Commuter jeepneys, made from WWII Willy’s Jeeps, pass by Quiapo Church, circa 1950’s.
For Metro Manila commuters, Quiapo is an area to avoid every end of the work week, especially the first Friday of the month. This is because Quiapo Church is always packed with devotees and parishioners on those days. It is also the site of one of the Philippines’ biggest cultural events, the Feast of the Black Nazarene, as millions of devotees from all over the country flock to old Manila’s old and historical district.
The church is the famous home for the shrine of the Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ that many claim to be miraculous. It is officially known as Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene and canonically known as Saint John the Baptist Parish. Its architecture can be described as that of Baroque style with a facade made distinct through twisted columns on both levels. Its exteriors were painted cream after the original Mexican Baroque edifice was burned down in 1928. Quiapo Church and the nearby San Sebastian Church were said to be miraculously spared from the complete destruction of Manila during World War II. Renovations and expansions for its current form happened in 1984