… I was wondering why the Philippines, with the notable exception of pre-Communist Vietnam, is the *only* Asian country that is not only majority Christian but majority Catholic and why the Filipino flavour of Catholicism is so heavily Mary-centered (although, yes, Spanish Catholicism probably has something to do with it).
So I found this site, all about pre-colonial Filipino religious beliefs, and, I must say, it’s really really interesting. There’s a lot of animism still in Filipino Catholicism, a lot of perceiving Mary as being as much an intermediary between heaven and earth as her Son, just like the female shamans of pre-colonial times. What I find odd is the discussion about the word “Apo” meaning “Lord.” I didn’t know it meant that, considering that I called my paternal grandparents (when they were alive) “Apo Baket” (Grandmother) and “Apo Lakay” (Grandfather).
Also, makes the ghost stories that my father would tell (which he always related as factual truth) understandable.