Sacred Face of Jesus Christ

Wood carving of the face of Jesus
Wood carving of the face of Jesus

Intricate carvings into a block of pine wood, etched to form the face of Jesus Christ. After many years, the worn wood gives way under my fingertips. In the Philippines, the influence of Catholicism runs deep, woven into the cultural fabric, especially within my own family. In Morong Rizal, a province surrounded by lush greenery and farmland, the sounds of chirping and the gentle rustling emerald leaves filled the air, carrying the soothing scent of earthy soil. In this rural life, my ancestors discovered peace while engaged in the balut farm business, raising ducks for the Filipino delicacy made from eggs. While the exact origins of this heirloom have faded through generations, it was a gift from my great-great-grandfather to my great-grandmother, symbolizing protection as he could no longer provide it to her. Accompanying my great-grandmother on her journey from the Philippines to Santa Maria, the statue became a symbolic link to a new generation in the United States. She found peace in her faith, trusting that God would guide her.  Becoming members of the Progressive Youth of Morong in America Inc., my great-grandparents engaged with other Filipino immigrants. This group served as a sanctuary for my grandparents and others, offering a safe space to embrace their culture without fear of discrimination. In my youth, the altar and statues were off-limits to my curious touch. With age, I've come to appreciate the significance of the statues atop it, prideful of the irreplaceable history engraved into the fragrant wood by many Canote hands.

Place(s): Philippines
Year: 1960

– Aubrey

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant