San Pedro Macati Church
Sts. Peter and Paul Parish
Makati Church
San Pedro de Macati Church
Church facade in 2020
14°33′58″N 121°01′53″E / 14.566130°N 121.031385°E / 14.566130; 121.031385
Location5539 D.M. Rivera Street
Poblacion, Makati
DenominationRoman Catholic
StatusParish church
Founder(s)Pedro de los Montes
DedicationPeter and Paul
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationPhilippine Historical Research and Markers Committee
Designatedaround 1937
Architectural typeChurch building
SubdivisionVicariate of Saints Peter and Paul[1]
Priest(s)Genaro O. Diwa
AssistantGabriel A. Paraan Jr.

The San Pedro Macati Church, also known as Saints Peter and Paul Parish (Latin: Ecclesia Parœcialis de S. Petri Apostoli in urbs v.d. 'Makati'), or Makati Church is a Roman Catholic church located in Makati Poblacion, the oldest part of Makati and for that reason, the cultural and heritage barangay of Makati, Philippines. In front of the church facade is Plaza Cristo Rey, which was formerly the San Pedro de Macati Cemetery. The Poblacion Church is a government-recognized cultural property based on the official list provided by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. After 394 years, the church was re-dedicated; the first dedication happened in 1620 when it became a parish church, the next after the reconstruction of the facade in 1796 and finally again, on January 30, 2015. The dedication was led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, con-celebrated by Pedro Gerardo O. Santos, the then-parish priest, bishops, and priests.


Interior of the church, taken in 1899 or 1900
The church houses an altar with its carved retablo

Before the land seizure of the Spanish, the area of today's San Pedro de Macati was part of the Kingdom of Sapa or Namayan, ruled by the Rajah Kalamayin whose residence was in Namayan, now part of Sta. Ana, Manila.[2] The Franciscan missionaries were the first to convert the indigenous Tagalog of Sapa to Christianity by 1578, after they had turned the original barangay into a visita called Sta. Ana de Sapa in 1570.

In 1589, Capitan Pedro de Brito, then an aide to the Spanish army chief of staff, purchased today's church premises as part of a large property with a public bid of 1400 pesos, and installed his encomienda called "Hacienda Pedro". On July 1, 1608, de Brito, now the newly elected alferez general, and his wife Ana de Herrera donated part of their land to the Jesuits. Gregorio Lopez accepted the deed of donation and an endowment of 14,000 pesos for a house of probation. This house and the church were to be built in the highest hill in the area called Buenavista and were to be placed under the patronage of Saint Peter, the donor's name patron.

Construction of the first church was finished in 1620 under the direction of Pedro de los Montes. As the Jesuit encomienda began to earn at least 30,000 pesos annually from the production of earthenware, their vision of building an imposing structure could begin to be realized. The church known as San Pedro y Pablo Viejo was made from hewn stone, pebbles, and gravel mixed with mortar. Its facade is dominated with a three tiered papal tiara with the cross keys of Saint Peter. In 1718, an ivory image of the Blessed Virgin Mary depicted as Virgen de la Rosa (Virgin of the Rose) was brought from Mexico to the Philippines through the Manila–Acapulco Galleon trade by Jesuit Juan Delgado. This image of the Virgin Mary was enshrined in this church and was frequently venerated due to a relic of the Virgin's hair supposedly encapsuled in the image's breast.

According to a narrative by Nick Joaquin, this concept was backed by Pedro Murillo's description in his Historia de la Provincia de Filipinas de la Compania de Jesus (1749):

"Your most holy image of the Nuestra Señora de la Rosa has on her breast a most precious treasure, greater than those which Tharsis had in is opulence, or Ophir with his most valuable metals can offer. This is the strand of hair of her most holy head, whose authenticity I read with great admiration. In the vast extent of the Indies that I know of, there exists no similar reliquary."[3]

Unfortunately, the reliquary got lost together with the ivory hands and head of the statue in the Revolution of 1899. There remains an oval cavity in the upper body, the missing pards have been restored using wood as a material instead of ivory.[3][4]

In Lourdes Policarpio's view, the Virgin's title stems from "Our Lady as the Mystical Rose" or "Rosa Mystica". In Lucca, Italy, the feast of "Our Lady of the Rose" is celebrated on January 30. It is believed that three roses were found in the arms of Our Lady on January.[4] when a deaf mute shepherd see the appearance of the Lady. He has able to speak after the apparition of Our Lady of Roses.

In the church parish, there are two famous festivals or fiestas held on June 29, the feast of Apostles Peter and Paul, and June 30, the feast of "Nuestra Señora dela Rosa". The "Panatang Sayaw", as the Bailes de los Arcos (Dance of the Arches) are called, are an old tradition going back at least to the beginnings of the 19th century. It is a ritual of praise and thanksgiving to the saints Peter and Paul and the Virgen de la Rosa.[5]

The church was destroyed during the British occupation of Manila in 1762. It was reconstructed much later in 1849 using stones from nearby Guadalupe in Makati and Meycauayan in Bulacan province. Other materials used include yakal and molave as wood materials, and kapre shells for windows and baticulin, guijo timbers and conchas or seashells for its windows.

After the Jesuits' expulsion the ownership changed. The Makati hacienda was reclaimed by the government and was sold in public auction in 1795 to Don Pedro de Garuga, Marquis of Villa Medina. Through the next half-century, the property changed hands three times, until, in 1851, it was bought by Don Jose Bonifacio Roxas, the founding father of the Roxas–Ayala–Zobel clan, who built a family manor on the riverbank, what is today's Poblacion's river park, "Casa Hacienda Park".[4]

During the Philippine–American War from 1899 to 1902, the church was used as a hospital to tend wounded American soldiers. American volunteers also camped on church grounds.[6] This stay, however, resulted in the loss of the ivory head and hands of the Virgen de la Rosa.[citation needed]

Over the years, the Makati Church underwent several renovations and changes in the design but most of its features like the reredos and the church bells are still original.

On October 29, 2018, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments granted a decree of canonical coronation to the image of the Virgen de la Rosa. The rite of crowning took place on March 16, 2019, presided by the papal nuncio to the Philippines.[7]


The church structure follows the Baroque style of architecture. Its architectural feature of a single rectangular nave consisting of an apse and sacristy is typical of churches during the Spanish colonial period.[8] The altar with its original carved reredos with motifs of various flowers and fruits following the Baroque Rococo tradition can still be found in the church.[9]

Cultural property and historical marker

Church HRMC historical marker

The Saints Peter and Paul Parish is a government-recognized important cultural property with the placement of a historical marker around 1937 by the Philippine Historical Research and Markers Committee, the precursor to the present National Historical Commission of the Philippines.[10]

La Virgen de la Rosa

The statue of the La Virgen de la Rosa de Macati during her Canonical coronation on March 16, 2019

The statue of the La Virgen de la Rosa was brought to the Philippines from Mexico by Fr. Juan Delgado on August 10, 1718, via the Manila–Acapulco Galleon trade through the galleon Sacra Familia. One of the unique features of the statue was that it once had a reliquary in the chest of the statue which encases a very special relic – the actual piece of the hair of the Virgin Mary. Unfortunately, during the Philippine Revolution the hair and the ivory hands and head of the Virgin were stolen and the whereabouts are still unknown until present. After the arrival of the icon, the devotion to the La Virgen de la Rosa de Macati became well known throughout San Pedro Macati. Due to the miracles attributed through the intercession of the La Virgen de la Rosa de Macati, Pope Francis granted a pontifical decree of pontifical coronation towards the statue in October 2018. The canonical coronation rites were held on March 16, 2019.

Ecclesiastical jurisdiction

The ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the parish church encompasses barangays Poblacion (except for Santiago and Rizal Villages, which are under Saint Andrew the Apostle Parish) and Olympia in Makati.

The following chapels fall within under its jurisdiction:[11]

Vicariate of Saints Peter and Paul

The parish church is under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Manila under the vicariate forane of Saints Peter and Paul. Aside from this parish church of the same name, the vicariate covers the following parish churches and mission stations in western Makati:[12]

Parish priests

Name Years of pastorship Present assignment
Jose Dimbla 1899 to 1904 Deceased
Tirso Tomacruz 1918 Deceased
Adriano Cuerpo 1920 to 1929 Deceased
Getulio Ingal 1930 Deceased
Osmundo Aguilar 1931 to 1939 Deceased
Lazaro Ochuga 1939 to 1951 Deceased
Francisco Teodoro 1955 to 1974 Deceased
Pablo Dimagiba 1974
Feliciano Santos 1974 to 1980 Deceased
Antonio B. Unson 1980 to 2006 Deceased
Estelito Villegas 2006 to 2014 Rector and parish priest of Ermita Church, Manila[13]
Pedro Gerardo O. Santos 2014 to 2022 Parish priest of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Makati[13]
Genaro O. Diwa 2022 to present

Former priests

Name Years of pastorship Previous assignment
Virgilio Soriano 1937
Pio Palad 1951
Dalmacio Eusebio 1960 Parochial vicar
Amado Ligon Jr. 1967 Parochial vicar
Augusto Pedrosa 1968 Parochial vicar
Celso Sta. Maria 1970 Parochial vicar
Rogelio Positar 1996 Attached priest
Jaime Bautista 1996 Parochial vicar
Wilmer Rosario 2006 Parochial vicar
Estanislao Amper Parochial vicar
Roy Bellen 2006–2011
John Patrick D. Calimlim 2008–2015 Parochial vicar
Ryan O. Diño 2016 Attached priest
Reyann Orlandes 2017–2018 Attached priest

Present priest

Name Assignment
Gabriel A. Paraan Jr. Asst. parish priest / parochial vicar
Boy Aurelio T. Buhay Resident priest
Alwin Bobis Resident priest
William M. Parde Jr. Resident priest


  1. ^ "Vicariate of Saints Peter and Paul". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. February 26, 2021.
  2. ^ Scott, William Henry (1994). Barangay: Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. ISBN 971-550-135-4.
  3. ^ a b "Nuestra Senora de la Rosa".
  4. ^ a b c Joaquin, Nick (1979). "Almanac for Manileños".
  5. ^ Old Makati and the Bailes de los Arcos by Alejandro Roces
  6. ^ "Philippine–American War".
  7. ^ "'Virgen dela Rosa de Macati' canonically crowned". CBCPNews. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  8. ^ "Makati's Historic Churches". 2014-04-19.
  9. ^ "Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church". Archived from the original on 2014-05-12.
  10. ^ Administration. "National Registry of Historic Sites and Structures in the Philippines". National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Retrieved on 2014-11-26.
  11. ^ "PASKO SA SAMPIRO 2023". Facebook (in Filipino). Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Makati. December 11, 2023. Retrieved April 6, 2024.
  12. ^ "Vicariate of Saints Peter and Paul". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. Retrieved April 6, 2024.
  13. ^ a b "THE NEW APPOINTMENTS OF THE CLERGY OF MANILA". The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. October 13, 2022. Retrieved May 22, 2023.