Pap: San Agustin Church and Convent – Intramuros, Manila, Philippines c. 1946/1947

Thomas Alexander Piotrowski, Sr._1946-47_Manila, Philippines_16My pap only drank alcohol once during his time in Manila.  That was after a Christmas Eve mass at a Catholic church.  Remember Red, the head cook from a few pictures ago?  Well, Red served pap a nice cocktail of grapefruit juice and gin.  His friends had to carry him, drunk, back to his bunk.

The church pictured here just might be the church pap went to on Christmas Eve 1946 before getting sloshed! Although he is not 100% sure, he is pretty certain that the church he went to was in the historic district of Manila.

At over 400  years old, San Agustin Church is the oldest church and the oldest stone building in the Philippines.  The church was founded in 1571, but the building in this picture is actually the third San Agustin Church built on this site (the first two were both destroyed by fire).  It was completed in 1607.

Like the University of Santo Tomas, this church was also used as a concentration camp for prisoners during the Japanese military occupation of the Philippines during World War II.  San Agustin is the only one out of seven churches in the Intramuros to survive after the Battle of Manila, which ended Japan’s occupation but also resulted in complete destruction of the city.  Hundreds of residents and clergy were held captive in the church and subsequently killed during this horrific battle.

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