Venerating the antique icon of San Miguel Arcangel, Iligan City

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Devotees line up to venerate the image
Devotees line up to venerate the image

A week before the feast (29 September) of St. Michael the Archangel, San Miguel Arcangel, to most devotees in Iligan City, devotees lined up inside the city’s modern cathedral to venerate the image. It is also the time when the city gets festive with competitions, food fairs, and dances.

What is interesting about the icon is that, compared to the Visayas and Mindanao that has been Christianized in the 16th century, its one of the few in the island of Mindanao. An antique probably dating from the Spanish colonial era is about a meter high and is carved in the folk style tradition, which is unlike the very detailed features of other images.

The antique image is colorfully dressed by sponsors who commission it in Manila and usually costing thousands of pesos. The style is reminiscent of a traditional Maranao war dance, the sagayan with a colorful headress.

A devotee touches the image with her handkerchief and presses it on her chest
A devotee touches the image with her handkerchief and presses it on her chest
A hardwood carving of the devil being vanquished by the Archangel
A hardwood carving of the devil being vanquished by the Archangel
Close up of the upper part of the San Miguel Arcangel icon of Iligan City
Close up of the upper part of the San Miguel Arcangel icon of Iligan City
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