Vernacular Religiosity and "Grace" in Bicol Christian Devotion

Jazmin B. Llana


Faith in God is pagsa-Dios to the Bicolanos and expressions of this faith
have persisted and endured in cultural practices of communities of
believers, a testimony to how Christianity as colonial inheritance has
been claimed and appropriated. The observance of the quincentenary of
Christianity in the Philippines is a good time to once again ask how this
has happened, to revisit some of the explanations by major Philippine
scholars and rethink them in dialogue with other ideas, and perhaps find
out how going back can help us go forward, especially in light of the
current difficult times. Writing mainly on the dotoc of Bicol, a devotion
to the Holy Cross, I discuss the Christian conversion vis-à-vis the
emergence of vernacular religiosity as an experience of and response to
“grace”—Christian grace (grasya nin Dios)—but also as a kind of
“laicized grace” similar to Alain Badiou’s Pauline story in the book Saint
Paul (2003), one that is kept with fidelity across/despite time and its
many vicissitudes.

Keywords: Christian conversion, performance of devotion, performance
of pilgrimage, laicized grace, dotoc

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.