The Saint Anne’s Feast is a very unique cultural experience. Although it is a Catholic event, you are likely to see Hindus, Taoists, Buddhists, Protestants, atheists, Vietnamese and people of various faith or non faith from Penang attending. I asked them and many said it was about receiving blessings and also they like to be immersed in the spiritual side of the rituals. On another year, I saw a Muslim girl in tudung who stood out and I asked her too. She said she was the Chief Minister’s photographer and was there early to snap her boss’s arrival.
Indeed, it was a very intense experience to be sandwiched and pushed along by the crowd moving up the steps with lighted candles. For me, it was also about waiting for the moment when twilight balanced nicely with the church founded in 1846. Cameras in 2004 weren’t as sensitive as today and I was nervous about the fading sky and changing disco colours lighting up the building.
#stanne #feast #bukitmertajam #penang #catholic #church #dusk #twilight #sunset #event #mycenhotels
I think it was 2004 and there were thousands of pilgrims at the holy site. I spoke to an anonymous Christian man from the Borneo state of Sabah. He told me he was grateful to one man, besides God. Taken aback, while standing next to a grotto, I asked him who? He said it was the owner and founder of budget airline AirAsia who allowed him and his family to make a pilgrimage from Sabah for the first time, for which it will otherwise be unaffordable to him, as in previously. The honest and simple man told me he is illiterate and didn’t know how to convey his appreciation to the correct person. By God’s will. he picked me out from the sea of crowd and came to the right person.
I conveyed what he said To Sir Tony Fernandes via Twitter @tonyfernandes immediately and Tony was quite pleased.
Remember to book or find your hotel at MyCen Hotels by searching for Penang or Bukit Mertajam from my site at http://www.mycen.my/
Picture of pilgrims congregating on the steps of the shrine in 2016.
St. Anne Church Of Bukit Mertajam, Penang on Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/St.AnneChurchBM/>
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#stanne #feast #bukitmertajam #penang #catholic #church #event #sabah #sabahan #airasia #mycenhotels
I met these two strangers at St Anne’s church in Bukit Mertajam in 2004, I think. I wrote in a blog post captions as reproduced below. Fortunately, I always send by mail for Instagram posting and over the years, every post was archived in Gmail, including the attached pics.
“I thought these two petite lasses looked quite pretty with the warm sunset setting behind their tinted hair. So I asked the strangers if I could take a picture of them. Cousins Leow <@leowyh> (left) and Chin (right) <@mellisa_phei> graciously agreed. They are from Penang Island and were at the St Anne’s Church doing selfies as tourists. When I told them I might post their pic on Instagram, they launched their app and followed me on the spot. I did likewise. Haha. Geeks don’t exchange phone numbers”
I followed them on social media over the years and saw them grow. I hated Leow’s love affair with Snapchat filters and Boomerang antics but like Mellisa;s record of going to university in Taiwan. It was was like watching her lifestory unfolding. Leow is now @leow_bbbbb and Mellisa is at @mchinlife on Instagram,
The Feast of St Anne is on 21st July to 30th July this year at the St Anne Sanctuary in Bukit Mertajam. I usually stay in Penang island as the hotels in Bukit Mertajam were usually fully booked. Not unexpected when there are millions of pilgrims from the region. Facebook of St Anne’s Sanctuary BM 大山脚圣安纳堂
Book or find your hotel at MyCen Hotels http://www.mycen.my/ by searching for Penang or Bukit Mertajam from my site.
Rooms may already be tough to find from today, Not unexpected as the celebrations attract millions of pilgrims from the region. Next, I’ll post some pictures of the church from 2004, 2008. 2014 and 2016
#stanne #feast #bukitmertajam #penang #catholic #church #event
I walked around the building for inspirations.
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Saw a big puddle of rainwater and waited for church goers to come by. I captured their reflections and that of the church in the water.
Included part of their feet to screw with the viewer’s mind. I then inverted (vertically flipped ) the picture. In theory, you can also hold the camera upside down.
Built in 1571, Cathedral Basílica Metropolitana de Manila suffered through earthquakes and bombings. The current version was re-built in 1958.
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Three years ago I caught the sending off or launch procession for the Chingay Festival from the temple in town to the prayer site off town. The JB Taoist procession passed near the very old Catholic church.
I positioned myself and waited for the juxtaposition of icons from the two different faiths. The annual event took place this morning. There was another religious harmony factor involved which I found out when I visited the church a few days later.
The church was built on land donated by the late Sultan Abu Bakar and was then known as the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. There is also a marble statue of Mother Mary gifted by Sultan Sir Ibrahim Abu Bakar and it is still standing at the church’s front courtyard.
#chingay #jb #johor #taoism #procession #streetphotography #jossticks #church