Hidden Treasures at Ortigas Foundation Library

The Ortigas Foundation Library launched last May 21, 2009 a photo exhibit entitled “Hidden Treasures” featuring rarely documented Spanish era churches, which received overwhelming positive reviews.

Many fine books and countless photographs have been published in the last ten years extolling the charms of the major Spanish Era churches of the Philippines. Over this same period Atty. Rafael Ortigas, Jr. President of the Ortigas Foundation, started an ambitious project to document all Spanish Era churches in the Philippines from the Manila Cathedral to the most remote provincial parish. He assigned photographers Betty Lalana and Boy Arboleda to photograph as many as they could locate using the Catholic directory, old maps and other sources. With his encouragement and unfailing assistance they have found many “hidden treasures” - churches and other structures not commonly featured and hardly ever visited by tourists either local or foreign. This exhibition is only a small selection from their ongoing work to date, which has located and photographed over 300 churches, in addition to bell towers, elegant cemetery gates and ancient ruins of foundries, fortifications and watch towers.

Traveling by every conceivable mode of transportation including by foot, they have managed to reach the most obscure parishes and photograph picturesque facades, architectural details and timeless Filipino landscapes. Hopefully this glimpse of the unspoiled Philippines will inspire more laymen and religious leaders to value and respect their ancient places of worship and preserve their spiritual integrity for generations to come.

The Ortigas Foundation Library has a large permanent collection of Philippine research material and vintage photographs and is dedicated to both the study and preservation of Philippine historical material. The Ortigas Foundation Library assisted in mounting this traveling exhibition which will start visiting selected schools during the school year. The Ortigas Foundation Library is located at the 2nd Floor, Ortigas Building, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City. The library is open from 9:00a.m. to 6:00pm daily. Entrance is free.