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Facade of the Quiapo Church

Quiapo is a famous district in Manila. It is located at the center of the city and is bounded by Estero de San Miguel to the south, San Miguel District to the east, Claro M. Recto Avenue to the north and Quezon Boulevard to the west.

The district is most famous for the Black Nazarene which is located in Quiapo Church or the Church of the Black Nazarene (Filipino: Basilika ng Nazareno).



According to the August 2007 census Quiapo has 23,138 residents.


In the 1600s when the country was under Spanish colonial rule, Quiapo became the Philippines’ center of commerce. Also during this time the Spanish established the Church of the Black Nazarene and subsequently residents as well as people from other places visited the church on pilgrimages and to hear mass. Every January, the feast of the Black Nazarene is celebrated and thousands of devotees take to the streets while trying to wipe the statue of the patron saint with their handkerchiefs, which they believe will bring them good luck for the rest of the year. This is also known as Quiapo Day.

Today, Quiapo is still considered to be a place of commerce. It has everything anyone needs such as herbal medicine, pirated CDs and DVDs, appliances, cameras, clothes, office supplies and much more. However, it is no longer considered a place strictly for the elite but rather, it now also caters to the masses.

Plaza Miranda

Plaza Miranda is an open area located at the center of Quiapo. The area is named after Jose Sandino y Miranda, the secretary of the treasury of the country in 1853. People visit the area for medicine, guidance from a soothsayer or “manghuhula”, street foods and more.

In 1971, when the Liberal Party was holding its miting de avance for the elections, Plaza Miranda was bombed with two hand grenades. Since then Plaza Miranda has been a significant place for political rallies and activities.

Golden Mosque

The Masjid Al-Dahab or more popularly known as the Golden Mosque is the most famous religious center for Muslims in Metro Manila. It is located on Globo de Oro street. The mosque is named after the golden color of its central dome.

In 1976, the mosque was built by former first lady Imelda Marcos when Libyan strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi expressed plans of visiting the Philippines to further promote peace with the Muslims in Mindanao. Al-Gaddafi’s visit did not push through but the mosque remained, making Quiapo one of the biggest Muslim communities in the metro.




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