As the only recognized Christian nation in Asia, Philippines is a country where a lot of religious sites and sceneries can be visited for free public viewing and indulgence.
In the municipality of Laguindingan in Misamis Oriental, there is one religious site called Birhen sa Moog Chapel where tourists and localities alike can engage in a sincere moment with the Divine and at the same time taking the time to relax and chill in the beach water.
According to local Catholic devotees, the church came to existence from a very old legend at the time of Spanish colonization. Around 1600, there was an old woman who was sick and thirsty asking for water from a fisherman. Expressing great concern to the condition of the old lady, the fisherman then hurriedly went back to his house to get some water. When he got back to the woman, he saw the old woman seated on a big rock and carrying a baby in her arms. To his surprise, the old lady suddenly disappeared from eye sight together with the baby in her arms.
From that day on, the locals considered the incident as a miracle made by the Virgin Mary and later call the area “Birhen Sa Moog”. To remember the event, they built a chapel above the stone where they believed the Virgin Mary, disguised as the sick old woman, took a seat on.
The devotees of Birhen Sa Moog otherwise known as “Berhen delos Remedios” believes that the small flowing spring below the big rock is miraculous and can heal a number of illnesses.
This is one of the oldest church in Misamis Oriental that is located in Barangay Moog Laguindingan.
Being the third oldest church in Misamis Oriental, the area has been developed and slowly gaining public attention especially around Misamis Oriental. To date, several cottages can be found around the place which can be rented from P100 to P500. You can also bring foods as much as you can as there are no corkages to be paid upon entering the area.
The chapel was built at the seaside so it is also allowed for visitors to take to the sea and plunged in the beach water surrounding the chapel. While at the sea, you can also try their bamboo rafting for only 10 to 20 pesos.
How to get there…
It is easier if you own a car when traveling to Berhen delos Remedios, but if you don’t, it is always an option to commute. From Cagayan de Oro City, you can take a ride by jeep going to Alubijid or Initao for only 25- 30 pesos within 40 minutes travel time. Inform the driver to drop you off at Alubijid Public Market and from there, look for a habal-habal to get you to Birhen sa Moog or “Moog” as the locals usually refer to it.
If your starting point is at Laguindingan Airport, you can ride a habal-habal for P50-P100 per head.
It is easier nowadays to promote beautiful places in our country that are still unknown to many. By doing this, we are not only introducing the beauty of our country to the whole world but more importantly, our rich and unique culture which defines us as a nation. By promoting the magnificence of Birhen sa Moog, we are not only earning respect and recognition but also, it gives us pride that we are able to give importance of the treasures passed on by our ancestors.