San Agustin Museum (Manila)

San Agustin Museum is located in Intramuros, Manila, adjacent to San Agustin Church. It used to be a monastery but in the 1970’s it was turned into a place that holds sacred artefacts. The two-storey building is breathtaking in itself, but the thousands of objects it houses make it all the more intriguing. I visited the museum for the first time four years ago because San Agustin Church was part of Visita Iglesia. All the rooms did not have air condition at that time, but when I revisited it last week, several of them have air condition and the rest are under renovation. I digress a little. Anyway, during my first visit, I was awestruck by the collection of vestments, paintings, books and crosses. There was an entire wing devoted for crosses! The ginormous bell that welcomed the visitors of the museum was not in its place anymore, it was moved to San Agustin Church.

Bell at San Agustin Museum. This photo was taken in April 2011. Photo by John

Bell at San Agustin Museum. This photo was taken in April 2011. Photo by John

There is a no photos rule inside the exhibit areas, but fret not because the images, paintings and posters displayed in the hallways more than make up for it.

Door of San Agustin Church

Door of San Agustin Church

This door replaces the bell as one of the first things guests of San Agustin Museum see when they enter.

This door replaces the bell as one of the first things guests of San Agustin Museum see when they enter.

If I recall correctly, this is a retablo of San Nicolas de Tolentino (who happens to be the patron saint of my native town). This is found to the left of the door mentioned above.

If I recall correctly, this is a retablo of San Nicolas de Tolentino (who happens to be the patron saint of my native town). This is found to the left of the door mentioned above.

This intricately-designed door leads to the altar of San Agustin Church.

This intricately-designed door leads to the altar of San Agustin Church.

The hallways on the ground floor, to the left and to the right of San Agustin Church.

The hallways on the ground floor, to the left and to the right of San Agustin Church.

An image of San Juan. This image is found near the intricately-designed door. On a personal note, Juan is my all-encompassing guy in my Spanish classes.

An image of San Juan. This image is found near the intricately-designed door. On a personal note, Juan is my all-encompassing guy in my Spanish classes.

This is the retablo of San Juan which used to be found in San Agustin Church. It has been replaced by San Pablo. This photo was taken outside the exhibit area with permission from the person in-charge.

This is the retablo of San Juan which used to be found in San Agustin Church. It has been replaced by San Pablo. This photo was taken outside the exhibit area with permission from the person in-charge.

The ceiling above the staircase from the ground floor to the first floor.

The ceiling above the staircase from the ground floor to the first floor.

First floor hallways

First floor hallways. The photo on the right shows the images of Batangas churches (in counterclockwise direction starting from the leftmost photo): Dalaguete, Carcar, Oslob, San Fernando, something I cannot figure out, and Talisay.

Hallway from the biblioteca  or library to the choirloft.

Hallway from the biblioteca or library to the choirloft.

The library of San Agustin Museum has an extensive collection of books, a lot of them are in Spanish. Some of the titles on display are Vida y Novena de San Roque (unknown author, 1882), El Infierno Abierto (Con ang Infierno nga Bucas nga Hinuad sa Binisaya nga Pulong) (by Fr. Juan Sanchez, 1886), and Parrocho de Indios (by Fr. Casimiro Dias, OSA, 1745). Some books are in local languages, for example, Novena ni San Agustin (by Fr. Raymundo Lozano, OSA) , Casaysayan nang manga Cababalaghan at Milagros (by Fr. Vicente Garcia, OSA), Catecismo na Pinagpapalamnan (by Fr. Luis de Amezquita, OSA, 1890).  There is also a dictionary, Diccionario de la Lengua Bisaya, Hilingueina y Haraya (by Fr. Alonso de Mentrida, OSA, 1841). This one is the thickest book on display and it is about the languages I know – bisaya, hiligaynon and karay-a. 🙂

This image of Jesus Christ is found in the antechoir room (part of which was under renovation).

This image of Jesus Christ is found in the antechoir room (part of which was under renovation).

This chair is one of the many chairs found in the choirloft.

This is one of the many chairs found in the choirloft.

This bell is found in the middle of the choirloft.

This bell is found in the middle of the choirloft.

Aside from the superb view of the interiors of San Agustin Church, the main attraction of the choirloft is this Spanish baroque organ. The guy on the left photo is Pascal Marsault, the organist who accompanied the Gregorian Choir of Paris when they performed in San Agustin Church.

Aside from the superb view of the interiors of San Agustin Church, the main attraction of the choirloft is this Spanish baroque organ. The guy on the left photo is Pascal Marsault, the organist who accompanied the Gregorian Choir of Paris when they performed in San Agustin Church.

In the center of the photo is a cajonería or vestment chest of drawers.

In the center of the photo is a cajonería or vestment chest of drawers.

This bell is found in the first floor. It is made of brass and was made in 1813.

This bell is found in the first floor. It is made of brass and was made in 1813.

Boat model

Boat model

Pangadyeon or prayers in Bisaya.

Pangadyeon or prayers in Bisaya.

Vocabulario Tagalog - Español

Vocabulario Tagalog – Español

Scale Model of San Agustin, front and back views

Scale Model of San Agustin (Intramuros, Manila), front and back views

Scale Model of San Agustin (Intramuros, Manila), left and right sides

Scale Model of San Agustin (Intramuros, Manila), left and right sides

The grounds of San Agustin as seen from the first floor.

The grounds of San Agustin as seen from the first floor.

The belfry of San Agustin Church as seen from the first floor of the museum.

The belfry of San Agustin Church as seen from the first floor of the museum.

Me taking photos of my day  with La Presidenta of Instituto Cervantes - Manila. Photo by SPDC :)

Me taking photos of my day with La Presidenta of Instituto Cervantes – Manila Student Council (unofficial organization). Photo by SPDC  🙂

Where: San Agustin Museum, General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila

When: San Agustin Museum is open daily, from 8am to 12noon and from 1pm to 6pm.

How much: Adults: P100.00 (US $2.27). Children and Senior Citizens pay discounted prices.

How to get there: Take the LRT-1 to Carriedo Station. Board a jeepney going to Pier. Alight from the jeepney once you see Palacio del Gobernador. Manila Cathedral is perpendicular to Palacio del Gobernador.

From Manila Cathedral, turn left. Walk until you reach Gen. Luna Street, and then turn left. Walk straight until you see San Agustin Church. Enter the compound and go directly to the entrance near the door of the church.

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