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Orthodoxy in the Philippines

2,829 bytes added, 02:17, October 3, 2019
Updated info on the Russian Orthodox Diocese of the Philippines with external links.
This article seeks to be a clearinghouse of information and links regarding the history and state of '''[[Orthodox Christianity]] in the Philippines'''. The current Orthodox presence in the Philippines is minimal. However, early in the 20th century a small Russian parish, exclusively for Russian nationals, once existed served émigrés in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The presence of this Russian parish ceased to exist after the Second World War. Another Orthodox parish under the [[jurisdiction]] of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]] was founded in Manila during the early 1990s.
== Beginnings of Christianity in the Philippines ==
== Arrival of Orthodoxy ==
===1800s 1600s - Antiochian Armenian and Greek Orthodox Christians===It appears One source suggests that the Armenians, Greeks and Mecedonians were the first Orthodox Christians on the islands were Syrian island. An eighteenth century document written by Murillo Velarde, a Jesuit historian describing their Order’s missionary labors in the Philippines, records the presence of Armenian and Lebanese merchants and sailors, who arrived Greek settlers in the Philippine capital city of Manila after it was opened to outside tradeas early as 1618. [;cc=philamer;q1=morenos;rgn=full%20text;idno=afk2830.0001.044;didno=AFK2830. 0001.044;view=image;seq=31;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;] (Blair & Robertson's The first recorded Orthodox Christians Philippine Islands 1493-1898, Cleveland, Ohio: 1906, Vol. XLIV, p. 27). In his book ''Historia de Philipinas'' (published in Manila, 1749), the Philippines were Syrian and Lebanese sailors Jesuit historian Velarde wrotes: "I believe that there is no city in 1802 according to the Syrian Consulate world in Manilawhich so many nationalities come together as here.... Many There are a considerable number of Armenians, and some Persians; and Tartars, Macedonians, Turks, and that he who spends an afternoon on the Lebanese sailors married ''tuley'' or bridge of Manila will see all these nationalities pass by him, behold their costumes, and hear their families still reside languages - something which cannot be done in any other city in the Philippines entire Spanish monarchy, and have become Filipino citizens, including hardly in any other region in all the owners of a famous pizza parlor world."(Cited in Manila. Blair & Robertson's The oldest living Orthodox Christian in the PhilippinesPhilippine Islands 1493-1898, Cleveland, Ohio: 1906, a Lebanese by the last name of AssadVol. XLIV, was born around 1904p. 29). [;cc=philamer;q1=morenos;rgn=full%20text;idno=afk2830.0001.044;didno=AFK2830.0001. 044;view=image;seq=33;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;]
===1930s - Russian Orthodox Christians===
[[Image:John Maximovitch Tubabao.jpg|right|thumb|Abp. John Maximovitch in Tubabao]]An influx of Russian emigrees émigrés fleeing the Soviet regime occured occurred during the American colonial regime. In 1935, a Russian [[parish]] was established in Manila, and the [[Patriarch]] of Moscow and All Russia appointed Father Mikhail Yerokhin as vicar. The Episcopal Church then permitted Fr. Mikhail to use the north transept of their cathedral for worship. In 1937, the first Orthodox church was built and was named after the Iberian Iveron [[Icon]] of the Mother of God. This also became the first Orthodox [[altar]] in the Philippines. Later, both the Episcopal Cathedral and the Russian Orthodox church in Manila were destroyed by American bombing during the Second World War.
In 1949, 5,500 Russian Orthodox from China, including then-[[Archbishop]] [[John (Maximovitch)]], were relocated to a former US Army base on [ Tubabao], in the south central Philippines by the International Refugee Organization and with the permission of the newly independent Republic of the Philippines. Abp. Under Archbishop John Maximovitch then established 's direction a wooden church, orphanage, and other buildings in Tubabao exclusively were established on the grounds of the base, for the Russian refugees.
Tubabao, however, was (and still is) an underdeveloped island which is humid, prone to typhoons, and at times inaccessible due to the ocean conditions. When a Russian commented on their fear that a typhoon would destroy their camp to local Filipinos, they replied that there was nothing to worry about because “your "your holy man blesses your camp from four directions every night." There were no typhoons or floods while Abp. John was therethe Russian refugees sheltered at Tubabao.
Abp. John Maximovitch did not preach the Orthodox faith to the native [ Waray]-speaking inhabitants of the Philippine islandsTubabao. No Filipino was baptized, chrismated, ordained or consecrated during his the refugees' stay in the Philippines. Through the persistent lobbying of Abp. John to himself was only present for a few months, until the camp was set up and running; during most of the two years the refugees were at Tubabao, he was in America, lobbying the Congress for their reception into the UUSA.S. CongressThrough his persistent lobbying, the refugees were allowed to settle in the United States and Australia beginning in 1951.
=== 1990s - Greek Filipino Orthodox Christians===Around the beginning of the twentieth century, Greek sailors settled in Legaspi city on the island of Luzon about a century ago. Descendants of these Greek Orthodox Christian sailors now number no more than 10 families, who have kept their Greek surnames and many of whom have become distinguished public figures and intellectuals in the Philippines, including serving as the Greek consulate in Manila. Though they do not speak Greekthe Filipino language fluently, they were largely responsible for the re-establishment of an Orthodox presence in the Philippines through their encouragement of Filipino converts and the Hellenic Orthodox Foundation.
[[Image:Manila_orthodox_cathedral.jpg‎|left|thumb|The Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral in Paranaque, Manila]]One of the first Greek Orthodox to arrive in the Philippines Philippine province of Albay was Alexandros Athos Adamopoulos (aka Alexander A. Adamson), who came to Legaspi city in 1928. Together with his brother and cousin he co-founded Adamson University in 1932. The university was and , which is noted for its curriculum directed towards the needs of the Philippines in the areas of science, chemical and industrial engineering. Adamson University, now owned by the Vincentian Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church, has attained recognition as a leading institution for graduate education, law, arts, sciences, chemistry, computer education, engineering, commerce and architechture. The university has a student population of over 22,000.
Adamopoulos was appointed in 1942 by the Greek government to take charge of Greek interests in the Philippines. He was later promoted to the rank of Consul General of Greece.
In 1989, Adamopoulos saw the need to establish the first true Greek Orthodox church in the Philippines and thus established the Hellenic Orthodox Foundation Inc. Although he died in 1993 before the church was completed, the Orthodox Cathedral was finished in 1996 and is constructed in true Byzantine style, with all the interior furnishings imported from Greece, and is home to approximately 200 520 Filipino Orthodox and 40 expats[]in Metro Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. This cathedral was consecrated by the His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on March 5, 2000.
===1990s - First Filipino converts===
On April 20, 1990, a Filipino [[hieromonk]], Fr. Vincentius Escarcha (a former Benedictine Abbot and a Roman Catholic priest for more than 20 years in Bajada, Cataingan, Masbate island), together with four nuns and faithful members of his community, were received into the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan [[Dionysios (Psiahas) of Proussa|Dionysios]] of the [[Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Zealand]] and assisted by [[Sotirios (Trambas) of Korea|Bishop Sotirios of Zelon]]. On January 19, 1994, Metropolitan Dionysios, assisted by Bishop Sotirios, received by [[Chrismation|Holy Chrismation]] several Filipino Christians in Manila.
In 1994, a Filipino priest was ordained and two nuns were received by Metropolitan Archbishop Antonio of Mexico to create the Sts Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Mission.
In 1996, the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia was created for the needs of the faithful under the [[Church of Constantinople]]. In 2004, the Theotokos Orthodox Church in Bajada, Masbate was consecrated by His Eminence Metropolitan [[Nikitas (Lulias) of Hong Kong|Nikitas]] of Hong Kong and South East Asia. At present, the nuns of the Theotokos Orthodox Monastery in Bajada run a kindergarten.
==Orthodoxy in the Philippines today==
[[Image:Filipinorthodox.jpg‎|left|Filipino Orthodox faithful in Paranaque, Manila]]Within the Ecumenical Patriarchate's [[Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia]], there are currently three Filipino Orthodox priests in the Philippines under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople , along with four nuns, and are administratively under an ecclesiastical vicar from Greece. In these communities, the Divine Liturgy and other Orthodox worship services are said in English, Greek and Filipino. In 2007 the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission in the Philippines[], was established under the [[Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand]]. In 2008, two Filipino denominations were received into the Antiochian church, including 32 communities with some 6000 believers. These denominations - one ex-protestant, led by Fr Jeptah Aniceto, and one ex-independent, led by Fr Pascualito Monsanto - formed two vicariates, based in Davao and Manila respectively. In 2009 Jeptah Aniceto [ left the Orthodox Church] to pursue native religious teaching in Africa, and now [ identifies as a Muslim]. Many of his followers left the Antiochian Church; some connected with an [[Old Calendarist]] group under Bishop Kleopas (Daclan).
Metropolitan Archbishop In 2013, clergy from both ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate responded to requests from Filipino groups for catechism. Two dioceses of the [[Paul Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Saliba) "Aglipayans"] entered into a period of Australia catechism, and New Zealand|Paul (Saliba)beginning in 2015 several parishes were received in mass baptisms[][] . In 2017 a hieromonk was sent from Russia to reestablish the parish of the Iveron Icon of the Theotokos, originally established the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission in 1935 but destroyed by bombing during World War II. In February, 2019, a [ Diocese of the Philippines ] was established within the Russian Orthodox [ Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia]. [Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese Australia and New Zealand]-the-philippine-diocese/ Eight priests] (as per now serve the Holy Synod of Antioch)Russian mission which now numbers approximately thirty parishes and mission communities. At present, there are two mission areas in Metro Manila
There are also some [[Independent Orthodox churches|independent groups]] in the Philippines that use the term ''Orthodox'' in their names but are not in communion with or are recognized by any canonical Orthodox church.
==See also==
* [[Exarchate of the Philippines|Exarchate of the Philippines, Ecumenical Patriarchate]]
* [[Philemon (Castro)]]
==External links==
*[ com/pages/Orthodox-Church-in-the-Philippines/187805037902231 Affiliate in the Philippines - Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia]
*[ History of the First Filipino Orthodox Community in the Philippines] by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis
*[ Ecumenical Patriarch Consecrates Annunciation Church in Manila]
*[ Orthodox Patriarch Visits Fledgling Local Orthodox Church]
*[ The Theotokos Orthodox Church & Monastery in Masbate] (Information in an issue of The Censer)
*[ Major Events of Orthodoxy in the Philippines]
*[ A priest's description of Orthodox missionary work in the Philippines]
*[ Life of St. John Maximovitch]
*[ The Greek Community in the Philippines]
*[ Greeks in the Philippines and their contributions to the Filipinos]
*[ Official Website text-idx?c=philamer;idno=AFK2830.0001.044 The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 by Emma E. Blair & James A. Robertson, Volume XLIV, 1906] Online edition from the University of Michigan.*[ Philippine Mission of the Antiochian Russian Orthodox Christian Mission in the PhilippinesChurch].  
{{Parishes of South, East, and Southeast Asia}}

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