LOOK: Restored UP Chapel seen this Holy Week in virtual tour

Restored UP Chapel Holy Week
The restoration of the UP Chapel started in July 2020. Photo from the DMCI Homes.

You can see the restored University of the Philippines (UP) Chapel this Holy Week in a virtual tour hosted by DMCI Homes.

The 65-year-old UP Chapel, also known as the Parish Church of the Holy Sacrifice inside the UP Diliman campus in Quezon City, was restored in time for the Holy Week. However, access to the chapel has been restricted due to the IATF’s placing Metro Manila and four nearby provinces under lockdown amidst a surge in Covid 19 cases. Thankfully, DMCI Homes created a virtual tour that anyone can view from the safety of their homes.

The National Historical Landmark and a Cultural Treasure showcases the first circular chapel in the country with the altar in its center, and the murals depicting the Stations of the Cross, the marble altar, the floor mural, and the cross at the center of the chapel—were all handiworks of national artists.

The UP Chapel was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin and built by Engr. David M. Consunji, an alumnus of the UP College of Engineering. Consunji is acknowledged as the grandfather of construction in the Philippines and the founder of the DMCI Group of Companies.

The restoration work on the UP Chapel was planned to start in early 2020 but the pandemic pushed the schedule to a later date. The repair and repainting of the chapel’s exterior dome, structures, and facades were finished in December.

The scaffolding construction and scraping of the dome’s interior were initially done in January 2021.

DMCI Homes proceeded to repaint the dome’s interior in mid-February after getting approval of the paint color to be used from UP officials and the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice.

Quadruple A developer DMCI Homes completed the repainting of the church’s dome interior ceiling with the help of JBLS Trading & Construction Aesthetics, and Boysen Philippines, which donated the paint materials.

While the repainting was ongoing, masses were still held at the UP Chapel’s grounds for parishioners to attend.

About 138 gallons of paint were used to repaint the entirety of the chapel’s interior dome. Photo from DMCI Homes.

DMCI Homes, the property arm of DMCI Holdings, has been working on rehabilitating the 65-year-old chapel since July 2020. The restoration of the UP Chapel was done through a series of consultations with UP officials in an effort to bring back the 65-year-old cultural treasure’s original state of beauty.

Before 2020 ended, DMCI Homes facilitated the following repairs in the chapel: repair of masonry cracks; de-clogging of downspouts and drains; installation of new electrical fixtures; and, exterior repainting on the chapel’s iconic dome and roof, as well as of its walls, columns, eaves, under slabs, ceilings, and railings.

The works of national artists were left untouched during the rehabilitation.

Due to its unique and timeless design, the UP Chapel is considered an important architectural landmark, as it is the first circular chapel in the country with the altar in its center for a more personal and engaging community worship experience.

It is also the first structure in the country to feature a remarkable thin-shell concrete dome, made possible through Engr. Consunji’s innovation in the mixing and delivery of concrete.

It is the only structure in the country to feature the works of five national artists, namely:

  • Arturo Luz designed the floor mural, titled the “River of Life”, executed in terazzo and radiating from the altar
  • Napoleon Abueva created the giant wooden double-sided crucifix and the altar base
  • Vicente Manansala and Ang Kiukok painted the 15 murals of the Stations of the Cross
  • Leandro Locsin designed the chapel structure

With the interior dome finally repainted, the restoration of the chapel to its original glory is finally complete and people from all walks of life can enjoy and appreciate the chapel’s one-of-a-kind beauty for many years.

VISIT other Philippine churches through Google Street View released in March 2020 when the first lockdown was enforced.

TAKE a virtual tour of the newly renovated national historical landmark via qrco.de/UPChapel and SHARE THIS STORY to others who wish to see the UP Chapel this Holy Werk.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team
The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.