Coming soon: San Sebastian Basilica Minore

The steel columns and fan vault of the beautiful Minor Basilica of San Sebastian

I’ve always been fascinated with the all-steel structure of the San Sebastian Minor Basilica in Quiapo, Manila and when the opportunity came to document it inside and out, I grabbed it.

San Sebastian is a gem, a unique edifice that is said to be the only all-steel church in Asia. The soaring spires seem to reach out to the heavens as this neo gothic structure is just so impossible to miss. Inside, the fan vaulting is mesmerizing.

For around two weeks last April, I’ve documented this basilica, photographing the myriad and interesting details, the trompe l’oeil, the stunning stained glass and many more. I also got alarmed with the deterioration and rust that is slowly creeping and probably affecting its steel material.

Those two weeks are still not enough. I still have to take images of the deterioration, the details of the exterior as well as the tombstones found inside. Once these are finished, I then need to check the documentation, articles and books published on this structure. Archival images aren’t hard to find though.

Once all these are finished, I can then start posting about this magnificent church. Do stay tuned in the coming months as brings you one of the Philippine’s magnificent churches. Check out my posts in where I have some sample images.


  1. Estan, we share the same passion in this church. Ive always considered this church a favorite. The material used plus the trompe l’oeil sets it apart from the rest. Everytime I have foreign guest in town, I always bring them here and they never fail to give superlative comments. I hope that they always maintain the church because it is truly a gem in our Philippine History. Keep me posted when your pictures are ready.

  2. Just bought the latest Blu Print Magazine! Saw your spread and cover page about San Sebastian! Congrats! Beautiful and impressive as usual! If I didnt know it, I would have thought it was a church in Europe. One of the lasting Eurpopean influence in our country. Congrats again.

  3. Pingback: » BLUPRINT Magazine cover: my San Sebastian image! + ESTAN CABIGAS PHOTOGRAPHY +

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