going to macau without visiting the famous Ruínas de São Paulo (Ruins of St. Paul’s Church) basically translates to mortal sin. because you cannot not go to macau and not go there. it’s practically the city’s symbol, for crying out loud!
so like the good ‘ol tourists that we were, we followed the crowd and the cobbled path until we found ourselves staring at a tall stone structure that was once a church’s facade. i could just imagine how big that church was before it burned down, although i can’t imagine its former grandeur. what is left is merely a memorabilia reminding everyone that a church once stood there before. don’t expect it to blow your mind.
if you want your mind blown, you don’t need to go far. simply board a plane to negros occidental and stare in awe at negros occidental’s the ruins. if it doesn’t, god bless you, i don’t know what else will.
a few meters behind the facade, accessible by metal staircases, is the museo de arte sacra (museum of sacred art) featuring several religious paintings and sculptures. it’s not really a huge collection and if you’re a filipino, you’re probably used to seeing all these antique religious items so it’s not exactly something to go crazy about.
even the crypt wasn’t really all that fascinating. in it were the bones of the japanese and vietnamese martyrs displayed through glass windows. a cross is placed there to remind you that you are in a sacred place and silence must be observed, which isn’t really very hard to do because not a lot of people go there anyway. or if they do, they don’t linger. we spent only around 5 minutes there, with the 3 minutes spent on taking pictures. like i said, nothing much to see.
it’s amazing how different religions thrived harmoniously in macau. on one side, you have the roman catholic, symbolized by st. paul’s church. beside the church, you have Na Tcha, a taoist temple dating back to 1888.
i loved looking at that temple. the coil incense hung from the ceiling looked really interesting, as it reminded me of the mosquito coils that are popular here in the philippines. the temple is rather small with an altar on the side but the nice thing about it is that even if it’s small, it has this quiet charm that attracts you to it.
just as that concrete panda has a latent power to attract visitors to have their photos taken beside it. although the weird thing is, standing within the perimeters of the historical facade, i’d have to say it looks kind of off; so out of place.
but still, i had my picture taken with it, nonetheless. hehe.