Sunday, April 04, 2010

Holy week 2010: Shaking things up

Above, a crucifix my mom owns. The cross can be lifted a bit to reveal a small glass sphere containing soil from the catacombs of Rome.
This year we didn't go to our traditional churches for the visita iglesia because we wanted to see this church in faraway Las Pinas that was inspired by nature.

The Mary Immaculate church/Nature's church is some 50 meters away from SM Southmall and is an oasis in a crowded city. The church is surrounded by trees and made to look like a church that organically grew out of the forest, with imperfect/irregular slabs of stone, seats made out of tree stumps, capiz birds floating up a high, thatched roof and no walls, which does make my mom wonder what happens when it rains... A parishioner said most of the church was burned in a fire in 2006 but was rebuilt almost immediately with some safety modifications made especially on the roof to make it flame-retardant.

There's also a cafe, a book store and some small animals like ducks that roam around freely near a small pool.

Our next stop was Our Lady of the miraculous medal in Sucat, Paranaque. We haven't been here in ages and I was struck by how similar the church interior is to another church close to my heart, the Don Bosco parish church in Makati, where I waited for my dad to pick me up! It was uncanny! From the elevated steps surrounded by bougainvilla plants to the confessionals and the sliding doors. But Don Bosco's is more ornate, as you'll see later. I'll try to look it up but they may have the same architect.

This church is also special to Jon , though he wouldn't remember it. This was where he was baptized.

This had turned out not only into a tradition but a pilgrimage to my past as we trod on to Better Living, Paranaque where the Mary Help of Christians Shrine is located. I've been here many times before as a student. This was like our school's mother ship,where we'd have our annual retreat and confession. Note the large statue of Don Bosco in front of the shrine.

Next stop was Sanctuario de San Antonio in the enclave of the rich, Forbes park. Too bad we only had this one picture as they had turned off most of the lights inside while they prayed the rosary. That's why I think we don' t need to participate in Earth hour in our part of the world. During the holy week, almost all businesses(even the malls!) grind to a halt in observance of the season. And while most of Manila is traffic-free around this time, the road leading to this church was very congested.

Church number 5 is Sto. Nino church in Greenbelt. Like the Catholic church in UP Diliman, this church is also dome-shaped with an altar in the middle so the faithful surround the priest.

Afterwards we took some time for a different devotion...

A home coming of sorts was the trip to Don Bosco Makati parish church. Much has changed but the important parts are still the same. There are LCD tvs outside now for those who can't get in but the tabernacle with the flamboyant (for a Philipppine church) sunburst design, the statues, the pews are still as I remember them. Too bad the creek is still smelly... ah well...

Finally, we went to San Ildefonso church which always fascinated me when I was a child because the church with the tower looked like the Hall of Justice from the Superfriends cartoons!

Inside, we found a poor but pious community hearing mass and above a vibrant choir filled the church with song as if coming from heaven itself. I wish our parish choir could sound like that!
Afterwards, we had dinner at Max's in Magallanes, same as every year because some traditions, we just don't break. :D


Jhaye said...

hi albert! i so love reading your blog. you've got a very strong support in your family. I love them already. Plus all your quality time together, not a waste. By the way, i missed Nature's Church in Las Pinas (where I've grown!)..since the fire of 2006 I havent had the chance to visit it. Any way, keep up the great blogs. Very entertaining and very informative!

mojacko said...

hi jhaye, thanks for visiting! i forgot na taga-las pinas ka pala!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...