National Monuments in the Philippines

National Monuments in the Philippines
After being a Spanish colony for more than three centuries, the Philippines came under American control in 1898 when the United States emerged as victor of the Spanish-American War. The Philippines became independent in 1946 despite the damage the Japanese occupation caused during World War II. A variety of monuments throughout the Asian archipelago chronicle the nation's long and arduous road toward sovereignty.

San Agustin Church in Paoay

In 1993, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated four Baroque churches in the Philippines from the Spanish colonial period as World Heritage sites. Among them is the San Agustin Church in the town of Paoay in the province of Ilocos Norte, which exemplifies an architectural style known as "earthquake Baroque." This term refers to an adaptation of European Baroque designed to withstand seismic events on the earthquake-prone archipelago. Founded by Augustinian Friars, the Paoay church is made out of coral and brick. Its most striking elements are its 24 massive buttresses, which surpass that of any other church in the Philippines. As an added precaution, this style calls for a bell tower that is separated from the main building.

Rizal Monument

Located in its namesake park in the capital city of Manila, the Rizal monument is a tribute to venerated Filipino revolutionary and nationalist Dr. Jose Rizal that consists of a bronze statue of Rizal and a base and obelisk made out of granite. The Spanish accused and convicted Rizal of conspiracy, sedition and rebellion and put him to death in 1896. The monument, said to stand on the very spot where Rizal was executed, includes a mausoleum that houses his remains. The unveiling took place in 1913. Soldiers known as the Knights of Rizal guard the monument 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Quezon Memorial Shrine

The tallest structure in Quezon City, the former capital of the Philippines, is the Quezon Memorial Shrine, which is an imposing 216.5 feet tall. It is located in a national park known as Quezon Memorial Circle. The monument was erected in honor of Manuel Luis Quezon, the second president of the Philippines and the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines under U.S. supervision. Filipino architect Federico Ilustre designed the monument, which was completed in 1978 and consists of three pylons, each topped with a sculpture of an angel. These represent the Philippines' three main geographical divisions, Luzon, the Viyasas and Mindanao. The shrine houses the remains of Quezon and his wife, Aurora.

Article Written By Natalia Elias

Natalia Elias has been writing for Web and print media since 2006. A native New Yorker, she has covered topics as diverse as food, art, shopping and sports. Elias holds a B.A. in American studies and English from Columbia University.

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