While the Philippines is considered a secular nation, many Filipinos actively subscribe to a religion. Given our history, Catholics still make up the majority, with about 80 percent of the population, considering them as such and participating in fiestas and other traditions.

But other religions are openly practiced and accepted here, from other Christian groups to the Muslim faith to indigenous belief systems.

Kamay Ni Hesus grotto at Lucban, Quezon. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Many provinces in the country are welcoming to these different beliefs, one of them being Quezon. This Southern Tagalog destination has become a favorite pilgrimage site for Catholics and other important rites.

Looking for miracles

The Catholic faithful who troop to Kamay Ni Hesus (Hands of Jesus) in Lucban are motivated by a miraculous promise. It is believed that those who reach the top of the grotto will have their prayers answered. Some also go to Kamay Ni Hesus to attend mass by Fr. Joey Faller, who is known as the healing priest.

The Healing Priest, Fr. Joey Faller. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Faller believes that, more than sacrifices and pilgrimage, it will always be our faith and trust in God that will save us from our worries and sorrows. People visit Kamay Ni Hesus, he thinks, to strengthen their faith and have a more intimate relationship with God.

“God allows miracles to happen right then and there but not to everyone, and not always,” the priest says. “His message is to be patient in waiting as only God knows what will happen. The important thing is we pray and ask God for what we need.”

Different situations could happen when you visit Kamay Ni Hesus, Faller explains. Some are instantly healed once they attend the Healing Mass. There are some who go up to the grotto thinking that their prayers will be instantly answered, but get disappointed because it was not given to them immediately.

“What they did not consider is that the Eucharistic Celebration is still the most powerful way to talk to God and through prayers, these intercessions will be answered by simply talking directly to him,” Faller continues.

While Kamay Ni Hesus may be a way for you to experience sacrifice and value your intercession, the healing priest teaches, your faith will always be the determining factor to achieve your prayers.

Sacred spots

Aside from Kamay Ni Hesus, another site people regularly visit  is the Tulaog Cave, which is located on a beautiful island surrounded by clear blue saltwater.

The sacred island of Tulaog in General Nakar, Quezon. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

This is a sacred island for the Dumagats, an indigenouse group that literally means “from the sea”, and this is where they perform rituals—including weddings—and pray to their deity Makedeppat the known God of the tribe. The sacred cave of Tulaog is not accessible to everyone. It has branches of pathways and deeper caves which only the Dumagats can pass.

According to the locals of Barangay San Marcelino where the cave is situated, some faith healers go here to charge their charms and amulets during the full moon.

Tulaog Cave is also widely believed to alert the people when a calamity is coming; the whole island can hear the howls of the cave, which will only stop once the threat has passed.

There are a lot more interesting beliefs in Quezon. In these two sites, the faith attached to them remains strong among its most ardent practitioners.

You can visit Kamay Ni Hesus by checking out their official website here: http://kamaynihesus.ph. For those who want to visit Tulaog Cave, you can coordinate with General Nakar’s local tourism office through this contact number: +639175907898