CHURCH RESTORATION PROJECTS
Run 2 Restore
Run2Restore is another on-going project in support of the Vision 20/20 March of the Thousands campaign. The fun run is slated on April 15, 2018 4 am at the Baywalk, Roxas Blvd. across Raja Sulayman Park, Malate, Manila.
There are three race categories:
5K - P600. Students who present the school IDs can avail of the discounted price of P500.
3K – P500. Student price P400.
Pet K – P500. Students who register their pet can avail of the discounted rate at P400.
Everyone who registers gets a race packet which includes singlet and race bib. Those who register for the Pet category will also receive a matching race bib for their pet.
All participants qualify for the mountain bike raffle. Other give away items and freebies await runners.
Registration is available at the Church car park, the Sacristy guard and at the parish office. You may contact Sharon at 523-2593 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Online registration will be available soon.
Raffle 2 Restore
Raffle2Restore is one of two on-going projects in support of the Vision 20/20 March of the Thousands campaign.
There are two raffle categories:
Car Raffle at P500 – Grand prize is a Silver Toyota Vios. Consolation prizes include a motorbike and two folding bikes.
Pangkabuhayan raffle at P100 – Prizes include two pedicabs, two mountain bikes, a refrigerator, a flat TV, washing machine, other appliances and half sacks of rice.
The Grand Draw is on April 15, 2018 10 at the Church carpark, right after the Run2Restore. Raffle tickets are available at the Church car park, the Sacristy guard and at the parish office. You may contact Sharon at 523-2593 or email@example.com for details.
Qualified to join are all those who have purchased and paid their ticket/s within the selling period.
Selling of raffle tickets is from October 14, 2017 – April 14, 2018.
All raffle stubs should be legibly filled out with complete name, address, contact number/s, email address, signature.
Completely filled-out stubs should be dropped in the designated/marked drop boxes in the church or parish office not later than April 14, 2018, 6pm.
Raffle stubs submitted after the April 14, 2018 will be disqualified from the draw.
Grand draw will be held on April 15, 2018 at the Church patio; time of program to be announced.
Prizes are not convertible to cash.
Participants cannot win two (2) prizes. If name is drawn more than once, participant may choose between the two prizes drawn.
If winning ticket is named after a minor, parents/guardians will be required to claim the prize.
Winners will be notified by phone, email and registered mail. List of winners will be posted on the parish website, Facebook page and notice boards.
Winners must bring two (2) valid forms of identification and the winning raffle stub. Prizes not claimed within 60 days from notification will be forfeited in favor of the parish.
The organizer’s decision with regard to the Raffle Mechanics, winners and prizes, is final. All prizes are tax free.
*Please see posters for more details.
M A R C H O F T H E T H O U S A N D S
For the Completion of the Restoration and Enhancement of the Surroundings of Malate Church
Malate Church began as an Augustinian friar building in 1588. A statue of its Titular Patroness, Our Lady of Remedies, arrived from Spain in 1624. The church was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1645. However, it was soon torn down again in 1667, for fear of an
Undated photo of Augustinian Friars in front of Malate Church.
impending attack by a Chinese warlord. The rebuilding took 3 years between 1677 and 1680. Later, a devastating earthquake in 1863 severely damaged the church and the rebuilding was started after a year by the Augustinian Fr. Francisco Cuadrado. Reconstruction and renovation continued for the next 35 years and included raising the facade and the roof of the Church.
After the Spanish priests left the Philippines, secular Filipino priests took over until 1912, when the Redemptorist Missionaries arrived and took over the work in the Parish. In 1928, the Redemptorist were granted their wish to specialize in mission work rather than parish work. They moved from Malate to Baclaran the following year and the Columban Missionaries, as arranged by the Diocese, arrived and made Malate Parish the base from which they developed their missions in the Philippines.
Towards the end of 1944 until February 1945, the Battle for Manila took place. Shelling from the American forces and burning from the Japanese occupiers left the whole of Malate flattened. The Church building was charred and roofless. Tens of thousands died, including five (5) Columban priests. The reconstruction of Malate church began again soon after the end of World War II.
Restoring Malate Catholic Church
The plan for restoring Malate Church was precipitated by an incident when a fragment of adobe stone fell from the exterior molding on the north side (Remedios Street) of the church. It was determined that a closer inspection of the general condition of the more than 400-year old church had to be done immediately. After a thorough examination, it became apparent that major steps had be undertaken to preserve the revered historic structure and prevent further deterioration and damage by time and the elements. The detailed planning and professional restoration work commenced in early 2009 headed by Fr. Michael Martin, Fr. John Leydon (Malate Parish priest at that time), Fr Conal O’Connell and Fr. Dan O’Malley.
Father Leo Distor, took on the task of spearheading the restoration when he became Malate Church parish priest in 2014, and continues to do so until the present.
What have been done since 2O1O.
Interior plastering of the north transept commenced in January 2016 employing the same method of lime-based mortar, as on the exterior and the choir loft area, to further improve the breathability of the walls. Plastering works on the interior south transept walls (baptistery) commenced in May 2016, wrapping up around the late weeks of August.
• Careful removal of cement and plant growths
• Palitada (made from lime and sand) was used to cover the adobe wall for protection. Unlike cement, palitada enables the wall to breathe.
• Lost details were restored using either palitada or carving new adobe stones to replace the old ones that has worn off.
• The drainage on the roof were replaced.
The main façade doors, which have undergone deteriorations mapping and subsequent repair/restoration on September 2015, were finally installed on the second week of February 2016.
The same method of conservation was applied as in the previous restoration of the church’s nave doors. Rotten parts were carved out then patched up or replaced by the same wood species. Replacement and new components were fumigated to prevent termite attack. Fake wood grains were meticulously painted over the new components to blend with old ones before paraffin wax was pressed onto the wood to protect the doors from moisture. The black steel plate ornaments (dummy straps) and hinges were removed due to heavy corrosion that contributed further to its deterioration.
• The main façade was restored which ensured the preservation of the identity of the church and its significance to the people.
• Rotten parts were replaced and old paint and other components were removed. New components were fumigated first and for added protection, the new doors were covered with wax.
The members of the north transept doors were assembled in the early weeks of May 2016 with its new and improved configuration and finally installed in the late weeks of July 2016. Almost identical with its south transept counterpart, the problem with the as-found four-piece two-leaf doors was its awkward configuration / division into a fixed upper-half and an operable lower-half. Proposals were made to combine the two divisions in such a way to reconfigure its stump awkward size into a more dignified and balanced proportion. Repair of the south transept doors followed not long after and installed in the late weeks of September 2016.
The roof vents, added to increase airflow inside the church, also went further design development. The final design primarily addressed the issues of anggi (mist) observed from the first proposed design during the rainy season. In addition, it also unified the existing and the new roof vents into a dignified consolidated aesthetic, the galvanized sheet cleverly finished in a way that it matches exterior walls of the church.
The works done on the roof are all efforts to further enhance the thermal comfort inside the church using recognized concepts of passive cooling. Repair and replacement of deteriorated and termite-infested roof trusses were also carried out to strengthen the structural integrity of the roof. Works on the roof wrapped up in the late weeks of September 2016.
It is often said that a conservation project is like opening a can of worms — repairing a small part would lead to discovering other problems, bringing more challenge to the project. For Malate Church, the original intention to restore the exterior walls had developed to include works in the interior, on the roof, and on the church grounds.
State of Conservation
• As with the exterior walls, the solution was to remove the concrete that prevents the wall from breathing, and replace it with palitada. Employing the same method of lime-based mortar, as on the exterior and the choir loft area, to further improve the breathability of the walls.
• Steel reinforcement was necessary due to the decay and deterioration caused by termite infestation and water leaks.
• Ceiling vents were added and the roof vents were modified to enable hot air to escape and draw cool air in and enhance further the thermal comfort inside the church.
A design for the entire church grounds, called the Master Site Development Plan, is being developed. This will feature improvements in the southern grounds of the property (parking lot) like an area that will accommodate the overflow of the congregation on Sundays and on major parish activities; canopies on the entrances to the church to protect mass-goers during heavy rainfall and a new planting scheme for a fresh and dignified greenery; and improvement of the existing gates and material of the parking pavement. The northern grounds, on the other hand, will feature landscaped walkways and a garden of remembrance which will be a suitable area for meditation, as well as a holding area for guests and entourage during church services. The plan shall also include the reconstruction of a new surrounding fence for the property that will match the architecture of the church.
Previously, there was a choir loft that was supported by a heavy steel beam inserted into the adobe walls on both sides located near the main entrance of the church. It had to be removed due to structural threats brought by corrosion and its sheer weight. In its place, a new free-standing choir loft of wooden construction is being proposed. To ensure the visual and symbolic unity of the church building, the approved design will be based on the existing liturgical motifs found in the Sanctuary area.
The northern grounds, on the other hand, will feature landscapedwalkways and a garden of remembrance which will be a suitablearea for meditation, as well as a holding area for guests and entourage during church services.
Interior consolidation for the rest of the church’s nave walls and behind the altar area is also on-going from June through the middle of October 2017.
Promotional poster for Vision 2O/2O March of the Thousands
March of the Thousands
The restoration of Malate Church indeed was a great challenge for the parishioners of Our Lady of Remedies Parish and the thousands other who marched towards that goal. Now running in its seventh year of endeavor and with the onset of a new wave of fundraising drive, may the community continue its undying support and contribution to the conservation of our country’s precious built heritage. And may those intangible memories and experience that we have associated so dearly in the stones and walls of our centuries-old church, be marked indelibly as we extend its life for generations to come.
This renovation project is our Parish’s legacy to the next generation of Malate parishioners and to the faithful in general. We look back with pride and hearts full of thanksgiving to our Creator for the glorious 425 years of our parish and are hopeful of the future that our parish will remain dynamic and responsive to the needs of the wider community in a participatory manner.
How to make a donation
Donations can be submitted to the parish office for proper acknowledgement. Donations can also be remitted directly to the following bank accounts:
Account Name: Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila
BPI Peso Account: 0171-0269-62
BPI Dollar Account: 0174-0210-31
Please submit a copy of your deposit slip to the parish office personally, by mail, email or fax for acknowledgement and monitoring. Thank you very much!
*All cheques must be made payable to
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila
Photos by Mel Bacani III
5-5-5 MARCH OF THE THOUSANDS
Malate Catholic Church Restoration (Phase 1)
When a fragment of adobe stone fell from the exterior moulding on the north (Remedios Street) side of the church, it prompted the parish to take a closer look on the condition of the 400-year old church. Further ocular inspection of the walls revealed that the building fabric underneath the concrete plaster may be in its advanced state of deterioration and a more detailed examination and intervention must be carried out to preserve the precious heritage structure.
Early in 2011, 5 graduates of Escuela Taller Intramuros, a school-workshop training underprivileged youth skills in heritage conservation, started working on the exterior north wall of the church. The initial preventive maintenance works done to the adobe wall revealed more conditions that needed attention and intervention. Since similar manifestations of damage were observed all throughout the exterior walls, conservation architects recommended that same action be applied to the walls. Later that year, students of Escuela Taller were deployed to the project as part of their on-the-job training. One of the first tasks of the strengthened workforce was to remove the concrete plaster that trap water within the walls which damage the sensitive adobe stones. This was done by carefully chipping the concrete plaster from the adobe wall by chisels crafted by the students themselves, customized according to the work needed. As expected, the underlying building fabric exposed serious conditions similar to what were initially discovered. These conditions were meticulously documented. Based on the gathered information from the documentation, it was recommended that the heavily damaged stones, that usually were found on the mouldings be replaced by the same stone, fashioned traditionally, and walls be plastered with a compatible lime–based mortar to protect it from weathering and act as a sacrificial coat for the sensitive adobe and at the same time improve the breathability of the wall and prevent accumulation of moisture that contribute to the fabric’s deterioration. To respect the recent memory of the community around the Malate Church and all other stakeholders familiar with the church, lines simulating stone courses were reinstated.
The same respect to the recollection of stakeholders of the church’s look was considered for the main façade. The parish commissioned a survey to evaluate the community’s impression of how a restored Malate Church would look. The result suggested that stakeholders, may they be Malate residents or parishioners from other places, want the structure to be conserved to be able to stand for many more years but at the same time maintain its romantic aged look. That meant that the approach employed to the rest of the walls is not applicable to the main façade that features rich details from its architectural era. Nevertheless, the main goal remains the same—to protect the building fabric and its ornamentation from further deterioration. After consultation with the community and experts, a conservative intervention was adopted. After liberation from previous concrete interventions, most of the weathered details of main façade were cleaned and left in its current condition to maintain the old look. Avoiding actions based on conjecture, the sacred hearts were reinstated based on the oldest photo available that showed the icons in a relatively good condition. The whole of the main façade were protected by a thin layer of lime with a colour simulating the natural shade of adobe to reflect the imperfections time has contributed to the iconic façade.
As the exterior walls slowly gain its renewed look, doors and windows needed their own rehabilitation themselves. Missing stained glass pieces of the church’s windows were reinstated by the same company that first installed them many years ago while Escuela Taller’s metalworks workshop helped in repairing and repainting of the window frames and iron grilles. The huge and heavy wooden doors which are made of Philippine hard wood species, such as narra, yakal, ipil and mangkono, had to be detached and disassembled to allow detailed investigation and needed repair works. Added steel plate ornaments replicating straps and hinges of old doors were removed due to heavy corrosion that contribute further to the deterioration of the more important wooden parts. Rotten parts were carved out then patched up or replaced by the same wood species. Replacement and new components were fumigated to prevent termite attack. Fake wood grains were meticulously painted over the new components to blend with old ones before paraffin wax was pressed onto the wood to protect the doors from moisture. The same methods are being applied to the rest of the doors which is targeted to be completed early next year. The main door is temporarily substituted by a hollow-core one painted using the “faux finish” and “trompe l’oeil” techniques to simulate wood grains and other features of the actual door to maintain the façade’s look that the community remembers and other stakeholders to appreciate, especially during photo opportunities for weddings and other church activities.
It is often said that a conservation project is like opening a can of worms—repairing one small part would lead to discovering other problems, bringing more challenge to the project. For Malate Church, the original intention to restore the exterior walls had developed to include works in the interior, on the roof, and on the church grounds.
The choir loft that was supported by a heavy steel beam inserted into the adobe wall near the window opening had to be removed due structural threats brought about by corrosion and its sheer weight. The choir loft which will be of wood and independent of the wall will be reinstated once the design is completed. While the choir loft area is temporarily empty, it was decided to apply the same lime-based mortar plastered on the exterior to further improve the breathability of the walls, especially around the main façade. The porous and low thermal conductive property of the lime-based plaster is also expected to improve temperature inside the church. Eventually, the entire interior walls will be re-plastered as the exterior walls. To further enhance thermal comfort, more ceiling and roof vents were added to increase airflow and reduce accumulated heat and humidity inside the church. This environment-friendly approach (passive cooling) is complemented by solar panels installed on the south (parking) side of the roof to provide power for interior lights of the church and the Remedios Jubilee Mission Center. Passively cooling the church and converting the sun’s power to electricity help reduce the energy consumption of the parish.
The restoration of church does not stop on the structure itself. Development of the whole complex is also being addressed to enhance the architectural and spiritual experience in Malate Church. Initial works have been done to improve the side walk and drainage system of the site that led to the unearthing of bones probably from the casualties of the Second World War and a cistern made of bricks beside the south wall where the pieta is now located. Archeologists helped in recovering the bones and in coordinating with the National Museum for tagging. The cistern that was crudely filled with earth and rubble when it was discovered was documented and systematically backfilled for stability. A design for the entire church ground is being developed that will feature improved parking layout, walkways, a garden, and a fence that will match the architecture of the church.
The restoration of the Malate Church was a big challenge for Our Lady of Remedies Parish and the thousands who marched towards that goal. It was a challenging and fulfilling 5-year endeavor that saw the community contribute to the conservation the Philippines’ precious built heritage and live up to its parish’s name—to remedy the ailing condition of the centuries-old church and extend its life for generations to experience and appreciate.
A 5-Year Program to Restore Malate Church
The exterior walls and facade are in urgent need of restoration.
The National Historical Commission (NHC) inspected the church and have outlined the scope of work for the restoration.
The Parish has come up with a five (5) year program of restoration.
The Parish Plans to raise five (5) million pesos each year through the “5-5-5 March of the Thousands” campaign.
The Malate Catholic Church was named a National Historical Monument by the National Historical Commission (NHC), and its approval is needed for all restoration or construction work. On completion of a detailed inspection of the Church’s exterior walls and facade in mid-2010, the NHC listed the areas needing restoration:
Surface Material Losses / Pulveration / Disintegration
Surface scalling / Spalling on newer plasters
Biological and woody growths
Rising dump / Water Seepage
Detached adobe components or falling debris
The Church’s adobe material – blocks of soft volcanic rock – has a high moisture content and cannot withstand extreme and prolonged weather conditions. Furthermore, its exposed position along Manila Bay makes the church even more vulnerable. Until recently, cement plaster was used extensively for repairs, but eventually moisture trapped underneath detached this plaster which then cracked, broke up and fell. NHC is clear on the incompatibility of cement plaster and adobe walls.
The NHC recommends removing the loose plaster, refilling the eroded parts of the wall with mortar patch, applying consolidants and introducing a new compatible plaster coating with the appropriate proportion. Likewise, it recommends the removal of biological agents and plants, and stresses the need for additional routine maintenance work for the preservation of the church walls.
The total restoration of church and church grounds will cover a period of five years. The planned contruction will be done in phases. Each year we will need to raise 5 million pesos. This year, The Parish plans to raise:
5 Million Pesos over months in different categories
• Php 50,000.00 and above (20)
• Php 25,000.00 and above (40)
• Php 10,000.00 and above (100)
• Php 5,000.00 and above (200)
• Php 1,000.00 and above (1000)
Everyone is invited to participate and individuals may form groups of 5, 10 or 20 to raise a minimum of Php 1,000.00. Authorized leaders will be designated to form a group and receipts will be issued for all contributions.
How to make a donation
If you would like to make a contribution, please fill out the attached pledge form and choose how much you are willing to donate based on the 5 categories and whether the donation is a one time or 5 month pledge. Donations can be submitted to the parish office for proper acknowledgement. Donations can also be remitted directly to the following bank accounts:
Account Name: Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila
BPI Peso Account: 0171-0269-62
BPI Dollar Account: 0174-0210-31
Please submit a copy of your deposit slip to the parish office personally, by mail, email or fax for acknowledgement and monitoring