Quezon City’s La Naval de Manila

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This multimedia presentation was prepared by the author.

map_manila.gif Every October, the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City is filled with pilgrims and devotees for the feast of the Nuestra Senora del Rosario, La Naval de Manila. For more than three centuries this event has been celebrated by the faithful as, like most Filipino Catholics, thanksgiving, a plea for divine intervention or affirmation of faith.

In 1646, the invading Dutch greatly surprised the then Spanish colony that in the ensuing naval battles, 5 to be exact, the combined Filipino-Spanish forces consisting of two merchant galleons faced eighteen warships of the enemy. The outnumbered defenders fought, prayed to the Virgin and triumphantly won. This encounter is historically known as the Battle of La Naval.

The victory was attributed to the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary that the commander and crew of the victorious defenders made a pilgrimage to the Sto. Domingo Church in Intramuros. In 1662, the Cathedral Chapter of the Archdiocese of Manila declared it a miracle.

Upon the orders of Pope Pius X, the religious icon was canonically crowned in 5 October 1907. This is the first Marian image to be accorded this acclamation in the Philippines and in Asia. Last year, to celebrate the centenary of this momentous event, a reenactment was done in the Sto. Domingo Church which was transferred to its present site in Quezon City in 1956 after the second world war totally destroyed the one in Intramuros.

Stan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London). His personal Photography work has been exhibited in Asia and Europe including Paris, Seoul and around the ASEAN regional capitals. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has been to all 81 Philippines provinces.

Open for work, collaboration and inquiry for site features. Check out his portfolio.

9 thoughts on “Quezon City’s La Naval de Manila

  1. My family used to go there when we are still living in Manila back in the 80s. I have not visited that church for about 2 decades now. Glad you posted it. Great job again Estan and Congratulations on your win in PBA2.

  2. Thanx Oman. I’ve read and heard about the La Naval festivities before but it was only last year that I had the opportunity to cover it.

  3. The one at Pinoycentric the Semana Santa presentation. It is actually the two slide shows (La Naval and the Semana Santa) that has inspired me to blog about our heritage.

    I think I was not able to express my gratitude for the inspiration estan. Thank you.

  4. Hi Traveler on Foot. Thanx for the comment. It is enlightening and heartwarming. I am very happy that I have made a difference for the good. I just hope that other people will also blog about our heritage as we need to spread awareness.

    Again, thank you very much.

  5. I find it peculiar that we’re celebrating ‘La Naval de Manila’ when in fact, its not in the city of Manila (technically speaking) but in Quezon City.

    The bombing of the Santo Domingo church in 1941 was a great cultural tragedy, a historical continuity could have been achieved if the Dominicans rebuilt the church in its original site.

  6. Ang ganda naman ng presentacion na ito. Galing! mabuhay ka Estan!

    *Nick Joaquin said it right when he wrote in his My Manila book that Intramuros would never be the same without its great churches.


    imagine .. that is just a short distance from my former office .. but ive never been there… crazy me ..

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