Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Face of Our Lady of Antipolo

The Face of Our Lady of Antipolo is not your typical "romanticized' face of the Virgin Mary. We Catholics believe that Mary is a beautiful lady, and thus in art, it always translate to a "mestiza" looking Virgin. If we are to compare it based on present day standards (and the trend nowadays is the Spanish tradition of life-like images), the image may prove less appealing. But is it right to compare it in the first place, knowing that the image was created centuries ago, a vestige of the old world? But did the image looked this way from the start? Remember this image has been in existence for a very long time and has survived countless voyages across the Pacific Ocean and wars between the Filipinos and its many conquerors...



What is beauty? Our Lady of Antipolo...

If given a chance, would you opt to restore the image of Antipolo and further push it, making it look more like the third picture below, right-most or as is, it is beautiful just the way it is? To clarify, this is a hypothetical question, an argument of taste and preference and not in any way push to change the appearance of the virgin. I am also not implying that the image needs to be changed in the first place because it does not look good.


But I really do wonder, what was the image like in the old world? Our Lady of Antipolo is a cultural treasure. Our national hero, Jose Rizal, prominently wrote about the tradition to this image in his works and I hear people say if there is any image which can rival the Dominican's La Naval in beauty and riches it would be this image...I wonder...













***Pictures are taken from the internet

Having said that...it saddens me that this image is not a consistent participant in the annual Intramuros GMP. The image played a very important role in the country's history and still is a significant image in the Filipino culture (as a child until now, no one goes far from home without going to her Shrine to pray for a safe trip). According to a friend,Clifford Chua of the Intramuros Administration, they have invited the Shrine to participate unfortunately since the main fiesta of the image is on December 8th (Our Lady of Antipolo is an image of the Immaculate Conception) they cannot join because the image is also brought out every December 8th. I do understand the decision of the Shrine though, effort wise and more importantly cost wise the idea is impractical. But this does not mean no one can sponsor the Callejera image to participate or an owner of a replica image of Our Lady of Antipolo gets an official recognition that his or her image is the official replica in the Intramuros GMP...

I wonder...

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