For a while, I was confused by the two shrines: one on Siari Hills in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte and the other one in my home province in Pueblo de Panay in Roxas City, Capiz. This one on Siari Hills is the Divine Mercy Shrine, while the other in Pueblo de Panay is the Sacred Heart of Jesus Shrine.Why does one image of God evoke different names?
According to a Divine Mercy website, “the Sacred Heart enables us to get a deeper understanding of the infinite mercy and calls us to reparation, yet the Divine Mercy now calls us to live that message to a hurting world.”
I flew to Mindanao to witness the survey of a client’s property in Sindangan. The survey was scheduled on a Monday afternoon. Since my plane would arrive late in the morning, I had to be in Dipolog not later than Sunday to accommodate a two-hour travel time to Sindangan. But because I had other plans, I arrived Saturday.
The other plans included a trek to Linabo Peak, and an almost-forever habal-habal ride to Baga Falls in Sapang Dalaga and the white beach in Baliangao, both in Misamis Occidental.
The survey was done at about 6 in the evening. I hurried to leave and climb the mountain where the Divine Mercy Shrine is located.
An arch along the highway marks the entrance to the Shrine. Under the arch are habal-habal drivers who charge P20 for a one way trip to the Shrine. Buses and vans going to Ipil and Zamboanga from Dipolog, and vice versa, pass by the highway.
Since the sun was almost gone, my companion and I each took a habal-habal and asked to be dropped at the foot of the statue of the Virgin Mary located on another mountain below the Divine Mercy Shrine.
We took the stairs to the foot of the Statue of the Virgin Mary and another flight of stairs to the Divine Mercy Shrine. Under the Divine Mercy Shrine is the altar of the church. At the background, behind the altar, is a scenic view of the ocean. I would be looking at the ocean if I were participating in a Mass, or perhaps, the ocean-view would enhance the consciousness of the presence of the divine.
Another flight of stairs leads to the foot of the Shrine at the center of the altar above. The floor atop the altar surrounded by railings serves as a view deck for the glorious expanse of mountains that face the ocean in front.The place is still under construction. The body of the church is made of bamboo and nipa roof, similar to the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Roxas City when I visited it in September last year. Although there is a difference in name and more subtle difference in devotion, the image is still of the same Person. Now I can come to terms with my confusion at the ways of the faithful. I feel my own breath as I take in the entire view. I see differently.
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