“Pagdadamit. The Filipino Tradition of Clothing Religious Images” exhibit of the Museo ng Arkidiyosesis ng Maynila (Museum of the Archdiocese of Manila) is opening on October 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the third floor of the Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros.
This exhibition presents some aspects of the practice of pagdadamit [clothing]in the Archdiocese of Manila¯a tradition, which has been in some communities for more than three hundred years. Here, one sees the Filipinos’ deep religiosity and artistic talent, the marriage of spirituality and creativity. Here, one discovers the story and the people behind those long gowns and gold threads and silver crowns and encounters the clothing the religious images.
The Philippines is home to many historic churches built during the Spanish colonial era. Within these churches one finds religious images, or santos, which were either brought into or crafted in the country. These santos reached not only the sacred sanctuaries but also found their way into many Filipino Catholic households.
These images show, among others, the role of faith. Art can help faith to flourish. Art leads one’s senses and mind to the Transcendent, somehow bridging the gap between the Infinite and finite. In a certain sense, these images or santos connect Christ and the faithful, saints and sinners.
The santos have also given rise to many devotional practices that in turn have nourished the faith. One such popular devotion is the pagdadamit ng santo. A commitment that can be personal or communal, pagdadamit is a pious practice of some devout Catholics, camareras, and cofradias.
The exhibit can be viewed at the museum, which is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The director of the Archdiocesean Museum is Fr. Albert Flores. For inquiries, call MANA (Museo ng Arkidiyosesis ng Maynila) at 524-5062.