Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sto Nino Shrine (Tacloban) Part 1: the Chapel & Guest Rooms

My Sto Nino Shrine posts are a product of a combined effort by me and my Tacloban trip buddy Ezra. She was the one taking photos, and I was assigned to take down notes during the Shrine tour. :-)
while preparing our itinerary for the Tacloban trip i have seen photos of visitors in the Sto Nino Shrine showing it's facade only... 2 bloggers mentioned about the Shrine and that they opted not to go inside,either because of lack of time or the entrance fee is unreasonable.... we went there not having any idea what's inside...thinking, probably its just some religious stuff.... 

We hesitated to enter at first after finding out that the entrance fee is Php200 for a minimum of 5.... It took us a walk around the building and a tour at Kyle's before we decided to check out the Shrine.

The place does not look too attractive from the outside... but seeing the walls closer, we fell in love with the banig (mat) patterns... even the ceiling outside is also in banig pattern.

Here's the rest of the Shrine rates... we're so kuripot we decided that we will only pay for one camera only and it will just be Ezra who'll take the photos inside. This is what triggered our photos-and-notes assignments inside. :-)

Once inside, we were required to take off our shoes and use these slippers instead. First stop of the tour was the Sto Nino chapel at the ground floor. This is what will welcome you inside. Notice the wall... it's also in banig  pattern...made of wood chips... The banig will be a constant design all over the shrine.

These stautes are actually life-size... gifts to Imelda from another country (that i forgot to note ---fail! hehe).

here's a view of the chapel from the altar. On both sides would be the guest rooms already.

hallway on the left side of the chapel... we went to the guest rooms on this side first... notice the banig design again all over... from the walls to the ceiling... these are made of wood chips (i forgot what type of wood)... according to our guide it took 2 years to finish putting up these tiles to look like a banig...

All guest rooms are themed based on some provinces and materials that are identified with the Philippines. And each room has a diorama depicting Imelda's life and projects. All items inside where the original items placed here. These are now in danger of getting destroyed because of the temperature and dust. Aside from being vacuum-cleaned, there's no other preservation measure being done. The Shrine is self-liquidating... getting its fund mostly from the tourists who come to check out the place. Now I somehow understand that our Php200 will help preserve this place (no matter how dark the time where all these came from and how irritatingly these came from the people's money before).... This is currently under PCGG, as one of the sequestered properties of the Marcoses.

1.) Ifugao Room. First guest room we saw. Main part of the room is the wood carvings that were even shipped from the Mt. Province. The diorama in this room is about Imelda's life in Tolosa, Leyte when she was 5years old...... I love the chandelier. :-)

I was really amazed that the whole place was using a centralized aircondition before... how cool is that... if centralized aircondition is something huge for a place now... so at that time this was really a luxury....

2.) Fern Room. the ferns were really made evident in the sheets. The diorama in this place is Imelda's family house before the Japanese occupied Leyte. Nice capture Ez, i like how we look so busy with our own tasks in that mirror hehehe :D

3.) Muslim Room. the room looks more grand than the first 2 rooms.... what stands out is the bed, the big gong in the headboard and the big metal jar....the diorama in this room pertains to the time Imelda was crowned as the Rose of Tacloban.

4.) Bicolnon Room. Obviously, the room would be everything about Bicol... the one thing that connects the room to anything Bicol is the Abaca-made design in the headboard. Very dainty. :-) the diorama in this room is about Marcos' senatorial campaign in Bicol with Imelda.

5.) Shell Room. this is the biggest guest room. It has more room for a lounge area... i love the shell pillows and the shell-like frame of the mirror. :-) there's 2 dioramas in the room, 1st pertains to oathtaking of Marcos as President in 1965. The other diorama is the inauguration of the CCP.

6.) Bamboo Room (Governor's Room). although not exactly a guest room since this was intended solely for Leyte's governor. I simply love the bamboo design on the headboard... :-) really nice (left bottom photo in this collage)

7.) Primitive Room. the salamander is really popping out. when we first went in, i instantly wondered what the theme of the room is... hehehe i cant seem to think right away, i thought its lizards or something. good thing our guide said that it has got to do with a primitive theme... the diorama in this room shows the construction of the Ultra Sports Complex.

8.) Sampaguita Room. I love the sampaguita design of the sheets... the room is very dainty... :-) Diorama shows Imelda's Research Center project in Los Banos.

9.) Ilocandia Room. the main item in this room is the cabinet that is made of mother of pearl given to Imelda by the Korean government. Diorama here shows Imelda with Muamar Kadaffi of Libya during the 74th Tripoli Agreement.

10.) Coconut Room. I like how comfy the bed looks even though for sure there's sooo many molds underneath hehe... diorama in this room shows Dagat-dagatan Bless project of Imelda in Navotas.

11.) Butterfly Room. literally peppered with butterflies all over... hehehe the diorama in this room shows the human settlement program of Imelda.

12.) Capiz Room. That headboard pattern using mirrors and capiz is real love.... :-) this is my fave among all the other rooms... diorama in the room shows Imleda's land reform project. I've also noticed some framed sketches(i forgot to take who did)... i think he just used some pen... i think i can remember this kind of style in some editorial cartoons of Inquirer and Manila Bulletin i think... :-)

13.) Banig Room. As if the whole place is still not shouting BANIG all over.... hehe one room is still dedicated for this product...I didn't know Imelda had sooo much fetish with banig. :-) Diorama in this room shows Imelda's Compassion of Life project.

and here's another popping item in the first floor. along the hallway of the guestrooms is this pearl and marble mosaic of Jesus Christ... and on the other side is the same pearl and marble mosaic of the Immaculate Concepcion.

The banig wall, the mosaic.... talk about literally putting up the whole place piece by piece... :-)

The place is in a sad state now... i cant imagine how much glamour it had before... but as our tour guide told us, the Marcoses never stayed here, but these guest rooms were used at least once by I think a group of nuns who had a convention or something in Leyte during those times... too much taxpayer's money... but despite the painful part of this structure in our history, I just think it's still worth preserving...

Tacloban trip with ezra
17-19 September 2010


  1. i super like this entry charm!!!! congrats for putting up a very good feature of tacloban city!! - Benny

  2. thanks thanks benny! :-) meron pa hehehe :D

  3. same here..thanks for posting this! I have always wanted to go to tacloban and this shows a good reason to!



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