(Above) Mural-size painting of Rizal’s execution by National Artist for Painting Carlos V. Francisco at Museo ni Jose Rizal in Manila. (Below) View of Intramuros from Plaza Moriones of Fort Santiago. (Photos by ATVA/PIA-Infocomm)

Museo de Intramuros educates early Filipinos’ view on Evangelization

The walled city of Intramuros, known for housing historical and cultural Spanish-era landmarks integral to the preservation of Filipino heritage, and the enrichment of our national heritage, also contains an abundance of religous artworks and statues.

With sites such as Fort Santiago, Rizal Shrine, San Agustine Church and Museum, Baluarte de San Diego, Casa Manila, and Manila Cathedral to name a few, one would think that it’s not possible for the historic walled city to be even more historical.

Intramuros Administration opening the doors of Museo de Intramuros to the public last May 2, Thursday, proved otherwise.  Housed inside the reconstructed San Ignacio Church and Mission House of the Society of Jesus, the three-storey museum features period art collection of Intramuros Administration that includes ecclesiastical art, furniture, ceremonial robes and textiles, and other artifacts collected by Intramuros Administration.

The Collection

Images of Mary which aided the Spaniards in spreading Christianity to the early Filipinos. (Photos by ATVA/PIA-Infocomm)

In 1979 to 1986, when Dr. Jaime Laya became the founding administrator of IA, Dr. Laya became one of the custodians responsible for the Intramuros Administration collection.

The collection has six sections:

The Immaculate Conception which contains the various statues of Mary.

The Religious Order which features the role of Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinian, in the Philippines especially in evangelization.

The Patronato Real and the establishment of Parishes where visitors will be educated on how Retablos are constructed.

The forth gallery, Religious Colonial Paintings features ecclesiastical illustrations using various mediums.

Meanwhile, The Establishment of a Parish and Sacred Vessels section contains a variety of artifacts that are found in the church, such as chalice, monstrance, and thurible (a metal container where incense is burned).

Last but not the least, The Indio Response imagery that depicts the Filipinos’ response to evangelization. 

The collection showcases Filipino artistry and craftsmanship as a byproduct of merging indigenous and the foreign.

“The collection of the Intramuros Administration is extremely valuable because it represents the first real attempt to collect and preserve within the Philippines an important aspect of the country’s cultural heritage. The collection affords the viewer a panorama of the various styles, and enables him to compare them with the artifacts doen abroad in the same medium. We Filipinoss have always tended to accept that we were the passive receiver of artistic stimuli from abroad. This collection proves that the Philippine was a much as giver,” said curator Gatbonton in her book “Philippine Religios Imagery”.

Various relics found in the Museo de Intramuros. The upper left photo is the depiction of angels by an early indigenous group. (Photos by ATVA/PIA-Infocomm)


The official opening of Museo de Intramuros on April 29 was one of the highlights of IA’s 40th year anniversary as an institution.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm, and admission is FREE of charge for the first six months.

It is located at the reconstructed San Ignacio Church and Convent at the corner of Arzobispo and Anda Streets, within the historic walled area.

For inquiries, please call at (02) 527 3155. Also, you may visit the Intramuros Administraion (IA) website at http://intramuros.gov.ph/ for more updates. 

Statues of religious orders found in the museum. (Photos by ATVA/PIA-Infocomm)

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