Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Filipino Religiosity 1: Baclaran and Quiapo Churches

It’s Holy Week this week. Filipino religiosity, especially among the Catholics, is at its peak. The Philippines, being the only former Spanish colony in Asia, is also the only predominantly Christian and Catholic country in Asia.

This is Baclaran church, one of the big and famous churches in Metro Manila and in the country. I took this photo last Saturday late morning, so there was no mass, and there were few visitors to the church. But on regular mass hours, the church is overflowing with thousands of believers.

Many people go to the church to ask for some divine assistance and intervention to many personal and household issues and problems, especially related to livelihood and health, like one family member is on a 50-50 medical crisis situation.

A touch on the statue of Jesus on the cross gives some extra strength and hope to people that they can tackle their problems, with the help and support of Jesus.

Here are some of the merchandise being sold outside the church. Various designs, sizes and colors of the rosary; various sizes of the baby or young Jesus, statue of some saints, food and drinks, and so on.

Quiapo church, definitely a very popular church among millions of devotees around the country. The Black Nazarene is the most famous statue there, attracting hundreds of thousands during its annual parade.

When people become desperate and almost hopeless, many do not run to the government and the politicians or other rich people. They look inward and seek positive intervention by their God. Their faith is either tested or strengthened.

Some ideologues question the habit of people who turn to their God for assistance, instead of facing whatever problems squarely on their own and do practical solutions that are available and feasible. Believers counter that they are not becoming complacent when they turn to their God. They find solutions on their own, but there are certain factors that are better left to luck or divine intervention and turning to their God is a wise move both for their intellectual and spiritual improvement.

Filipino religiosity is relatively unique compared to most Asians who are mostly Muslim or Buddhist. Nonetheless, regardless of the religious belief that people hold, it’s the teachings of doing good to other people, of not causing harm to others, that help societies survive and modernize.

1 comment:

botiquin de armario said...

Well I felt sad for all what happened. The system should must be changed over all. We all try to change all this non serious setup. 