The first Santa Cruz Church (often abbreviated to Sta. Cruz Church) was erected in 1608 by the Society of Jesus, better known as Jesuits, as a parish church for the swelling ranks of Chinese immigrants to Manila
, many of whom had converted to the Catholic faith. The original structure was twice damaged by earthquakes, and totally destroyed in World War II. The present building, completed in 1957, is essentially Baroque and somewhat reminiscent of the Spanish-built mission churches in southern California.