Friday, April 10, 2009

Of Trees and Old Churches

I usually spend Holy Thursday with my parents and my siblings' families. We follow a Visita Iglesia route of 7 churches (traditionally it should be 14, a church for each station of the cross), but ever since I could remember, my dad would only map out a route for 7 churches, so we could spend reciting prayers for 2 stations in each church.

This year our itinerary included 5 churches we usually go to , Lourdes, Sto Domingo, Loreto, San Sebastian and UST. I heard somewhere that when you visit a church for the first time, you are entitled to make a wish, so I asked if we could include a few new ones in our route. My dad suggested we go to churches in Malabon and Navotas, where our paternal clan traces its roots. So after we retraced our steps to the churches of Quezon City and Sampaloc, we went a little of course north to San Bartolome and Navotas churches.

I took pictures of our destination churches - other than trees, I am a sucker for taking pics of historical structures. After finishing our Visita Iglesia, I realized most of my pics of the old churches included a tree into the framing. The churches we went to were decades old, if not centuries. Most of the entourage trees were also age old, suggesting they were planted a long time ago, some maybe even at the time the church was built. The old trees were mostly native, probably from time before a lot of foreign species were introduced into Metro Manila. That is why most old parts of Manila have ancient trees that would date as far back to the American era and even the Spanish colonial period. A lot of these trees deserve the same reverence that the old churches get.

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