Plazas are frequently surrounded by significant structures such as city halls, churches, and markets. It features a carefully graded and paved floor. To some places, they have trees surrounding them. They bring light and ventilation into the city. It has adjacent streets that are frequently shaded due to their narrower width. Plazas have extended the functional landscape into the physical environment. Now they have pedestrian malls and street markets. Significantly enriching the visitor experience. There is also a Plaza complex that is a collection of commercial business establishments with separate lease or occupancy spaces. However, Plazas in suburbs are more of “visual amenities” rather than public spaces. Thus, many of them function less successfully as gathering spaces but as landmarks. There are a lot of Plazas in the Philippines, including the historical Plaza Miranda. It is an iconic public square in the streets of Quiapo, Manila.
The Plaza Miranda
Plaza Miranda is a public square in Manila’s Quiapo neighborhood. It stands in front of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church). One of the most important churches in the city of Manila, as well as the heart of Quiapo. Plaza Mianda was named after José Sandino y Miranda. The former Secretary of the Treasury of the Philippines. Furthermore, the Plaza Miranda bombing occurred in 1971. Two grenades were launched at a Liberal Party political rally, killing nine people. It is also where 50,000 people gathered to protest the Marcos dictatorship’s impending martial law declaration. However, martial law continued hours after the incident. Now, Plaza Miranda homes for vendors of fortune-tellers, lucky charms, amulets, and wet and dry market. In fact, Most fortune tellers here claim that they’re able to draw fortunes from their devotion to the Black Nazarene. Despite Catholic Church doctrine deploring the practice.
Plaza Miranda has an expansive area of more than 5000 square meters. The plaza proper which has a design capacity of approximately 16,000 people is paved with granite tiles. It is surrounded by Neo-Gothic architectural details inspired by the Quiapo Church’s architecture. Particularly on the western side, containing two grand entrance arches bearing the coat of arms of Manila. Two of the plaza’s four corners contain historical markers. One is a plaque commemorating the Plaza Miranda bombing. Second, a 35-foot high marble obelisko of a statue of a woman with outstretched arms bearing a torch, representing freedom. Third, the “Plaridel Corner” of Marcelo H. del Pilar. Editor and co-publisher of La Solidaridad. And lastly the historic plaque written in Filipino. Bearing a quotation attributed to the French writer and philosopher Voltaire.
The Quiapo Church
The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, also known as Quiapo Church, is a distinguished basilica in Philippines’ Quiapo district. It houses th e Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ that said to be miraculous. The Archdiocese of Manila has jurisdiction over the basilica. Also its current rector is Rev. Msgr. Coronel, Hernando M. Every Friday, Quiapo Church holds a novena in honor of the Black Nazarene. Thousands of devotees attend this Quiapo Day to show their devotion. It’s common to see some people kissing or wiping the foot of the statue. They hope that their prayers will be heard upon doing so. On January 9, the Feast of the Black Nazarene commemorates the transfer of the statue to the church. These people believed that by participating in the procession could atone for their sins. Additionally, most Filipinos are Catholic.
Tips and Guidelines when visiting Plaza Miranda
- Remember store points you pass by so you don’t get lost
- Wear casual and comfortable clothes. Don’t wear anything fancy such as expensive jewelries
- Always be vigilant and observant. There are records of pick-pockets in the area
- Always check your belongings
- Bring large eco bags for your goods
- Prepare cash. Credit card payments are not accepted in a street market
- Compare prices and quality of same products in different stores
- You may say a prayer at Quiapo Church
- Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene
- The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)
- San Agustin Church
- National Museum of the Philippines
- Fort Santiago
- Rizal Park
- Casa Manila
- Presidential Museum and Library – Malacañan Palace
How to get there
Moreover, here are some instructions on how to go to Plaza Miranda or check the directions on how to go to Quiapo Church.
- Take the LRT bound to Recto station. Then proceed south on Evangelista St. Finally, in about 850 meters, you will arrive.
- Take the LRT bound to Cariedo station. Then proceed east on Carriedo St. Finally, in about 300 meters, you will arrive.
Via Taxi or Grab Car
- Take a taxi or book a GrabCar from any point of Metro Manila and nearby cities going to Baclaran Market. However, this might get a little expensive.