The Floating Chapel of St. Padre Pio

Have you ever taken pictures of something that subsequently lost its existence?

I did. After knowing its destruction, I experienced some kind of complex feeling, a combination of sadness and relief.

I was sad because I will never see it again but, at the same time, I was relieved because I have memorialized its appearance before it was too late.

Subsequently, a third emotion, that of gratitude for the heavens allowed me to capture this beautiful place.

I am writing about the St. Padre Pio Chapel of Embarcadero, Legazpi City.

This tiny chapel, merely 50 square meters big, had such kind of grandeur that only photographs can describe.

It abuts the sea and had huge glasses as its walls, making it appear as though it were floating on the ocean.

Its interiors were minimalistic but the colors, and their shade, vivify its simplicity and turn it into something beautiful and interesting.

The sea that is just outside contrasts with the mellow colors of the inside, giving it some semblance of serenity and sanctity.

But that is not all. On a clear sunny day, especially when the sky is in romantic blue, Mayon Volcano appears, and all of these things turn the very tiny chapel into something significant and grand.

Unfortunately, however, the wide-eyed mestizo brought his angry winds from the ocean. Every hit, every strike, of his unstoppable temper, was accepted and embraced by the vulnerable chapel.

After the wailing and the tears ended, the chapel was down to pieces, gone forever.

In spite of the sad loss, however, I will not forget its serenity and sanctity. Its beauty, for some reason, makes me appreciate the love of God much more. For me, love makes things beautiful, and makes beautiful things too.

It is love that built this floating chapel that, although gone, will never drift away from my memories.


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