The Franciscans in the Philippines, 1578-1898

The first Franciscans arrived in the Philippines in 1578, the second order to come after the Augustinians. They founded many schools, bridges, roads, dams and hospitals. They also built many impressive stone churches that still stand today and can be found in Manila (Sta. Ana), the southern towns of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, the Bicol region and the Visayan islands of Samar and Leyte.

The Dominicans in the Philippines

The first Dominicans to arrive in the Philippines in 1581 but it was only in 1587 that the first batch of religious arrived and established the Province of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines. The Order has evangelized in Pangasinan, Bataan, Cagayan Valley and the island groups of Babuyan and Batanes. To their credit, they have built many of the beautiful churches in the Philippines.

The Seculars & the churches they built

The Seculars in the Philippines have been in the country since 1565 but never formed a sizeable community compared with the regular clergy. Distrusted by the Spanish friars and in government during that time, their entwined histories with the Recollects and the Jesuits led to the Revolution against Spain in 1898.

To their credit, they have built beautiful churches across the country that still stands today.

Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines until 1898

The first Augustinian Recollects arrived in Cebu in 1606 and later on sailed to Manila where they established their convent in Bagumbayan. From that time to the close of the 19th century, they have evangelized and established many of the frontier areas and their histories, are very much intertwined with the Jesuits, the Seculars and the political upheavals of the 19th century played a big role in the emerging nationalism in the Philippines culminating in the Philippine Revolution of 1898.

San Agustin, the Mother of all churches

San Agustin Church in the Agustinian monastery complex in Intramuros is undeniably, the mother of all churches being the oldest in the country despite claims from other places. Constructed from 1587 – 1607, it has survived earthquakes, typhoons, the British Invasion, the Philippine Revolution and World War II, which, was the only building left standing in Intramuros.

The Augustinians

The religious Order of St. Augustine or the Augustinians, was the first Catholic missionary order to reach the Philippines in 1565 via the expedition led by Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi guided by the famed navigator and Augustinian friar Andres de Urdaneta. On 31 December 1575, They established the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in the Philippines four years after Legazpi established Manila as the capital of the then new Spanish settlement.