Amazing Array of Religious Images Collection in Quezon City Part 1

Amazing and extensive collections would greet any visitors or friends who had been invited to visit at the husband and wife house within the heart of Quezon City’s entertainment and restaurant district.

altar-table

century-old altar table with intricate carvings and details

Mesa de Altar

They had their own special places atop altar tables ( mesa de altar) –which became a standard piece of furniture in the homes of Filipino- Catholic families. They are  called commodas. These furniture pieces also double as functional storage space.

Most commodes had marble tops, with some were fitted with pairs of doors, the trend have started in France during the middle part of the 17th century and gradually spread to Europe and the colonies.

The altar table have influences of Chinese, Portuguese, Mexican and Spanish. Most preferred are the hardwood made from narra, ebony, yakal or kamagong wood.

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wooden religious statues and images

They have extensive collection, some of which are family heirloom pieces handed down by their parents and collected for more than 50 years !  That was before the great Typhoon Ketsana ( ONDOY ) hit Metro Manila and inundated almost all their books, wooden items, figurines and among other stuff.

The first floor was badly flooded and they have to throw away at least 1 small truckload of those item. Some small items were stolen by the people that they have hired during the cleaning process.

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several religious wooden statues and trophies

But what remained are still amazing to behold and treasure. Some were gifts from their friends , family and love ones. The couple are also visual artists, philanthropist plant lovers at heart.

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primitive looking religious containers or urnas ( left- Saint Joseph with child jesus. right- Saint Micheal the Archangel ) These are about a century -old, family heirloom pieces inherited from their parents.

 Religious Containers

The start of the Spanish colonial era in the late-16th century. Catholic religious images made from local hardwood, softwood, elephant ivory became common. The more elaborate wooden images and ivory faced images are usually reserve for the church and the rich families who can afford these items. The religious images are richly embroidered with gold thread and decorated with diamantes and semi-precious stones with silver or copper aureole.

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Santo Niño ( possibly carved from elephant ivory with beaten silver crown and pedestal)

Some images made from ivory and other materials are also imported from other religious centers like Macao, Goa ( India), Spain, Portugal and even Mexico.

The common people also have their simple carved wooden religious statues made from other wooden materials. Some preferred batikuling, santol, langka ( jackfruit), yakal.

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l-r Our lady of Antipolo, Immaculate Conception, Immaculate Conception, Santo Niño , Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Lourdes

The collector friend had amass 3 religious altar table and 5 religious URNAS.

Note: ( for the purpose of their safety and privacy- The author prefers not to name the collector friend who prefers to be anonymous).

 

 

 

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2019 Santo Niño exhibit at Knights of Columbus

Santo Niño is well loved image found in almost anywhere in the country. The image of infant Jesus as a small boy typically dressed in full military regalia, policeman or ordinary dress called ( palaboy).

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different images of Santo Niño

Other cities in the Philippines, including Cebu, Tondo, Pandacan, Malolos, Bustos, Malabon, Kalibo, Tacloban, Panay, Bacolod, have their own particular images of the Santo Niño, many dating back to the 16th century.

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Santo Niño de Cebu

There are over a dozen images that were exhibited at the the Knights of Columbus site within General Luna street in Intramuros.

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Santo Niño de Butchoy

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Santo Niño de Principe

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Santo Niño in full regalia

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Santo Niño de Principe

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Some of the images are family heirloom pieces and were handed down from several generations.

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Santo Niño de Butchoy

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The exhibit runs from January 7 to February 1, 2019 Mondays to Fridays from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm. It is open to the general public.

 

Participation at the Buling-Buling Street Dance of Pandacan

Buling-Buling is a religious and cultural event celebrated annually in Pandacan , Manila usually held  on the third Saturday of January, in time with the town’s fiesta, to honor its patron saint, Santo Niño.

We decided to visit and explore the historic district by commuting the Philippine National Railway train via España station south bound to Pandacan station. We just paid Php 10.00 fare and took off at the Pandacan station.

Pandacan PNR station

We manage to take few stolen shot at the station before the guard told us that photography was not allowed within the premises for unknown reason . ( Maybe terrorist threat ?)  We just walked a few meters before reaching the church . We manage to arrive past noon time and took some time eating at the local eateries and taking photos of monuments , historical places .

Origin 

This festival comes from the Filipino word “buling-buli” which locally means well-polished , to polish ,  to dress-up , signifying something or somebody to dress in barong with large handkerchief for men , or colorful terno , baro’t saya, balintawak or kimona for ladies.

 

History :

According to the book  “The Child of the Pandan Reeds: The Spiritual Journey of the Santo Niño de Pandacan Parish,” a passage from a narrative by historian Ricardo Mendoza:

“The children were startled and [they] stopped playing, then admiringly gazed at the small and beautiful image. In a moment, they all felt terrified, and some knelt and prayed because it crossed their mind that this may be the image of the Holy Child.”

Santo Niño de Pandacan replica image with pandan leaves 

Etymology

The Santo Niño was discovered on top of a pandanus plant by the residents of the place , hence the name Pandacan originated , Another theory was people and houses from the locality are ” pandak” short  hence ” Pandakan ” word might have originated.

The festival started sometime around early part of the 17th century along with the establishment of the parish . The dance used to be performed only by ladies as an act of devotion to the child jesus .

Aglipayan church few blocks away

Buling-Buling dance and festivities somehow slowly diminished in the 1930’s and eventually ceased by the end of the second world war , due to many factors such as devastation of Pandacan and moving out of the old families which sponsored the annual festivities.

The annual festival would only focused on parade and simple novena mass for several decades .

Aglipay church main altar 

We saw some of the Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautsita atbp. volunteers and residents of Pandacan . Mr. Robert Fabro Tomas and Jhone Gorme , they are part of the organizing committee for this year’s festival. We were allowed to get some photos of the main altar of the Aglipay church .

devotees wait outside the church

This year’s theme ” Dekada ng Pagkakaisa ” marked 10 years of the simultaneous parade of child jesus images of the Catholic and Aglipayan church. The wooden image of the child jesus was carved from black wood , like the ones in Antipolo or black nazarene.  The one that the Aglipayan church was made of ivory .

We did some side trip to some historical places in Pandacan and food establishments ( on later post ) .

 original santo nino de Pandacan  at the side altar 

People started their assembly within the church courtyard , saw some local television channels like GMA channel 7 senior reporter Mr. JP Soriano and some photo bloggers. The parade started about past 2:00 pm with a short practice by the participants few minutes at the church courtyard.

santo nino outfits for sale 

It was only during the late 1970’s  when the Samahang Sining at Kalinangan ng Pandacan (SSKP), founded by Ricardo B. Mendoza and some old-time residents of the district initiated the revival of the colorful dance festival.

procession by the Aglipayan members

two images meet 

Salubong ” to meet at the side of the main street between the two images . Both images are original .

Aglipayan child jesus and Catholic child jesus 

Highlights of the Festival

One of the most anticipated part of the festival is when both child jesus ( wooden image by the Catholics ) and ivory image by the Alipayan meet and paraded on the street of Pandacan . This was a rare occasion , since both religion were at odds with each other since the 1900’s .

People from both religion witness the meeting of the two icons of the Sto. Niño like two brothers reunited after being estranged for centuries by war , court order and religion.

Santo Niños of Aglipay and Catholic 

Several child jesus are then paraded along the streets of Pandacan and the Buling-buling dance is performed by the crowd.  Some were privately owned . Some of the simple ones are paraded with the help of pedicabs and tricycles prop-up with cloths, flowers , while the more elaborate carriages bear family heirloom Santo Niño .

Santo Niños paraded on the streets of Pandacan

We also participated at the actual dance , it is 3/4 with hand gestures swaying back and forth while walking the street of Pandacan.

staffs of the councilor 

There was also FREE sopas courtesy of councilor Carlos ” Caloy ” Castañeda of the sixth district of Manila. We manage to take a few cups of hot sopas before we went home , riding at the PNR Pandacan station going north.

This time we waited for at least 1 hour before catching -up the train. We would like to come back again next year and try to dance the Buling-buling .

Note : photos are  from the author 

 

 

Sisigon Matnog Chapel : Restoration and Dedication

Barangay Sisigon, Matnog, Sorsogon province -Philippines

Sisigon – Matnog chapel circa July 1977 ( family photo archive)

This is a private chapel built within the property of my maternal grandparents . According to family records and accounts , the purpose of building a chapel is for the people within the area to visit at least everyday and on special occasions like fiesta , Christmas , new year or holy week. Even if this is in private land, there are people in nearby towns which would visit the chapel .

 Notice the straight cemented stairways leading to the main entrance in the 1970’s

There used to be a smaller chapel made of wood . The current chapel was built in the middle part of around May or June 1977 when my grandmother and aunts decided to have a small chapel built . They made some planning and a small portion of the property was allocated for worship since a big percentage of the people living in the place were Catholics.

inauguration of the chapel circa July 1977 – notice the young palm fronds used as decoration 

The nearest chapel is located several kilometers away and people would not have the convenience to walk  that far . The chapel is located on a sloping terrain with a curving road in which people can visibly see the chapel on ideal location.

inauguration  of the chapel

Local and foreign tourists would sometimes flock to the chapel for some photo opportunities , the location is a good vantage point for taking photos of scenic spots and coconut plantations.

chapel viewed from main road ( photo courtesy by : Mr. Raymond L. De Vera )

There was also light which illuminates the place and serves as guide for motorists visiting the port of Matnog ( which is just 4 barangays away ). One can climb comfortably at the chapel with its 29 staircase made from cement.

 chapel ( circa February 16, 2016 )

Materials were sourced locally like stones, gravel, sand , cement and galvanized roofing were added . Most of the benches and wooden beams were made from local hardwoods.   Since the chapel was made in the late 1970’s, no further improvement were made except for the cement stairs that were eroded due to heavy rains and erosion from the surrounding mountains  . The contractor decided to follow the natural contour of the land.  The curve cement stairways were later rebuilt in 1998 .

chapel interior

The main altar have 3 Santos ( saints) made from different materials, soft wood, hardwood and plaster of paris  . Based on the arrangement of the images. The chapel is dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Salvación ( main altar ) other images included Santo Niño and Saint Jude Thaddeus . Unfortunately all the 3 statutes were in a very sorry state and the Nuestra Señora de Salvación wood image was eaten by termites! According to the caretaker, the chapel is dedicated to Saint Jude Thaddeus since there is also a chapel dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Salvación a few barangays away.

L-R Santo Niño , Nuestra Señora de Salvación and Saint Jude Thaddeus

There was a minor repair done in the early 1980’s due to strong typhoon which hit the place and no other restoration was done . Only the caretaker had kept the small bronze bell  and the chapel is only open a few times every year .

chapel with new iron door and being painted

It had been over 30 years since it was first restored and due to the recent typhoon which hit the area, some parts of the roofs are leaking, side entrance to the chapel and main  wooden door entrance of the chapel have either rotted away or eaten away by termites.

changing of old galvanized roofs and repainting ( photo courtesy : Mr. Raymond L. De Vera) 

When Typhoon Melor ( Bagyong Nona ) hit the province last year December 14, 2015 .  It also left portion of the chapel with roof leaking and badly needed some rehabilitation. We saw a lot of trees, coconuts and houses along the highway that were topped down due to the typhoon . Recovery is still on its way in many places.

repainting of the chapel

It started with the change of chapel door ( from wood to steel last January 2016 ) and then change in parts of the roof and repainting of the chapel ( both interior and exterior ) . The work within the chapel had already progress with the delivery of building materials last February 17 . The project time table is between 3 to 5 days and hopefully within this week, the project will be completed .

There are plans to install electric lights within the chapel and if all things goes well, the chapel will be fully furnish before the end of this week.

The wife of the mayor had pledge a divine mercy frame to the chapel and those who wanted to donate religious icons and images are gladly accepted.

Just email me at L_rence_2003@yahoo.com

Cellphone : 0928-6604819 SMART

Lakad Pamana of Bustos , Bulacan

Bustos, Bulacan province-Philippines

I woke -up early around 3:30am took a bus ride to Baliwag bus station along EDSA . The bus that i rode did not stop at the Kamuning or Cubao area ( later the bus conductor told me that they will take the ilalim route -under the bridge route ) . The bus driver took us off at the Main street which is about 500 meters away from the station . So i took another bus north bound going to Cubao ( Baliwag bus station) . The bus ride was indeed a hell raising experience . The travel was less than 25 minutes south bound from Fairview/ Novaliches area.

. I met Mr. Philip Reyes ( blogger friend ) at the Baliwag Bus station  , He was there around past 4:30am and told me that the first bus left (The bus had a Baliwag town signage) .

I arrived past 4:50am and we waited until past 5:20 am for the next bus going to the town of Cabanatuan . ( with Plaridel town signage) . There were a lot of people waiting to ride the bus and We are quite fortunate to get a seat .  It took less than 10 minutes before the bus was filled-up and some commuters were even standing . The travel from Cubao to Plaridel is quite fast . We manage to arrive around 6:30am at the meet-up / pick -up area at the Waltermart -Plaridel .The usual travel time from Cubao to Plaridel is around 1 and 1/2 hours.

entrance arch

We were fetch by 2 vans on our way to the town of Bustos around past 7:00am . The group passed by the town of Baliuag then Bustos ( around 14.5 kilometers)  . It took us about 20minutes to reach the municipal hall grounds.

name tags

We were greeted by the municipal tourism guide and staffs, pre-registerd participants got their name plates with proper identification .

huge minasa cookie at the Bustos municipal park

LAS MINASAS GIGANTES represent the iconic and historical confection of Bustos,Bulacan,the MINASA,cookie conceived during the Spanish era at the time when the privileged families of the town built houses made of adobe using egg whites to glue the bricks together.

letras y figuras

Letra y Figuras a stone carving of the municipal’s name, “BUSTOS” in all caps, inspired by the intricate design of the Mercado Stone House , art of letter writing with floral with caricature designs and the people of Bustos’ most favorite finger food, Minasa. It was installed on April 7, 2014.

akalatan bayan ( town’s library )

There is a quaint town’s library that used to share an office with the municipal tourism office.  It had a unique  green roof.

Ambu – The town official mascot

Ambu is an acronym for Asenso Mamayan ng Bustos . This was conceived about 6 years ago and symbolizes by the hardworking , progressive and friendly nature of the town’s people. While Green is the adoptive color which means progressive an environmental consciousness efforts of the government .

 There is also a mini-zoo within the plaza, with reticulated python  , albino python and eagles .

commercial stalls

Within the municipal ground there is also an agro-commercial trade fair , where more than 100 stalls offering different kind of products from Bustos and nearby provinces .

Princess of nutrition 1989

This statue was installed to commemorate an event in 1989 where 14 students from 14 Bustos  barangays . They were able to realized to build Paraiso ng mga Bata during the incumbency of Mayor Pablito V. Mendoza and the sangguniang bayan led by Barangay Captain Martin Perez. The project was successfully initiated by Dra. Rosalinda F. Mendoza.

Conrado Mercado

Mr.Conrado C. Mercado Jr. –  hails from Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines. He was born on (October 20, 1945 – February 27, 2010) to parents Conrado, Sr., a civil engineer and to Conception nee Camacho, a former school teacher.

The youngest of three sons, Conrado is the only one who showed a penchant for the art. His entry into this field is by ni means an accident. He holds A Fine Arts degree from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila which has produced a long line of fine artists.

 cocoon -year 2001

He is the founding president of Figure Artists and chiefly instrumental in reviving the then-dormant Society of Philippine Sculptors in which he served as president from 1993 to 1998.

valley of the dolls- welded bronze 1993

close-up view of the art work

giraffes

Website: http://conradomercado.com/

There is also a battle memorial plaza ( Bulacan Military Area )  which commemorates the 1945 battle with the Japanese forces.

There is also an electronic time clock  timer which had a countdown time in time for the 100th anniversary of the founding of Bustos.

post office branch

There is also a small post office with some old P.O. boxes and letter box near the municipal town hall. Since it was sunday , The post office is close.

native orchids like Dendrobium anosmum ( sanggumay ) Dendrobium aphyllum ( lesser or fairy sanggumay ) and native ferns

Our group got a short private tour within the house of the mother of the current town’s mayor which is located near the town hall.

cacti collection

large tarpaulin poster within the municipal grounds

There are several large tarpaulin poster within the town’s main plaza advertising the calendar of events and activities .

Here is the official video uploaded by the Bustos Municipal government

We took a quick walk around the municipal town hall , post office, Zeny’s Minasa, Pan de Bustos and we were welcomed by the mother of the current town’s mayor .

Mayor Arnel F. Mendoza 

Mayor Arnel Mendoza and Ms. Aprille Keith Lazaro ( member of sanggunian bayan  and chairperson of the tourism council ) gave a short welcome speech and gave a short history of the town and various projects.

Bustos tourism office and museum

We were also one of the first group of people who witness the formal opening of the newly constructed Bustos Tourism and Museum .

group photo

Please Visit :

Lakad Pamana of Bustos, Bulacan  Part 2 : https://renz15.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/lakad-pamana-of-bustos-bulacan-part-2/

Website: http://bulacan.gov.ph/bustos/index.php

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/bustos.gov