The first structure of this church was made of bamboo and nipa palm, built by the Franciscan Missionaries. But in 1574, the pirates lead by Limahong, destroyed and burned the church. In 1588, Fr. Antonio de Nombella, a Franciscan friar, founded this church and declared it as the Parish of St. John the Baptist. It was again burned in 1603 and took over by the “Society of Jesus” or the Jesuits. In 1686, the full construction was started initiated by Gov. Gen. Santiago de Vera.
In 1762, the English attempted to destroy this church. But later, it was destroyed by an earthquake and then caught by fire. Donations and contributions were collected for the constructions of the new church. The structure that we are seeing today was planned by the Filipino National Artist, Architect Juan Nakpil in 1933. But it was enlarged and the design of the walls were changed by Architect Jose Maria Zaragoza in 1984.
Today, this church has a Baroque designs, the facade has columns on both sides and the two bell towers are well decorated. At lot of renovations were made on the structure, but the facade and the dome retained with the classic design. Click here for my list: TravellingCup