Tuesday, April 16, 2013

St. Andrew Parish, Buendia, Makati City

Sometimes when you are lost you just got to let Jesus take control. That is what I felt when supposedly going to Pioneer I ended up in Buendia, burdened with decisions Ihave to make.

I kept looking for a u-turn slot but the road kept taking me farther and farther away from my destination. I've been driving thru the traffic for quite some time now and I stilll cannot find my way back. Suddenly, I saw a gasoline station and I thought that was my exit but I was mistaken, Makati is a confusing maze of one ways and intersection...so I kept driving. This part of Buendia brings back memories of when I was just out of college starting to build a career for myself and since I am already here I decided to drop by the Parish of St. Andrew which somehow served as my sanctuary similar to how I felt whenever I am inside the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in UP.

The Parish of St. Andrew

This is a very modern looking structure,  basically pyramidal in shape. This I guess is its charm that endeared it to me coming from UP wherein our church's architecture is very modern as well. Two huge statues now guard the entrance (which does not exist 6 years ago). The statue in the picture above I assume is St. John because he holds a scroll or text, the other statue might be St. Andrew but I guess...

Although the top part of the structure is pyramidal, the bottom part follows a circular, highly curved pattern. A huge image of the Sacred Heart stands near the entrance and far beyond the lot where the chuch is, is a Carillion, a bell tower which houses more than 1 bell of varying sizes able to play melody not just a monotonous "ding-dong" sound typical of most bell towers. Another interesting thing I noticed is the placement of two crosses on top of another, the cross of Jesus on top of the cross of St. Andrew.

If the facàde is not enough to wow you, the interior will...with its high ceiling and strategic folds in the ceiling resembling rays of light...there's some kind of extra terrestrial feel to it.

A 360 degree view of the Church interior...beautiful lighting, dramatic ceiling and fully air-conditioned...

Almost time for the Angelus...a family leading the recitation of the Holy Rosary.

The Glory of the Resurrection

Our Lady of the Rosary. I used to pray to this image a lot, back then I was still hoping and praying that I will be given the privilege to own a religious image. I think I saw this image a couple of years back being repaired in the Vecin workshop...termite problem.

Left: Choir loft, stained glass adorning all windows and a beam of light shining down the crucifix...seemingly God saying this is my beloved son. Center: baptism front, a modern depiction of baptism in the River Jordan; Right: Our Lady of Czestochowa

Exploring the Church grounds.

Entrance to the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament located at the back end of the church; An image of St. Andrew, patron saint

The tableau looks Vecin made (from his workshop), no surprise given that his workshop is in Makati. The face of St. John looks similar to the face of St. John of Malolos' Last Supper, also Vecin made (owned by Leo Cloma).

An angel guards cars in the parking lot, while a grotto to Our Lady of Perpetual Help stands on the other end. Right side pic, the Carillion playing "ave maria" since it is almost time for the Angelus.

Multi-purpose hall at the back of the chuch altar. It contains a huge collection of detallado religios images.

More...more...more images...but I can't seem to find the beautiful Sto. Niño image which used to be housed in the Blessed Sacrament altar.

Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno

The Parish's carroza's parked...I imagine were recently used during the Holy Week processions.

Church's have a relaxing effect on me, a feeling of security envelopes me...everything will be fine bacause I trust in the Lord. From here now I know what road to take to get to my destination. Now I feel better, stronger and inspired. Sometimes you need to get lost to find where you really need to be. God bless!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Galilea at Plaridel Bayan

A Galilea is a make-shift structure where the Salubong rite is held. This is where the an "angel" will remove the black veil still shrouding the mourning image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and where the image of the Risen Christ is reveiled to the faithful.

Monday after Easter...after the tiring activities of Holy Week...me and some friends decided to take a breather and enjoy the best Bulacan can offer. Our last stop for the day was in Plaridel, Bulacan...

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The Parish of St. James Matamoro

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I can just only imagine how beautiful the Salubong here was...the angels singing in the balcony structure, removes the veil of the Blessed Virgin...after a cloth covering the Risen Christ was released and the image is revealed to all (whichever comes first)...Mother and Son reunited!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Salubong headlines Inquirer!

Monday after Easter...something I like to see in the front page for a change...

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The Salubong story...

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Pope Francis I, ever since his election was an instant media hit! I think the attention is good for the Church, and I guess this just shows how much change and anticipation rides on our new popes shoulders. I pray that he may be able to usher in a new era for the Church!


I saw my younger brother playing with his lego set and memories of childhood flooded my mind...every year I seem to not get enough Holy Week (even until now)that I leave San Jose with a heavy heart. As a child, to lift my spirit, I had to recreate these events during the past Holy Week days...and this I called Ave-ave (in short of the Ave Maria). In some regions in Rizal, this child's play eventually gave birth to the Caru-caruhan.

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The images of the Risen Christ and the Virgen Alegria at the Galilea (in Poblacion, the Galilea is built on a truck)

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The Angel sings the Regina Ceoli and removes the black veil covering the Virgen Alegria.

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Alleluia! Christ is risen! Alleluia...ang the Salubong procession continues back to the Church.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Divine Mercy Sunday 2013 at SJMV Parish

I fly to your mercy, Compassionate God, who alone are good. Although my misery is great and my offenses are many, I trust in Your mercy, because You are the God of mercy; and, from time immemorial, it has never been heard of, nor do heaven or earth remember, that a soul trusting in Your mercy has been disappointed.

O God of compassion, You alone can justify me and You will never reject me when I, contrite, approach Your Merciful Heart, where no one has ever been refused, even if he were the greatest sinner. [For Your Son assured me:] Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy fail to embrace a trusting heart

Divine Mercy, greatest attribute of God,  I trust in You!

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Once again Divine Mercy devotees of SJMV parish gathered to celebrate the Feast of Mercy. The celebration happened in two folds: chapel level and parish level. The chapel level activities happened in the morning at the newly established chapel of Crestview, dedicated to the Divine Mercy; the congregation initially was part of Our Lady of Fatima chapel (where I am part of). Afterwards, the festivities made its way to the Parish of St. John Mary Vianney (SJMV). The organizers of the festivity are one in all Divine Mercy devotees in fulfilling the task of further spreading devotion to all for our Lord makes it very clear to St. Faustina that the need to proclaim His message of mercy is urgent, because the world needs it as preparation for His coming again.

As Jesus revealed to St. Faustina: My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable Mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy.

The souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though it sins be as scarlet.

My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity.

The Feast of mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is my desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the First Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Found of My mercy.

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A Special Promise of Mercy. Our Lord's promise to grant complete forgiveness of sins and punishment on the Feast of Mercy is recorded three times in the Diary of St. Faustina, each time in a slightly different way:

(i)I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of my Mercy.
(ii)Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.
(iii) The souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment

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Veneration of the Image. The Image of Jesus, The Divine Mercy, is to have a special place of honor on the Feast of Mercy, a visual reminder of all that Jesus did for us through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection...and a reminder, too, of what He asks of us in return--to trust Him and be merciful to others:

I want the Image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have Mercy on us and the whole world.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have Mercy on us and the whole world.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have Mercy on us and the whole world.

Jesus, King of Mercy, we trust in You!

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Holy Week in SJMV

Since I spend my Holy Week in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan it was only now that I found out that the Parish procured new Holy Week images. This is such a good development for the Parish and I hope our new Parish Priest can further encourage chapels to participate and own Holy Week images.

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New Nazareno, Sto. Entierro and Resuscitado. The images look Paete-made, but I am not sure, I need do some "sleuthing." Our new Parish priest is from Pampanga, he might have connections back home.

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Joy in the resurrection, the passion and death of Christ culminating in His rise and triumph over death, further magnified by the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday wherein Christ endured the pain and death of the cross for our salvation, he was risen so bring eternal hope to us His followers and assurance that His Love, His Mercy and Forgiveness know no end. His passion, death and resurrection is not just a huge turning point in the history of mankind, it is an ongoing story of Hope, Love and Mercy for us His people and its power is eternal as Himself.

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Christ died, Christ was Risen and Christ will come again... Bottom right, imitation of Christ.

I am drawn to the Divine Mercy because of the promise of forgiveness. That no matter how sinful and how wicked my nature is, God's mercy, love and forgiveness are much more stronger that in the end my being sinful and wicked means nothing at all. That I can be pure as the whitest of light and that I will be lifted together with all the Holy in Paradise. The Lord has kept calling us from all throughout our Salvation History, he even came to this world to deliver his message personally and that message endures, and has become more powerful, embracing our humanity with his very Heart. The Lord has been described as many things, a creator, a judge, a Father so on and so forth but greatest of all is him being King of Mercy!

I end this entry with the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Let no one doubt God's Mercy and Love.

Luke 15:11-32

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Salubong 2013 at Poblacion, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan

The Salubong re-enactment in my hometown in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. 

The Salubong is a tradition believed by Catholics that the Risen Christ first and foremost appeared to His beloved Mother to confirm that He is indeed alive and triumphant over sin and death. Although this is not recorded in the scriptures, for Catholics this event makes perfect sense for who else will a son share his greatest achievement on earth but to his mother who has been with him from the day he was born.

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The Salubong procession making its way in our street. In our hometown, the practice is to have the Salubong happen not in the Church patio but in a school strategically located in the middle of three streets all converging in this area. The leftmost street is where the image of the Risen Christ is processed. The Rightmost street is where the images of the Blessed Virgin and the other saints pass through.

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The Salubong Party. From Top L-R: Santa Maria Salome, Santa Maria Cleofe and San Pedro. From Bottom L-R: Virgen Alegia, Santa Veronica and Santa Maria Magdalena

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The Salubong Party passing by...The dawn is quiet and still, this further enhances the anticipation of witnessing the Salubong, hearing the angel sing Regina Ceoli, afterwards hearing the priest say that the Lord has risen and the veil covering the image of the Blessed Virgin is removed. Everyone is quiet compared  to the goings on during the Good Friday procession. The footsteps of those attending the procession is deafening, either people are deeply in reflection on the mystery of Christ's Resurrection or one in anticipating the Salubong events or are too sleepy since it is only 4 am (just kidding)...

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Our Family's Virgen Alegria being escorted to the Galilea where the Salubong rites will take place. At this point the image of the Blessed Mother is still shrouded in a black veil signifying mourning over the death of Jesus.

The Salubong as written in Pasyong Mahal:

Ang pagkasulubong ni Kristo sa kanyang Mahal na Ina

Nang malabas na sa hukay
at si Hesus ay nabuhay
ang una niyang dinalaw
ay ang Inang namamanglaw
inaliw sa kalumbayan.

Doon nga sa Senakulo
ay pinaroonan ni Kristo
at binati nang ganito,
yaong Inang nanglulumo
lumbay ay di mamagkano.

Aba, Ina kong mapalad
karamay-ramay sa hirap
tingni yaring iyong Anak,
ang loob ay nang lumuwag
sa kapighatia’t sindak.

Matuwa na’t lumigaya
ang Poon ko’t aking Ina
yamang aking naganap na
ang pagsakop ko sa sala
sa tanang anak ni Eba.

Napawi na’t nakaraan
ang unos ng kasakitan
ngayon ay ang katuwaan
Ina ko’y siyang kakamtan
nitong aking pagkabuhay.

Ang tugon ng Birhen Ina
Aba bunso ko aniya
buhay niyaring kaluluwa,
loob ko’y nagkamit saya
sa iyo ng pagkakita.

Yaong mga tinataglay
hapis at kapighatian
ng puso kong nalulumbay,
ngayo’y agad nahalinhan
nang malaking katuwaan.

Ano pa’t ngayo’y nalubos
ang tuwa kong di matapos
oh! Anak kong sinta’t irog,
ang sukal ng aking loob
napawi ngayong tibobos.

Ikaw nga’t dili iba
ang buhay ko’t aking sinta
bunso ng di ka makita,
sa loob ko’y di magbawa
ang kalumbayang lahat na.

Ngayon nga lamang naibsan
puso ko ng kalumbayan
at ngayon naliwanagan,
mata kong pinag-ulapan
ng dilim ng kasakitan.

Halos di nalulubos pa
ang tuwa nang Birheng Ina
sa kanilang pagkikita,
ay pumanaw kapagdaka
si Hesus na Anak niya.

Ang Ina’y kaya nilisan
ni Hesus at pinanawan
aaliwin niya naman,
ang madlang kapighatian
ng kaniyang mga kawal

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Regina Ceoli

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,

R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

R. Amen.

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The chosen Angel for this year, Nicole Ng, sings the "Reyna ng Langit," a beautiful rendition of the Latin Regina Ceoli in Tagalog.

"Birhen magalak ka...ipanalangin mo kami, ipanalangin mo Kami...sa Diyos ipanalangin, Alleluia. Sapagkat siya'y muling nabuhay ayon sa Kanyang sinabi..."

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View of the Salubong rite from Santa Maria Cleofe's side.

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Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Removing the Veil of Sorrow

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Symbolically the angel removing the veil shrouding the image of the Blessed Virgin signals the acceptance of joy knowing that Christ has indeed risen. There is no longer any reason to mourn. Christ is not dead, he is Alive!

This is the highlight of the Salubong rite.

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Jesus and Mary reunited once again!

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Santa Maria Cleofe being led back to the Parish; Right most picture: Nicole Ng, the lead angel in this year's Salubong rite. She did a beautiful job singing the Regina Ceoli.

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Sta. Maria Cleofe back at the Parish.

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Sta. Maria Cleofe's primera salida in our Parish now complete.

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Race to get the crystals and other decors not for "give-away" off the carroza...it's a mad frenzy.

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The Image of the Risen Christ.

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Back at the Church for the last procession of the day--to the Altar

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Easter Mass!

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After the Easter mass. Top Left, the new Paschal Candle.

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Can't believe all the Holy Week events are once again over.  Time to go home again, but looking forward to next year.