The Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, or simply, San Sebastian Church, has captured the imagination of many people due to its being made of steel and its Gothic Revival architecture, making it perhaps the most unique and amazing religious edifice in Metro Manila.
Upon seeing it for the first time, one is struck by the vertical emphasis of the structure - a product of its Gothic style - which sets it apart from most Philippine churches. The baby-blue color also makes it stand out from the squalor of Manila. Fronted by an irregularly-shaped plaza, it dominates the surrounding buildings.
The interior is rather dark, which is an advantage because it allows the stained-glass windows to shine better. The pillars soar skywards, blossoming into the vaults - all of which are made of steel painted to resemble jasper. The height of the nave again sets San Sebastian apart from most other churches in the Philippines, and gives it a European feel. The nave focuses on the high altar, with an image of Saint Sebastian tied to a pole. The flooring is a checkerboard of black and white tiles. All over the walls are the stained glass windows, of high quality and done in vivid colors.
It is disheartening, though, to see rust in some of the pillars and walls. Despite the use of steel - which made the building earthquake resistant - the salt-laden winds from Manila Bay is fast corroding the unique structure. Restoration and stabilization of the century-old steel structure is urgently needed.
Outside it was dirty! It was Visita Iglesia, and the hordes of churchgoers and pilgrims have left the plaza and streets outside the church littered - but this doesn't subtract from the church's beauty.
A must-see for any Manila visitor!
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.