Mary the Queen: Simplicity in White and Blue

With Santuario de San Jose serving the eastern portion of the Greenhills area in San Juan City, another church was set of up to serve the western portion: Mary the Queen Parish.

Located along Madison Street, near the corner of Washington Street which is parallel to Ortigas Avenue, Mary the Queen Parish is one of a few parishes in Metro Manila that serve the Filipino-Chinese community, a characteristic of which is known as a personal parish. It was in September of 1954 when Mary the Queen Personal Parish was created by then Archbishop of Manila, Msgr. Rufino J. Santos, by virtue of an authority granted to him by the Sacred Roman Consistorial Congregation. The parish chapel was then located at Zamora Street in Pasay City, with Fr. George Etienne Beauregard, SJ as the first parish priest. In 1963, the Jesuits were able to purchase a few hectares of land in Little Baguio, San Juan, as a new location for its Xavier School in Echague. Of this, 5,000 square meters was allocated for the transfer of the Mary the Queen Parish in between the new Xavier School location and the Immaculate Conception Academy. On May 31 of that year, Cardinal Santos blessed the church’s cornerstone, and exactly two years later, he opened and blessed the new church.

The church’s façade stands out with its white and light blue colors, and the distinct big letter M with twelve stars flanking it at the top edge. Obviously, this symbolizes Mother Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth, or The Woman Clothed with the Sun as indicated in the Bible (Revelations 12:1). The interiors echo the same colors. The white color on the walls and ceiling gives an aura of brightness and cheerfulness. The blue-and-white colored upper portion of the altar, meanwhile, simulates clouds on a clear blue sky, as beige marble tiles on the lower portion completes the clean simple look. The stained glass depicting the Coronation of Mary, situated over a large cross showing the resurrected Christ, provide color and accent. The hanging lamps, meanwhile, add a touch of Chinese décor to the church. This is, after all, a personal parish church for Chinese.

Mary the Queen Parish Church has been gaining ground as a wedding venue of choice – and not only for the Chinese. Couples love the church’s simple yet elegant design, enhanced by its relaxing colors. Although it is not air conditioned, the church’s high ceiling provides good ventilation, as well as allows natural lighting to shine into the church. A choir loft doubles as a balcony that provides photographers and videographers a different vantage point. Mary the Queen Parish Church charges P15,000 for weddings, which includes flower arrangement and carpet.

With the parish located in the Greenhills area, pre-nuptial preparations are aplenty especially within Ortigas. As for the wedding reception, nearby venues include Wack-wack, West Greenhills Clubhouse, Club Filipino, or other restaurants in Greenhills. Other options can extend to Ortigas hotels and restaurants, or even to as far as Oasis along Aurora Boulevard in San Juan.

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