used for the media naranja dome and iron sheets for the roofing, the first time these materials were used in the country. What's interesting about this is that after all the constructions and reconstructions adding to the fact that Tondo is in an impoverished area,the present church has one main central nave and two aisle linked by solid columns. It measures 65 meters long, 22 meters wide, and 17 meters high. The Ionic pilasters and massive buttresses supporting the discordant domes of the bell towers are reminiscent of the Neo-Classical style, typical for its scanty ornamentation. Blind arched openings contrast with rectangular voids and triangular canopies. Twin towers flank the façade. The triangular pediment is characterized by straight lines and a rose window, was not that grand?! This is all because of the strong faith of the Filipinos who believes that everything is possible through the Lord. However, in year 1972 the image of Sto.Nino de Tondo was stolen, since then Metro Manila and other parts of Central Luzon like Pampanga was greatly affected by the non-stop rain that caused flood.the statue of Sto.Nino's body was made out of wood while its face and hands were made out of ivory which of course cost a lot of penny and was said to be from the Spaniards from Acapulco, Mexico year 1570. After sometime, the Sto,Nino's body was found but not the face and the hands because of this, the former first lady Imelda Marcos offered help to the parish and so the Sto.Nino was temporarily stored in the Malacanang Palace. August 1972, the face and the hands of the Sto.Nino was recovered after the purchaser voluntarily surrendered it's missing parts. Unfortunately, the rain is still pouring mad in Metro Manila so the devotees of the Sto.Nino paraded the miraculously recovered Sto.Nino from Malacanang to Manila and it is said that when the statue was on its righteous place the rain suddenly stopped.
The church was surrounded by different delicacies and statue stores ranging from the nearest streets to the church to the Tayuman LRT station. How I wonder why this is always the set up of the churches in the Philippines? Well, on the other hand, the easiest way to reach the Sto.Nino de Tondo Parish from PUP Sta.Mesa is to ride the Lardizabal-SM San Lazaro-Tayuman route of jeep for only Php.7.00!
-Jillian Manlangit BCR 3-1