Believe Is All You Have to Do
Devotion and religion have always been an integral part of Philippine culture through the years. Many of us Filipinos have exhibited time and time again that our core remains undaunted and wrapped in faith through any and every type of adversity. It comes as no coincidence that professing our Christian commitments and convictions has become more than just a ritual.
Samahang Nazareno, Inc. is a non-profit organization who has exemplified these beliefs through the performance arts. Each year, they mount “The Cainta Senakulo: A Filipino Heritage”, a stage play that commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Apart from this yearly endeavor, the organization has spearheaded more than a handful activities for the benefit and welfare of the municipality of Cainta that includes fiesta celebrations and outreach programs. Their efforts have been recognized in the form of the Gawad CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) Award for Arts (Folk Theater – Category C) on February 24, 1993 and even a plaque of recognition for the group’s “unwavering commitment in keeping the Cainta Lenten tradition alive by annually staging the Senakulo” in March 2002. Cainta, a 1st class municipality in Rizal, whose Senakulo tradition dates back as far as the previous century, appears to be in good hands thanks the steadfast non-profits like Samahang Naareno, Inc.
Beyond well-established practices, we Filipinos continue to honor our religious customs and stand firmly by our spiritual beliefs even at the face of events that may have seemed to defy simple logic and straightforward reason. In 1948, it is believed that the Blessed Mother Mary appeared before Carmelite postulant, Sister Teresita Lat Castillo (also known as Sister Teresing) in their monastery in Lipa, Batangas. The Marian apparitions garnered a reactions and opinions from both ends of the spectrum.
However, despite the skepticism and doubt that others have expressed, many devotees have shown that their faith simply cannot be bent nor broken. In 2015, more than 70 years since the mysterious and glorious event, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles validated and declared that the apparitions were indeed “worthy of belief”. This declaration was later rebuked by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and emphasized that Arguelles’ statements are unfounded and untrue. Despite these retractions, the devotion to our Lady of Lipa endures and stay strong - now more than ever.
We Filipinos will always stay true to a life of adoration and servitude to God because our faith will always triumph over anything and everything and we wouldn’t have it any other way.