FAITH ABOVE FATE

The Philippines has the biggest Catholic population in the Far East. In the year 2000, there were an estimated 45,000 religious sects registered as church congregations in the country. The vast majority are Catholic devotees; a large number also come from the broader Christian community.

Faith has always played a major role in a Filipino's daily life. It's traced back to the arrival of the Spaniards in the 1500's where they used religion to communicate with locals. And centuries later, the modern day Filipino used his or her faith to oust a dictator by rallying in the streets with rosaries in hand and whispering prayers.

Today, Filipinos still lift everything on the 'divine'. May it be a result of an examination, daily grace, or resuscitation of life, it is all prayed upon. The religious iconography mish mashed with animism is what sets Filipino faith apart from the region.

Being born and raised in a devout Catholic family, this project is an introspective narration of how the different influences merge into today’s modernity.

This essay reflects how Filipinos devote themselves to their religion – be it a procession of half a million bare footed devotees in downtown Manila, a concoction of crushed human bones and herbs to relinquish harmful spells, or a pilgrimage up a mountain on their knees to profess a long time devotion to prayer and the rosary.

And when push comes to shove, even their fate is lifted upon the divine or to those say they are.

As any religion goes, devotees and believers revere such practices and consider them their saving grace, may it be faith or fanaticism.