Monday, March 15, 2010

The Pelicans of Argao

(The pelicans of Argao: Top, drawing at the Casa Real. Below, coral stone carving at the church)

Like most of the town’s heritage structures, the church and the old municipal building, better known as the Casa Real, are filled with artistic symbolisms that mean so much if only one takes the time to reflect on what they stand for.

A very interesting drawing on the Casa Real, which is duplicated as coral stone carvings on the lower portion of the church’s exterior portion of the archway of its main door, is that of a bird, which, according to most experts, is that of a pelican.
The pelican, throughout history, has been always associated with self-sacrifice, an allusion to the fact that the mother would sometimes feed its babies with its own blood if food is nowhere to be found. Because of this action, the pelican became a symbol of Jesus Christ’s passion as well as of the Eucharist. The pelican also was believed to kill its young, only to resurrect them using its own blood, another analogy of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

The depiction of pelicans in the Casa Real and the St. Michael Church of Argao are very clear reminders to the leaders of Argao, both in the church and the government that they should act like the pelicans: sacrifice their self-interests for the good of the people.

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