The Philippines have a reputation for taking Jesus seriously… and on Siquijor there was no shortage of Jesus paraphernalia.
Most of the things I saw were built in the 19th century when the Spanish had colonized the islands. I found them all to be very beautiful in their own way.
One thing I always find interesting is the way people choose to visually depict their gods. I’ve never been a visual person when it comes to religion. I’ve always felt that a human representation of God, Jesus, Buddha, whomever, was just so… demeaning. I mean, if I’m supposed to look for guidance in religion, humanizing it doesn’t really beef up the resume.
At any rate, I do love seeing how others depict their gods, Jesuses, etc. And in these churches there was no shortage of murals, statues, or sculptures. I loved it.
Probably the most interesting piece I saw was St. Rita of Cascia, also known as Black Magic Mary (Siquijor being the bewitched island). I had read about St. Rita before arriving and I really wanted to see it. I was surprised to find out that this statue of St. Rita was right behind the lectern at Our Lady of Divine Providence Church. I had thought it would be hidden, or in a museum somewhere.
The statue of St. Rita shows her holding a skull in one hand and an inverted cross in the other. But her face… her face is the spookiest part, and it really is downright scary to look at. The photos don’t do it justice.
But, this post isn’t all about St. Rita. Here’s some photos of all the main religious things I saw.
Our Lady of Divine Providence Church; Maria, Siquijor:
St. Isidore Church; Lazi, Siquijor:
Lazi Convent & museum; Lazi, Siquijor (supposedly the largest convent in Asia):