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5 April 2019

Cavite Heritage: Immaculate Concepcion of Mary Church in Naic

One of the historical landmarks that stand in the heart of the old town of Naic is the Immaculate Concepction of Mary. The church, I was told by the original settlers of the town, withstood and weathered the changing of times, and at one time became a strong hold during the Japanese invasion, and was part of the Philippine history during the revolutionary period against Spain. At present time, the parish church boasts impressive and intricate marble mosaic flooring which is one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The church has also grown in matter of collections which means that the Immaculate Concepcion of Mary church has sustained itself without special funding and continued to flourish in terms of its spiritual purpose to the Naic populace.

The Immaculate Concepcion of Mary is currently headed by Fr. Isagani AviƄante and has overseen a lot of improvements about the church during his four-year stay. My short conversation with Father Isagani was very enlightening and sensing his passion to continue to gather lost souls, as well as those who have steered away from the faith, to instill the richness and depth of the faith in the Christian tradition. Father Isagani’s hope is to continue to bring awareness and correct the misguidance among his parishioners and to put away the practice of faith only by name.

What strike me the most about my conversation with Father Isagani was (not his exact words); we may not realize that the diamonds we’re looking for is just right below where we stand. It was a story he told me about this man who sold his field in search of diamonds, only to discover in the news that he didn’t have to go far to find his fortune! Father Isagani’s declaration of this nugget of wisdom spoke to me in volumes: as an individual myself, I would go here and there, seeking for the meaning of my life, what I am about and such. Only to realize that what I have been looking for is just staring me right at the face. Funny how things turn up the way they do, don’t it?

As you know, I was born Catholic; baptized, confirmed and had my first communion, went to a Catholic school at one point in my life. I had prayed the novena and the rosary, joined the church choir. Admittedly, I have forgotten about all these when I made the decision to focus on my Christian faith, which is my personal conviction and still is. It doesn’t mean that I am denying my beginning in this life. I still value my Catholic background. I would still very much, love to attend mass and remind myself of the rich Christian value that built the foundation of my spiritual life.