Sunday, December 11, 2011

Around Santo Nino Basilica Grounds - Images of Faith and History

The colonial architecture surrounding the ground of the Santo Nino Basilica is an interesting foray into the past, and one of the simple joys of such visit is taking the time to just sit back and observe the people navigating around this religious domain. I love watching people pray, offering their heart and soul for their individual intentions. A Dutch girl I traveled with recently in Pakse (Laos) once noted a woman who both prayed as a Christian ("sign of the cross") and still offered her Buddhist gifts at the temple. This puzzled her, pointing out her allegiance to "two Gods". But I don't take issue with people's faith. In fact, it comforts me that people believe in an omnipresent Being that's bigger than our present day existence.

As I have said before, it comforts me to know that there's an Almighty who "created" me outside the realm of biology and fertilization; that I am not a mere accident of nature. Bearing that in mind, I must mean something more than my material requirements and needs. Isn't that wonderful?

Here are images taken from the compound surrounding the Basilica of Santo Nino. I love the concrete sculptures and the Hall of Candles where individuals could light candles as offerings for their intentions. I actually joined the throng and offered several candles for the good health and well being of my family. Every bit of "red" candle is free, but donations are encouraged for the upkeep of the place. In the same hallway, workers are constantly collecting these melted candle waxes to recycle them into new ones.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

A beautiful sea of faithful devotees praying and lighting candles.

Wax collectors

Candle waxes collected continuously and recycled.

A deserted grounds reserved for mass gatherings located just across the basilica.

Please check out more images of the Basilica and the History of Santo Nino Basilica at our previous post -


Twin said...

You are God-sent :)

eye in the sky said...

@ Twin:

Aren't we all? :)

Ola said...

so many candles, here we do not use them in the churches

eye in the sky said...

Hmmm that's interesting, considering the fact that religious practice of the Philippines and Poland can't be all that different. After all, the most beloved Pope of all time hails from there. :)

Ramakrishnan said...

Another terrific post. Loved the Hall of candles - good to note that the melted wax in continuously recycled. Who are these saints standing atop the pillars ?

eye in the sky said...

@ R. Ramakrishnan:

Thanks. I didn't get the names, no labels because people couldn't get inside the open hall. Some of them were popes though. :)