Philippine Church Facades by Fr. Pedro Galende, OSA, director of the San Agustin Museum has brought us another landmark work that will surely benefit the study and appreciation of heritage colonial churches in the Philippines.
Never in this scale and magnitude, that a work has been devoted to 160 colonial era churches in the country found from Luzon to Mindanao. Compared to his earlier and another important work, Angels in Stone, this book includes the edifices built by the seculars and the different religious orders: Recollects, Dominicans, Jesuits, Franciscans and of course, the Augustinians.
The book consists of over 600 colored and 161 archival photos. Each church is treated in two pages. Other than the main photo of the current facade, an archival photograph gives one an idea if the front has been well preservedor changes have been made over the years. Two, three, or four facade details like embelishments, finials, columns and the order’s seals are found. The text is usually limited to a short history and architectural description of the structure.
Its not a perfect book though. On the technical aspect, I am distracted with some of the retouches done at the publisher’s end, sharpening of photos or the lack of it and other minor issues. One other thing,there was a switch in credits: Angeles, Pampanga should have been credited to me while Binondo, Manila should be credited to Erik Lacson.
The book is available in both hardbound and softbound copies. In the coming months, a planned special edition might be released.