I guess somehow we are all familiar with metropolis’ multi-cultural and multi-religious background, with the presence of Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu places of worship. But who would have thought it was more diverse than what we normally thought it was?
Right in Makati’s bustling and low-key part of Salcedo Village stands a midrise building called Adamson Centre. If the name Adamson may sound familiar, it is because the building was built through the efforts of the same family that founded Adamson University back in 1932.
Despite the English-sounding surname, the Adamsons actually hail from Greece; its patriarch George Lucas Adamson was a Greek chemist who first founded Adamson University as a school for industrial chemistry. He and his family are also practicing members of the Greek Orthodox Church. So when the patriarch died in 1974, his family decided to erect in the premises of the building they owned a small Greek Orthodox chapel dedicated as the St. George Greek Orthodox Chapel seven years later.
The interior of the chapel, with all the carvings, the artwork, and liturgical books there, gives an unmistakable Orthodox flavor. If you are familiar with the Our Lady of Perpetual Help, you may notice the artwork is reminiscent of that Catholic icon. This should not come as a surprise since that Marian image is said to have come from the Greek island of Crete, which, like the rest of Greece as well as Turkey and Russia, was under the influence of Byzantine art that characterized many Orthodox churches, not to mention the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
I’m not sure if there are church services being offered there from time to time but the chapel is open every weekday mornings, so you might be interested in checking the place out before work if you have the time. It is located on your right before the entrance.
Apart from the chapel, Adamson Center is also known as the location (since 2006) of the Philippine office of Germany’s national cultural institution (Germany’s CCP as some might say) which is the Goethe-Institut.
Named after the famed German writer-philisopher-diplomat Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the institute was first established in 1951 and would later make its presence here in the country 10 years later.
For those interested about Germany, Goethe-Institut has a library, primarily of books and other publications dealing with Germany, as well as offering German language courses.
Incidentally, 2011 is the 50th anniversary of Goethe-Institut in the Philippines. So let me take this opportunity to greet “glücklich Geburtstag, Goethe-Institut Philippinen!”
For more information about the Goethe-Institut Philippinen, you can check out their website at www.goethe.de/manila.
© The Urban Roamer