Is this San Sebastian Church, Manila circa 1898?

 san sebastian church old print

This July 2 1898 issue of The Graphic (A British Illustrated Weekly Newsletter) shows the front page with an illustration captioned “The church of San Sebastian, Manila, turned into a hospital to receive Spanish killed and wounded after the naval engagement of Cavite.” Is this the interior of the San Sebastian Church of Manila? More importantly, who are the three divine beings depicted with circular halos in the apse?

san sebastian church apse

san sebastian church apse 2

Two contemporary photos of San Sebastian show the distinct rose window (with her eleven petals?) similar to the Graphic illustration. We can also take note of the two triangular images on the left and right side of the rose window. However, the main altar seem to be different as the 1898 altar shows, although behind a curtain, an outline of a cross while the current photo does not. Finally, the divine beings depicted just above the rose window can not be found anymore in the photo. Additional archival research might reveal the identities of these divine beings but for now we can only guess.

Source: Photographs from


~ by Martin Gaerlan on August 11, 2015.

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