Focus Study


            Several representations of the dead Christ have been brought by the Spaniards around late fifteenth century. Known by such names as Santo Sepulcro, Santo Cristo Yacente, Santo Retiro, and Santo Entierro.

            Angeles has its own widely revered patron under the advocation of Apung Mamacalulu (The Lord of Mercy). Around 1828-1838, Father Macario, parish priest of Angeles, caused this image to be sculpted by a well-known sculptor named Buenaventura. According to an entry in the book of recordsof the Roman Catholic Church of Angeles City, the Apu with its adornments and carriages was a gift of Padre Paras and then was in his care. The image together with its carriage was transferred to another municipality for safekeeping. During the tumultuous years of revolution, Henson wrote that the image was kept in barrio Sapangbato. Sometime in 1904, the image was brought back to the church. The image was taken out each year for the purpose of being carried in two solemn processions. It was brought out in procession on Good Friday and upon the occasion of its proper fiesta held in October.

Two Apu Images

    After the 1928 incident, the issue of the image became the cause of the friction between the Dayrits and the Angeles Parish Priests. An identical of the original image was surfaced at the chapel of the Dayrits’ estate. The devotees of the Dayrits’ image increase in number causing the popularity of the shrine reached cultic proportion. The two images were taken in separate processions and on two occasions but the Dayrits’ processions were enjoyed better.

    The Dayrits requested for the Masses in the Apu Chapel are denied that later became the source of several prewar correspondences between the Archbishop of Manila and Don Clemente Dayrit. The matter of accounting the donations to Apu became the major issue that day. The persistent talk in town then is that the Church was interested in Apu because it draws a large number of devotees every Fridays and that gives the chapel huge amounts of donations. In 1970, the money issue became more persistent when the Dayrits leased their lands to transient vendors who started making business on the Apu place.

Years past, the Dayrits manage to have Masses in the chapel by the priest from far stations and even by non-Catholic priests. To stop the problems, Fr.Aquilino Ordoñez, the Angeles Parish Priest, brokered negotiations with the Dayrits and then San Fernando Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz. He thought that the best solution was for the family to sell the chapel to the Church so it may attain canonical recognition. Talks failed and no agreement was reached.

       Even after the sensational Supreme Court case, the issue about the second image refused to die. Rumors spread that the image right after the court finalized its decision in 1929 was sent to Paete, Laguna. Most of the town people believe that neither the image in the Parish Church nor the image on the altar of the Dayrits-owned sanctuario is the original Apu.

       The original image was believed had been snatched by Navarro and company way back in 1928. The only picture that will lead us back to the original image is a pre-1928 crude print of the Apu that was taken from the old house of Recamadero, Eriberto Navarro. A story about the Apu’s miraculous power says that six men refused to carry it because they couldn’t even move it. But Eriberto could carry the image by himself. The office of Recamadero was turned over to his nephew San Julian who managed the office until his death in the late 1970s.

        One of the Dayrits’ privy claimed he had seen the original image in an underground room in the late 1960s. There were also rumors that the original image was sold away to the United States by one of the Dayrit daughters.

       Apu nowadays is known as local Quiapo because most people go to Apu, not to pray but to buy a variety of products in cheap price.  There are also bunch of pickpockets and snatchers in Apu. It has evolved from a miraculous shrine into a shopping Mecca of sorts.