Philippine Church Facades – Pedro Galende, OSA

Philippine Church Facades 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 preserved chapter divider sample page or 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, page sample on Paete church 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.

The list of churches included in the book is in this post. I made a short interview of the author and you can check it out in this post.


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  5. I, too, want to have the author & the photographer’s autograph the moment I got this book! I’ll give this to my father & he’ll be so much happy.

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  14. i’ve been in quite a few visita iglesias and travelling around the Philippines really made me appreciate our rich cultural heritage. i’m glad you guys made this for more people to appreciate them. i just hope people will stop acting like architects and/or artists when they are just really politicians and priests. nothing more! if aint broke, don’t fix it. hehe.

    is it still available in san agustin museum? how much for both versions? thanks!

  15. Gli, you’re right, priests, politicians and even architects without no proper heritage conservation knowhow should stay away from these renovations and buildings. Pero unfortunately, we have so many beautiful churches being defaced.

    The book is available for P2,000 for the softbound copy while P2,500 for the hard bound.

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  19. I have a copy of this book, its really a collector’s item right now, I wish there will be additional print. I love the write ups and the pictures, It make me proud to part of our very rich catholic tradition. Congratulations guys. I hope the national heritage is doing something to preserve these treasure specially from the hands some parish priest who are completely ignorant of its historical significance and architecture. Suggestion, in the future please do a similar project on the RETABLOs of the Philippine churches, that would also be very interesting. God bless.

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  21. gud day estan, i need to know to where i could buy a copy of these books, coz i started making a restoration works of the catholic churches, i’m an architect by profession. i’m in cebu , my email add (

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