From Padre Faura to EDSA: The Iglesia Ni Cristo Mobilizes

The past few days have been quite crazy to say the least. And I’m sure “crazy” is an understatement as to what we are witnessing at this moment.

It all began last July when religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) was rocked with an internal crisis as some members, including relatives of the current executive minister of the group Eduardo Manalo, came forth and exposed the corruption going on there.

Iglesia Ni Cristo’s Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo

It would seem this is all an internal matter for the INC to deal with. That was, until allegations of abductions and serious illegal detention were raised by one of its members.

This prompted an investigation initiated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under Secretary Leila de Lima. Something the INC did not like on the basis of meddling of the INC’s internal affairs (whatever that means) and the fear of bias the DOJ will have against them.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima

Thus, last Thursday, August 27, which happens to be the birthday of Sec. de Lima, hundreds to an estimated thousands of INC members decided to celebrate her birthday by staging a protest in front of the DOJ Building along Padre Faura Street in Ermita, Manila against the DOJ’s violation of the principle of “separation of church and state.” Again, whatever that means.

the INC protesters at Padre Faura and their birthday greeting to Sec. de Lima (courtesy of GMA News Online)

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“Sentral”: The Iglesia Ni Cristo’s Central Complex

Today marks the centennial anniversary of one of the most influential Philippine-based religious groups, the Iglesia Ni Cristo. While they will be celebrating their centennial at a wider and bigger venue outside Metro Manila, the Ciudad de Victoria complex in Bulacan, particularly in the 25,000-seater outdoor venue Philippine Stadium and the 55,000-seater (the biggest indoor venue in the country) Philippine Arena, the Urban Roamer has chosen to highlight today the INC’s current headquarters, their Central Complex located along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City’s Barangay New Era.


aerial shot of the whole INC Sentral, courtesy of inewmedia.org

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The Iglesia ni Cristo at F. Manalo, San Juan

The Iglesia ni Cristo, (INC) the religious group founded by Felix Manalo in July 1914, grew in numbers and influence by the 1930s. Even after World War II, in which the INC suffered greatly as well, it still managed to become a dominant force in Philippine society, thanks in part for its practice of bloc-voting that many aspiring politicians sought to have.

Perhaps the most visible example of INC’s growth after the war was the building of what would be its central temple and offices in Barrio (now Barangay) Santa Lucia in the then suburban town of San Juan outside Manila. From 1952 to 1968, this would the INC’s “home base,” so to speak. And even then, its San Juan complex was a sight to behold, never failing to draw attention from anyone who passed by the area, INC member or otherwise.

Iglesia Ni Cristo at Barangay Santa Lucia, San Juan (courtesy of chitchuandnoan.com)

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Heads up: INC’s QC Event on March 28

Heads up, Quezon City folks! The religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is planning to hold an evangelical mission event on March 28 called “Lingap Pamamahayag” from 12 AM to 6 PM. And as INC events go, expect heavy traffic that day in that part of the metropolis.

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Punta and the Iglesia Ni Cristo

To those who happened to have read my previous roaming adventure in Punta, I mentioned this particular landmark well-preserved in its pre-war glory. I wasn’t able to further check it out the last time. Thankfully I got to correspond with the landmark’s curator, who was able to arrange a schedule for a visit to see what’s inside.


This is the Iglesia Ni Cristo Museum at Punta, which was the first formal place of worship for the Philippine Christian group the Iglesia Ni Cristo. (INC) While, the structure itself was built in 1937, there was already a deep connection between the INC and Punta, going way back to the establishment of the INC in  July 1914 by its founder Felix Manalo, (after whom the narrow street along the museum was named after) Continue reading