Every May, the Philippines celebrates National Heritage Month— a celebration to “create among the Filipino people a consciousness, respect, and love for the legacies of the nation’s cultural history.” But as early as now, especially given the height of online teaching platforms and social media, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is already beginning the celebration.
The two institutions are teaming up with the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (ICHCAP) in launching a handful of documentaries about the Filipino heritage. The documentaries are 27 minutes-long which will focus on various traditions and cultures around the country. (Read: A Look Into the Most Vibrant Candle Traditions Around the World)
Here are My Pope-recommended documentaries that you should watch on YouTube to learn more about our heritage and the religious practices of the Filipino faithful.
Documentary on Catholicism: Our Lady of Peñafrancia
This documentary highlights the biggest religious event in the Bicol Region and the largest Marian event in Asia, the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. (Read: 3 Miraculous Events in History That Are Attributed to Mama Mary)
The Our Lady of Peñafrancia is a miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is venerated in Naga City, Bicol. Every year on the third Sunday of September, devotees would flock to Naga City just to attend the feast of the miraculous image. Watch the documentary here.
Documentary on Catholicism: Black Nazarene
In this documentary, we get to see the ins and outs of one of the most famous religious traditions in the Philippines, the Feast and Traslacion of the Black Nazarene (Poong Itim na Nazareno).
Every month of January, millions of devotees would go to the Quiapo Church to attend the procession, in the hopes of touching the miraculous statue of the Black Nazarene. Watch the Black Nazarene here.
Documentary on Catholicism: Giant Christmas Lantern
The Philippines is known for having the longest Christmas celebration in the world— one which starts on September 1. Part of the months-long celebration is the Christmas lantern or parol. (Read: What is the story behind the Christmas parol?)
The Giant Christmas Lantern documentary chronicles how the people of San Fernando, Pampanga, take Christmas up a notch by holding the annual Lantern Parade, featuring giant parols made by them. The event is fitting especially since the city’s nickname is the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.” Watch the documentary here.