Six Thomasians have collaborated to showcase Quezon City’s spiritual and cultural heritage in a coffee table book titled “Facets of Faith.”

The 93-page book, written by Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets) alumnus Billy Malacura, features churches, relics, and religious artworks found in Quezon City.

Other Thomasians who contributed to the book were Artlets Assoc. Prof. Felicidad Galang-Pereña, book editor and former Varsitarian literary editor; Regalado Trota Jose, UST archivist, who wrote the book’s foreword; and Eric Zerrudo, director of the Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics of the UST Graduate School, who served as editorial consultant.

Sherwin Vardeleon and Carla and Jonathan Gamalinda, former Varsitarian photography editor and art directors, respectively, headed the photography and layout of the book.

In his foreword titled “Prayer at Once Old and Young,” Jose said Quezon City’s cultural properties were inextricably linked to history.

“The cultural properties are enlisted according to their significance in terms of historicity, exceptional artistic value, as well as the tangible and intangible manifestations of the local churches in Quezon City,” Jose said.

The book highlights Santo Domingo Church and non-Catholic places of worship such as Iglesia ni Cristo’s Central Temple, an Aglipayan church, and the Quezon Memorial Circle, as an outdoor place of prayer for Muslims. It also features relics of San Antonio de Padua and Santa Lucia.

The book was initially a documentation project for churches visited by Holy Week pilgrims doing the traditional “Visita Iglesia.” It later became a mapping exercise of significant church properties in the city.

Indirect contribution to graft

Vardeleon said many people do not know about Quezon City’s rich heritage, because it is seen as an urban city.

“Quezon City is not just a big metropolis where you see malls, businesses, and other establishments. Quezon City is a hotbed of culture, full of significant relics and amazing places of worship,” Vardeleon said in an email.

Interreligious dialogue

The book promotes interfaith dialogue or the harmonious interaction between people of different religious backgrounds.

“We decided to include almost every religious organization in the book to show the diversity Quezon City has,” Vardeleon said.

Quezon City houses two Catholic dioceses—the Diocese of Cubao and Diocese of Novaliches, currently headed by Bishop Honesto Ontioco and Bishop Antonio Tobias, respectively.

The book is also a response to the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, which mandates national agencies and cultural offices to safeguard the country’s cultural patrimony by keeping a registry of cultural properties. Krystel Nicole A. Sevilla


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