Egg whites and Catholic churches - an uncanny connection
The Philippines is the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia. With over 86% of the population practicing the religion, it shouldn’t surprise you to see footprints of Catholicism, big or small, wherever you go—from religious festivals that show the Filipinos’ staunch devotion to saints and the virgin Mother Mary, to the hundreds of churches and parishes that dot almost every city in the country.
When the Spanish settlers came to the archipelago in the 16th century, they had two goals in mind: To partake in the spice trade and to evangelise the natives into Christianity. The first Catholic Mass was held on Easter Sunday of 1521 on the island of “Mazaua,” which historians claim to be in Leyte, Visayas. New studies have emerged that Mazaua is actually in Butuan, Mindanao.
Nonetheless, this evangelisation goal saw the rise of religious structures in the newly-colonised land. San Agustin Church, completed in 1607 and located within the walled city of Intramuros in Manila, was the first church constructed by the Catholics in the country. With the hundreds of churches built over the course of Spanish colonisation in the Philippines, one would never think that some of the country’s very first cathedrals and basilicas were made using egg whites. Yes, egg whites.