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.
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.
A beautiful sea of faithful devotees praying and lighting candles.
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 - http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2011/11/santo-nino-basilica-origin-of-filipino.html