Nat’l Museum declares Makati’s oldest church ‘important cultural property

July 3, 2023 - 12:35 PM
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Cardinal Jose Advincula, archbishop of Manila, joins unveiling of marker declaring the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church in Makati City as an “important cultural property” on June 29, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Anton Maria Francesco Besa Carabeo via CBCP News)

The 403-year-old Sts. Peter and Paul Church, located in Makati City, the country’s business capital, is now among the country’s important cultural properties.

The designation was bestowed by the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) in a ceremony on Thursday, the feast day of the church’s patron saints.

Dr. Mary Jane Louise Bolunia, NMP’s chief archaeologist, stated that the church was declared a cultural treasure for its “exceptional cultural, artistic, and historical significance to the entire country.”

She said the house of worship “has stood the test of time” and “this alone is a testament to Makati’s importance to our life as a nation.”

“The declaration of this beautiful church is also a way of saying there is so much to discover about Makati’s history and heritage,” Bolunia said.

In attendance at the ceremony were Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila, some members of the clergy, and city officials.

According to the church’s historical marker, the Franciscans were the first missionaries in the area in 1578. In 1620, the Jesuits built the church dedicated to St. Peter and administered it until 1768.

The church is home to the revered image of Virgin dela Rosa, which was brought from Spain via Mexico by a Jesuit priest in 1718.

In 1639, the church was the battleground of political and military turmoil during the Chinese uprising.

During the Philippine-American War in 1899, US troops used the church as their headquarters and hospital.

In 1951, two parishes were carved out of San Pedro Church—the San Ildefonso Parish in the barrio of Culi-Culi and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in barrio Guadalupe Viejo.

After the Vatican II in 1965, St. Paul was added as a titular of the church, changing its name to Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church.”