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Bitare, Joan Marie V.

Philippine Popular Religiosity

1. Animism: Animism is the belief that all things have a spirit or soul, including animals, plants,
rivers, mountains, stars, the moon, and the sun. Each being is considered a spirit that can offer
help or harm to humans. As such, spirits must either be worshiped or appeased. Animists offer
sacrifices, prayers, dances, or other forms of devotions to these spirits in hopes of blessing
upon areas of life (crops, health, fertility, etc.) or for protection from harm.
2. Folk Religiosity: Folk Religions typically exist outside of a larger religious tradition and are
closely connected to a particular people, ethnicity, or tribe, embedded in a particular place.
They are Folk Religions in the sense that they are ties to a particular folk culture and locale.
Folk Religion can also refer to the synthesis of popular beliefs and practices (often animistic
and indigenous) with larger religious traditions, to explain and handle every-day problems and
phenomena. Folk Religions are outside of strictly theological and liturgical forms of official
religions and represent a combination of beliefs and practices.
3. Faith Groups
a. Aglipayan: The Philippine Independent Church, locally known as The Aglipayan Church is
the second largest Christian congregation in the Philippines. The founding fathers of this
religious organization were catholic priests that were excommunicated due to their revolt
against racial discrimination, exploitation and oppression of the Catholic Church during the
Spanishcolonization. Their advocacy lies in protecting Filipino citizens that has been treated
within justice. It was in August 3, 1902 when Father Gregorio Aglipay promulgated the
Iglesia Filipina Independiente in public. It was later translated to the Philippine Independent
Church in English. He was one of the clergymen who tenaciously protected the Filipinization
of the Catholic Church. Father Aglipay portrayed an integral role during the Spanish
revolutionary war in the country. The Philippine Independent Church strengthens and
intensified their influence towards the masses. Their protagonism for the Filipino Church
was finally realized. He was the founding father and head from 1902 to 1940 of the
Philippine Independent Church. It was then locally named as the Aglipayan Church to pay
tribute to Father Gregorio Aglipay, who made a mark in the history of Catholic Church in the
b. Iglesia ni Cristo: The Iglesia ni Cristo (Tagalog, "Church of Christ") claims to be the true
Church established by Christ. Felix Manalo, its founder, proclaimed himself Gods prophet.
Many tiny sects today claim to be the true Church, and many individuals claim to be Gods
prophet. What makes Iglesia ni Cristo different is that it is not as tiny as others. The
Catholic teaching that most draws Iglesias fire is Christs divinity. Like the Jehovahs
Witnesses, Iglesia claims that Jesus Christ is not God but a created being.
c. Dating Daan: Ang Dating Daan is a religious radio and television program in the
Philippines produced by the Members of the Church of God International. It is primarily
hosted by Eli Soriano. In Portugal and Brazil, it is broadcast as O Caminho Antigo which is a
direct translation for The Old Path. In Latin America, it is broadcast as El Camino Antiguo
which is also a direct translation of the English name. Selected episodes of the program can
also be viewed on the Internet through the Members Church of God International websites
and on YouTube. It has been recognized as one of the longest-running religious programs in
the Philippines.