The Lady of Ermita

Mention the place “Ermita” and you will probably get many responses that dwell on the district’s not-so-positive reputation, thanks to it being known before as a haven of the so-called “girly bars” that has tainted this old district’s heritage, never mind the fact that these bars are no longer as prevalent as they were before the 1990s.

Nevertheless, for the old Catholic faithful in the district, they have their affections lie on one lady whose presence there predates the bars, going as far back at least to the time when the Spaniards set foot in Manila in 1571. The lady of Ermita that is the Marian image known as the Nuestra Señora de Guia. (Our Lady of Guidance)

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a shrine for a “forgotten” saint

On regular days, this part of the district of San Miguel in Manila stands in guarded silence, as human and steel sentinels have been assigned here to protect the district’s most important structure, as well as its most important occupant.


Thursdays here though are a different story, as these sentinels greet a somewhat greater crowd of people from all walks of life. They are Catholics and devotees who make their way every Thursday as a sign of their devotion to their patron, St. Jude Thaddeus. Continue reading