Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Postigo corner General Luna, Intramuros, Manila

Quezon City’s Araneta Coliseum, which is also known as The Big Dome, is probably the most recognizable dome in Metro Manila. But if one limits the boudaries to Manila alone, it has to be Manila Cathedral’s dome. Most Manilans are Catholics, and this cathedral has been the seat of Manila’s Archbishop for a very long time. However, the dome (and practically the whole thing) didn’t always look that way.

Ever since Legazpi had founded the city of Manila (1571), he had appropriated an area for the construction of a church dedicated to the Immacuate Conception. On this area, several incanations of the church, first as a parish and later as the seat of an archdiocese, stood, and only to be toppled down repeatedly by earthquakes .

The current one had risen from the ruins brought about by the WWII’s Manila Battle of Liberation (1945), and had served since its solemn consecration which was appropriately held on the eve of 1958’s feast of the Immaculate Conception.