My recent visit to the Antipolo church has brought back one of my fondness memory of mahal na araw rituals – the lenghty hike from our residence in Makati to its hilly footway. A spiritual cleansing through physical distress. I’ve only done it once but who could’ve forget such an exhausting tread at very a young age.
Its one of the most critical iglesia’s during the Spanish era, friars and secular’s contested to secure its ground. Nick Joaquin cited on one of his book how it was bitterly fought for, the Recollects protesting the appointment of a creole clergy in the 1860’s, this only goes to show how strategic and rich the church was then.
During the WWII it was heavily bombed by the Americans forces. It was levelled to the ground, the resilient Antipoleños and the committed friars would have to raise it from the ground on the following years.
The church now have a hall at the back of the altar that acts as a semi museum. In display are colognes, dresses, crowns and other memorabilia’s in its collection. It also have a fascinating life-size panoramic pictures and informative information that labels it.
Rizal was taught by his mother to patronize the Lady. He has written beautiful works dedicated to the patron of peace and good voyage. A known devotee in his early years and through out his adult life, he is known to call upon our Lady for unharmed and sound tours. He has even etched the image in one of his leather cases.
Anitpolo now has become an overly urbanized province, it has been city for years but I still consider it a countryside. It has been trying to cope with the rapid urbanization — commerce, vehicles and beggars abound but one just need to go around and observe to notice the town’s history.
Though the M commercial logo tower of Mcdonalds tries to compete with the M symbol of the church’s tower (A Marian emblem) Anitpoleños lives has still cycled around the famed iglesia of Marian devotion – from commerce to devotion. All leads to the prominent symbol of the faith’s ‘pearl curate’.
Tayo na sa Antipolo!