Early this year, I visited the Philippines. Philippines is a Southeast Asian country in the Western Pacific, with about 1,000 islands. Since I am keener to discovering its three main archipelago, I visited Palawan, Cebu and Davao.
When I was in Davao I had a chance to see the KISAME: Visions of Heaven on Earth traveling exhibition at one big mall in the city. It was a photo exhibit showcasing architectural paintings selected from 17 churches in the province of Bohol, another city which is also part of the Philippines. The exhibition was an up-close view of images that represent visions of heaven on earth. According to my research the photographs featured in this exhibition were taken by Honorable Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., from the ceiling paintings of the churches in Bohol in the dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon (another place in the Philippines) last 2008. This exhibition was organized by the Ayala Museum.
Unlike the usual photo exhibit, this was curated in a way that it also hanged from the ceiling. When you come to the venue you would see different holy images and would feel as if you were in heaven. The organizer would also not leave you hanging as you look at the images since there were also sticker descriptions of the exhibit on the floor right down where the image was hanging. There were about fifty to eighty images in that not so big space. Most of it were different angles inside the churches like the ones in Vatican.
Since the Philippines was first colonized by the Spaniards, a huge percentage of its population became Catholics. Thus, in the early years most of the adaption of their churches were built like the Catholic churches in Spain. These type or architecture where high cathedrals with detailed craftsmanship. Images from the stories of the bible are also elaborated inside the church.
Even though I am not Catholic, although I am a Christian, the art exhibition I saw reminded me of my beliefs and values to this world. It made me realize how wonderful heaven would be. It reminded me stories of the bible when I was young, and the sacrifices of Christ to save all of us. I believe for sure that the images I saw where not exactly how it will look like when I get there. But the feeling and inspirations the art exhibition gave me were enough to make me believe that there is heaven.
Here’s a video from the exhibition