By Leo Magno
TAGAYTAY CITY, CAVITE — If you find the four-hour drive from Manila to Pangasinan too far to your liking but still want to visit the miraculous Lady of Manaoag, the two-hour drive to the Lady’s replica in Tierra de Maria Home of Meditation and Enrichment in Tagaytay City may suffice.
Inside the Tierra de Maria is the replica of The Lady, but outside is a 50-foot statue that towers majestically over this meditative place, made more awesome at around 2 p.m. when the sun shines directly over her crown. At her feet is a wishing well and candle holders where the faithful throw their hearts’ desires to Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth.
The original Lady of Manaoag is formally known as Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag or Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag in English. She is the patroness of the sick, the helpless and the needy, and many of the ill have sworn to have been cured by The Lady.
The original image of The Lady is said to be from the 16th century, brought to the Philippines by Padre Juan de San Jacinto from Spain via Acapulco. The church is administered by the Dominican Order in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan located in Manaoag, Pangasinan. It is one of the most visited churches in the Philippines, but the Tierra de Maria Chapel in Tagaytay has seen its fair share of the faithful.
A healing mass is held at Tierra de Maria every first Saturday of the month, a tradition since 2004. The mass is held inside the Inner Peace Healing Center and celebrated by the Spiritual Director of the Mama Mary Movement Foundation Inc., Fr. Larry Faraon. The mass itself is held at 3 p.m., and the healing session is conducted right before the mass by the founder of the Mama Mary Movement Foundation, Bro. Jiggers G. Alejandrino. Hundreds of people flock to Tagaytay every first Saturday seeking instant healing of physical, emotional, spiritual and financial problems.
Climb up the stairs to the left and you will see a peculiar therapeutic fish spa, wherein for P100 you can dip your feet and the fish will gently brush against them, producing a massaging effect. From there you can also get a closer view of Mama Mary’s visage, this time not from 50 feet below but almost at her shoulder level.
We were also fascinated by the A.M.E.N. Prayer, where, after concentrating on a black-and-white image of the Lord Jesus Christ for 30 seconds, we tilted our heads upward, closed our eyes and saw first a circular beam of light followed by the image of Christ filling up the circle. An optical illusion or retinal memory, perhaps, but fascinating nonetheless.
Let me share with you the A.M.E.N. Prayer just in case you want to try it on one of the images posted here:
Almighty Father, I humbly pray as I beg for Your Love and Mercy. Lord forgive us our sins as I acknowledge that I am nothing without You because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.
Mama Mary, intercede for us as I lift up to Your Son, Jesus my family, my loved ones, my friends, my enemies, my detractors. I lift up the souls of my loved ones as I ask them to pray for us. I lift up all the souls in purgatory. I lift up all the people I promised to pray for, especially those who are sick. I lift up my personal intentions as I believe in faith, He only has to say the Word and my wishes shall be granted.
Empower me with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Guide me in all my thoughts, words and actions. Anoint me Lord, grant me the power and authority to do your will that everything be for your greater glory. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, I command Satan and all evil spirits to get out of our bodies because our bodies are the Temples of the Holy Spirit. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, I tie you Satan and I bind you and I throw you at the foot of the cross so that you will be forever vanquished from the face of the Earth. Yes Mama Mary, I ask you to step on the head of the serpent and forever crush him. This I ask in the Mighty Name of Jesus through the powerful intercession of Mama Mary.
Never forsake us Lord, as I ask you to shield us with Your most precious blood that flows from Your Sacred Heart. Mama Mary, I consecrate my family to your Immaculate Heart. Embrace us, cover me and my family with your motherly mantle of love and protection.
To get to Tierra de Maria from Sta. Rosa exit on the South Luzon Expressway, turn left after the Tagaytay public market, heading toward Tagaytay Highlands. Tierra de Maria will be on the right side of the Tagaytay-Calamba road right after the Japanese Garden but before you reach Picnic Grove.
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