Hidden Treasures

(March 15, 2013 to June 15, 2013)

An Exhibit of Spanish-era Churches in the Philippines

 Hidden Treasures of the Philippines

A Photo Exhibit of Vintage Churches

Many fine books and countless photographs have been published in the last ten years extolling the charms of the major Spanish Era churches of the Philippines. Over this same period Atty. Rafael Ortigas Jr. started an ambitious project to document all Spanish Era churches in the Philippines from Manila Cathedral to the most remote provincial parish.  He assigned photographers Betty Lalana and Boy Arboleda to photograph as many as they could locate using the Catholic directory, old maps and other sources.  With his encouragement and unfailing assistance they have found many “hidden treasures”, rarely documented and hardly ever visited by tourists either local or foreign. This exhibition is only a small selection from their local or foreign. This exhibition is only a small selection from the ongoing work to date, which has located and photographed over 300 churches, in addition to bell towers, elegant cemetery gates and ancient ruins of foundries, fortifications and watch towers.

Traveling by every conceivable mode of transportation including by foot, they have managed to reach the most obscure parishes and photograph picturesque facades, architectural details and timeless Filipino landscapes. Hopefully, this glimpse of the unspoiled Philippines will inspire more laymen and religious leaders to value and respect their ancient places of worship and preserve their spiritual integrity for generations to come.

Jonathan Best

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