from Photographers' Blog:

Keeping the faith

January 13, 2014

Manila, Philippines

By Bobby Ranoco

Covering the grand procession of the Jesus of the Black Nazarene is not easy, even though I do it annually. Every year on January 9, millions of devotees crowd the streets as a life-sized, dark, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ carrying the cross is brought through Manila’s old city.

from Photographers' Blog:

An endangered priesthood

March 4, 2013

Tagaytay city, Philippines

By Erik de Castro

I woke at dawn to the sound of a bell ringing and Gregorian Chant music at the Saint Augustine Minor Seminary compound on Mindoro island in the central Philippines. It was still dark as dozens of seminarians in the first phase of a 12-year journey to priesthood walked towards a chapel for their morning prayers and a mass.

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Mud-covered devotion despite downpours

June 27, 2011

As Tropical Storm Meari dumped heavy rains on the Philippine capital Manila, causing the cancellation of domestic flights and residents to flee their houses near rivers and low-lying areas, I traveled in the wee hours of June 24 hoping that the rains would not spoil this year’s “Taong Putik” (Mud People) Festival.

Filipinos flock to northern town for fertility dance for patron saint

By Reuters Staff
May 18, 2011

(A boy is held up by his mother as hundreds of devotees dance and pray for children in an annual fertility procession in Obando, north of Manila May 17, 2011/Cheryl Ravelo)

Manila shrugging off foreign prophets of May 21 doomsday

By Reuters Staff
May 12, 2011

(Detail of Michelangelo's Judgment Day fresco Christ the Judge, and the Virgin at the Vatican's Sistine Chapel)

Philippine Catholic bishops clash with Aquino over contraception bill

By Reuters Staff
May 10, 2011

(Participants sit below a huge banner during a mass against a reproductive health (RH) bill in Luneta park, metro Manila, March 25, 2011/Romeo Ranoco)

from Photographers' Blog:

Half a century of crucifixions for both penitent and photographer

April 25, 2011

I can't help but be amazed by the contrasting observance of the Lenten season, particularly Holy Week, in my country, the Philippines. To many, Holy Week means going back to their home towns for vacation for a relaxing time and to renew ties with families and friends. To others, like the people from Pampanga in the northern Philippines, it is the time for the annual religious ritual that could be viewed as bizarre in the eyes of some observers.

Huge Manila human cross for Lent, against abortion

By Reuters Staff
March 10, 2011
manila cross

(People form a black and white Dominican cross in Manila March 9, 2011/Cheryl Ravelo)

Filipinos back contraception bill despite Catholic Church-poll

By Reuters Staff
November 30, 2010

philippines 1 (Photo: A reproductive health advocate dressed as a condom distributes condoms to jeepney passengers in Manila March 1, 2010/Romeo Ranoco)

Seven in 10 Filipinos support a reproductive health bill permitting education on contraception which would also help check population growth, despite opposition from the powerful Roman Catholic Church, a survey showed on Tuesday.

Christian-Muslim crisis response group to defuse religious tensions

November 4, 2010

wcc 1 (Photo: Christian and Muslim leaders at Nov 1-4, 2010 Geneva conference/WCC – Mark Beach)

Christian and Muslim leaders agreed on Thursday to set up “rapid deployment teams” to try to defuse tensions when their faiths are invoked by conflicting parties in flashpoints such as Nigeria, Iraq, Egypt or the Philippines. Meeting this week in Geneva, they agreed the world’s two biggest religions must take concrete steps to foster interfaith peace rather than let themselves be dragged into conflicts caused by political rivalries, oppression or injustice.