When you travel around the Philippines, you will notice that most Filipinos have a deep adoration for Mary, the mother of Jesus. Statues of her are placed everywhere, including highways and malls. These Marian Images are usually named after the town or church they reside in, like the Lady of Peñafrancia, the Lady of Namacpacan, and the Lady of Manaoag.
The Lady of Manaoag is a 17th century ivory statue with an intricate, gold lined, bejeweled dress. The statue is treated like a person – changed and perfumed every so often. The locals believe in its power to help those who are in sick and in need. The Lady of Manaoag is so important that it has been propped up high on an altar and locked behind bullet-proof glass. Devotees can enter the behind the altar to pray to The Lady and touch her back. It will be interesting to see how locals and pilgrims express their devotion. If you are also interested in more of The Lady of Manaoag’s history, you can visit the museum devoted to her.