A Car Blessing in the Philippines

Do people actually do this in any other country?  I’ve never heard of it before.  Is it strictly a Catholic thing?

A car being blessed by a Catholic priest in the Philippines.

In the image above, you can see a group of people gathered around a new vehicle.  The man in the white top and black pants is a priest, probably from the nearby Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, which is a popular pilgrimage destination for people who are about to embark on trips.

I’m not sure if there’s a process to this, if different parts of the vehicle are blessed at different times and I just stumbled across them as they were getting to the engine, or if having the hood raised and the engine running is just the standard way of having a vehicle blessed.

As weird as this seems, it makes sense in a way, and makes sense that they’d come to the Cathedral that’s known as a place for travelers to receive blessings to have it done.

If you stumbled across this post looking for information about how to get your car blessed at the Cathedral, click this link and then scroll to the bottom of the post to see a picture of the sign showing the hours for car blessings, as well as contact numbers.

14 thoughts on “A Car Blessing in the Philippines”

  1. That's interesting. I know there's a palm Sunday here in the US too, but I'm not sure if people actually bring palm leaves home. We never did anyway. They do the Ash Wednesday here though. It's interesting to see people walking around with the ash on their forehead.


  2. I don't know if you've witnessed Palm Sunday here in the Philippines, it's the last Sunday before Holy Week and people troop to the churches to have leaves of palm, coconut or olives (commonly called palaspas) blessed. It's a reenactment where Jesus enters Jerusalem. But according to Philippines folklore these blessed palaspas can be used to repel aswangs, which you wrote about way back, and evil spirits. But traditionally, I'm not really sure though, the left over palaspas are collected by the churh, burned and the ashes are used during Ash Wednesday mass where a cross is marked on the forehead of each church goer.


  3. Oh I see. Maybe you've had a run of bad luck and always try to comment when Disqus is having an issue. They do have downtime or slowdowns, but it's still a lot better than the native commenting system. It might have something to do with your browser though. Which do you use?


  4. Interesting. Thanks for sharing.I found a small bottle marked Holy Water in the medicine cabinet at my in-law's house. I was a little shocked, but mostly amused.


  5. The height of blessings can be seen during Easter Paschal Mass. In Manila, candles are brought during the mass to be blessed. One time, I spent Holy Week in Lingayen (in Pangasinan) during the mass almost everyone brought containers full of water. I guess after the blessing, it becomes holy water. Then another Holy Week was spent in Iloilo, during the mass the surrounding streets were filled with jeepneys, apparently jeeps are what people bring to be blessed.I had a car, rosary, bible and a statue of a saint blessed.


  6. In a country with so many economically disadvantaged, it would be expected that people try to get around the evils of a system with superstition. It's not dissimilar to those whom are politically disenfranchised or apathetic – like in singapore – and whom resort to lucky numbers, '4D', gambling, feng shui, and opportunism to indirectly contend with the consequences of political disenfranchisement.ed


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