METRO MANILA | Simbang Gabi at Quiapo Church

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I have been trying and trying to photograph Manila's iconic Quiapo Church but has failed every time due to the tight security that won't allow photographers from snapping images inside its hall. The last time I tried, a guard stopped me as I was about to press the shutter button. I asked him why it was not allowed, he said because there is an ongoing mass; fair enough. I asked if I could shoot after the mass then, no he said. Dang, so when can I photograph Quiapo Church? It appears I have to secure a permit for such. Well no, thank you very much.
Fast forward to the day after UST's Paskuhan. I stayed over at L's house and was woken up at the wee hours of the morning with a grumbling stomach. A quick instant noodles later and my thoughts was back on focus. The Simbang Gabi season had just began and since L's house was just a few blocks away from Quiapo, my mind was once again locked onto shooting Quiapo Church.

Armed this time with an inconspicuously small Sony NEX5n camera, I hurriedly packed up and rode a jeepney to Quaipo. Dawn seemed far off as I boarded down the glistening tiled square of Plaza Miranda which is infamously known for a major political bombing that occurred in during the Marcos regime. The sky was still dark and the air was chilly from last night's light shower.
The Quiapo Church or more properly, the St. John the Baptist Parish is home to the Black Nazarene which gathers millions of devotees every January. The church has not been named the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene for nothing. The current structure is actually the fourth reincarnation of the church after going through two fires and an earthquake since its inception in 1586.Hymns were already emanating from the open doorways of the Quiapo Church as I made my way across the plaza. I entered its side doors and walked into its columnless hall; I said my prayers and joined the Misa de Gallo attendees. I then opened my camera bag, made myself as invisible as possible and took a total of seven shots inside the church.

I’m not one to push my luck but so far so good. I went outside and still no photography guards were on sight. I photographed the Mexican Baroque facade of Quiapo Church to my heart's content.
The sky was already having hints of blues and flares of oranges as I finished. The mass has also ended and streams of people were already moving out into the still wet pavement of Plaza Miranda.

Mission accomplished! One last thing to do before heading back, buy some Puto Bumbongs and Bibingkas! Simbang Gabi would never be complete without bringing home some!

    Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene
     St. John the Baptist Parish
     Plaza Miranda, R. Hidalgo, Manila
     (02) 733-4434 ‎
     Click to View Location on Google Maps

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  1. Stunning photos! I particularly love the third one on the set - perfect balance. And that second to the last, yummy! ;p

  2. ang sarap yumaman, makabili ng DSLR, at magpaturo sa inyo, maestro, galing nyo po talaga, you're really my winner, period. (i love all the pictures)

  3. pre. parang bago ang paintings ngayon ano? nag repaint pala ang Quiapo. :-).

  4. It's been so long since I've attended a mass at Quiapo church.. as well as attend Simbang Gabi.. >.< Btw, you took lovely photos kahit medyo stealth mode pa yung iba.. :) I'm also craving for some puto bumbong and bibingka now.. >.<

  5. Aha! isusumbong kita! Ang linis na ng loob in time for the Nazareno on Jan 8. Galing ng camera mo!

  6. Kaya naman pala ang linaw! I googled it ang ito ang ISO range nya: "5N has a wider ISO range, spanning 100 - 25600"...ahhh..pantapat sa Olympus Micro 4/3 na EPL3.

  7. I felt Christmas more with your post and pics... I love the last one.

  8. Diba there's this campaign na about allowing people to take photos of public places? People should be allowed to take photos inside the Church. Although legit naman yung first reason ni guardia cibil. Char. Hahaha.

    I have never experience simbang gabi. MIght try it once this year. And waaaaaah puto bumbong!!!! <3

  9. ang galing talaga... as always, even with a small and compact Sony NEX5n camera, ganda pa rin ng shots... buti nalang at walang sumita sayu this time, naging invisible ka nga.. hehehe! Happy Holidays Christian!

  10. hahaha!!! naka lusot din..
    grabe focus ah!

  11. Why should they prohibit people to photograph this church? That's something weird! It is a public place in the long run.

  12. love the last photo! craving bibingka haha!

  13. I can't understand the reason why flashless photography inside the church is a no no.

  14. Mach
    Thank you! Sumakto talaga sila manong sa mga saints eh no :)

    No need to buy a DSLR bro if your budget can't afford it. When I was starting, point and shoot lang gamit ko. Ang tagal ko rin ginamit yun before buying a DSLR.
    Pero up to now ginagamit ko pa rin sya and it has been winning me contests from then til now. :)

    Siguro nga pre, baka dahil magpa pasko :)

    Sumi Go
    Haha stealth mode talaga, kinakabahan ako baka biglang lumitaw si manong guard :P

    The Pinoy Explorer
    Haha wag! Panalo NEX5n, paborito ko na nga eh hehe

    Thank you!

    Oo nga, gusto ko nga rin sumama sa kanila, wala lang time
    Saka gusto ko bumili ng tshirt nila :P

    Teka, di ka pa nakapag simbang gabi kahit isang beses? :o


    Pinoy Adventurista
    Haha happy holidays! Ang liit lang kasi ng NEX hehe

    Haha oo nga! Thanks pre!

    Edmar, BertN
    Hay, you know how it is in the PH

    Kain na! Last simbang gabi na kanina :)