Religion. A subject I’ve heard people say to reject talking about around the dinner table. Well, this site ain’t a dinner table, but a guide to Filipino culture. I guess I’ll just lay down some facts and also give my own experiences.
According to the CIA World Factbook, these are the religions and their percentage within the country:
Roman Catholic 80.9%
Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%
Other Christian 4.5%
Although it isn’t the top religion in the Philippines, Islam was the first foreign religion introduced. It had been picked up by Filipinos in the southern islands by Arab traders.
Catholicism didn’t come till the Spanish came. Their ruling increased the percentage of followers.
Protestantism landed in the Philippines from American missionaries, mainly while the Philippines was under American ruling.
Original Filipino religion consisted of belief in animism. Even today, some of it is still practiced.
Today, atheism and forms of skepticism exist among the Filipino community. One notable group is the Filipino Free Thinkers.
Iglesia ni Cristo (Tagalog: Church of Christ) is a notable church that started in the Philippines. It was started by Felix Manalo. Many groups consider it a sect, since it has beliefs that do not match up to traditional Protestant doctrine (ex: Rejection of the Trinity).
Now for me, I am a Christian. I regularly attend a Pentecostal church. I myself am not Pentecostal, and I didn’t know it was one till I attended a few times. I guess when everyone fell down on the floor crying, with me standing there feeling awkward, I got the idea. But I like the people and pastor, so I kinda just have stuck to it. Sometimes I have attended Mass (Catholic service) in the evenings. It is different from the basic Protestant way of playing contemporary worship music, praying, being preached to, and all that. There is a lot of sit, stand, kneel, and listen involved.
I’ve noticed there seems to be more Protestant churches scattered about that Catholic churches, here in the area where I live. Maybe it is because usually the Catholic Church structures are large, while the Protestant ones are small. As for Mosques, there are a few scattered around, but not within the inner-city areas. Usually, I see many Muslims hanging around one area where I know there is a Mosque. Oh yeah, according to a map I have, there are two Buddhist temples here as well. So far I have only seen one. It has a beautiful structure (I always loved Asian architecture). There is one church around here that I noticed looks like a Buddhist temple, but it is just a church built in that architectural style. Interesting, eh?
Anyways, for those following my Davao City Living site’s blog, I have 3 new thigns you might wanna check out
-My blog post on me enrolling into college here (part 1)
-Photos I took near the Davao City Seawall… a beautiful place.
-A new blogger on my site. A Filipina living in Australia.