San Agustin’s choirloft

choirloft1.jpg The choirloft of San Agustin is another notable part of the church that should be seen and visited not only for a closer look of the trompe l’oeil and the organ but, more importantly, a peek of the original colors of the church that was fortunately preserved and the exquisite and very detailed carvings of, circa 17th century silleria or choirstalls and lectern (18th century). The latter two will be featured in separate posts.


The choirloft or coro used to have two small organs but were carted off by the British when they invaded Manila.

The present organ, right, is the third to be constructed. It is made from Philippine hardwood like narra, tindalo, molave and baticuling while tuba (coconut wine) was said to be used as a glue. The keys are made of ivory. In the ensuing years, this instrument deteriorated and it was repaired in the 90’s afterwhich, in 1998, an inaugural concert was performed. Performances are still presented yearly and the next one will be next month, November.

At the back of the organ is an adjacent room called the trastera where the bellows of the instrument and cantorals are kept (extreme right).


Left, just at the right side of the entrance to the choirloft, going in, is a huge corinthian capital where, upon close inspection, middle, still has traces of gold leaf on its surface. Right, another capital now covered by the organ but can still be seen by peeping through one of the musical instrument’s side openings and is lighted is the original color which was spared during the Alberoni – Dibella renovations in the later part of the 19th century. A full photo can be seen at my other post.

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