The Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines can be credited with building many of the wonderful Spanish colonial era churches in the country. Their legacy can be found scattered around the islands from Luzon to Mindanao and in remote regions and localities in the Philippines.
In Metro Manila, the church of San Sebastian rises in splendor and boasts the title of the only steel church in Asia. It was buit in reaction to the various calamities, from fires, typhoons and earthquakes that devastated the previous structures. Elsewhere in the metro, there are the churches of Sta. Cruz, Manila and Las PiÃ±as with its unique bamboo organ, the only one of its kind.
Zambales, one of its first evangelized areasÂ has Masinloc church with its beautiful polychromed entrance at the choirloft. There is also Sta. Cruz, Iba and Botolan.
Scattered in a few municipalities in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite (Kawit and Imus), Bataan, Tarlac andÂ Ilocos Sur (Vigan) are Recollect built churches.
Palawan as well as its satellite islands of Cuyo, Agutaya and the Calamianes have impressive structures that served not only as houses of God but also for defense against the Muslim slave raiders. These fortifications and fortress-churches are still standing today.
The island provinces of Mindoro, Romblon and Masbate also have these fortress-churches as well as several ruins (in Mindoro) standing proud (or what remains of it) and bearing the inconsequent renovations of priests and parishioners.
In the Visayas, they have founded and erected several stone churches. After the expulsion of the Jesuits, the Recollects took over and added porticos in Bohol as well as started many new towns. Negros and Siquijor were two bastions while northeastern Cebu was handled by them.
In Mindanao, one of the order’s precious and most valued areas of the Recollects until the Jesuits took over upon their return, managed to have very few extant samples. Jimenez in Misamis Occidental, with its stunning painted dome is the best preserved religious heritage structure in the island.