Nature Church - Mary Immaculate Parish Church
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Nature Church - Mary Immaculate Parish Church

 
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About Nature Church - Mary Immaculate Parish Church

The whole town of Las Pinas which lies south of Manila were once under the St. Joseph Parish with the parish church located at Barrio E. Aldana. Once known for its salt beds and the famous Bamboo Organ, las Pinas became, at the turn of the century, the town center or bayan where the seat of government, the market, the police station, a hospital, and the church were all clustered together. Beyond the town center and the historical battleground that was Barrio Zapote was nothing but a vast field of cogon grass.
People migrated to the south after the war and subdivisions and villages began to sprout within the area. However, transportation was scarce and people who lived far from the Church of St. Joseph oftentimes failed to fulfill their spiritual needs.
This need for spiritual nourishment was soon answered by a proliferation of chapels within villages. Sometime later, when the Holy Family Parish was established in BF Almanza which was close to Talon, its new parish priest, Fr. Ernesto Joaquin, took in these chapels including the Sto. Nino Chapel in Moonwalk. This site was later chosen to house the new church to be built in honor of Mary Immaculate.
THE NATURE CHURCH
The church is the signature structure in the complex which spreads over a 4,000 square meter mango orchard beside a flowing creek. True to the nature concept proposed by the architect, Bobby Manosa, the church stands under a canopy of mango boughs, the altar section concealed from street view by thick tropical palms and plants thus providing the necessary privacy for prayer and meditation.
The nature concept is extensively expressed in the structure of the church itself, its furnishings and its adornments. Serving as beams and pillars to hold and support the cables which suspend an inverted funnel-shaped, canvas-covered anahaw roof are more than a half century old mango trees with six concrete posts providing added strength. It is considered biggest anahaw-covered roof in the Philippines. the intricately woven network of 40,000 anahaw leaves can be appreciated from the inside by simple looking up to the ceiling. Warm yet soft illumination is provided by 176 capiz lanterns depicting doves in flight spiraling from the fringes to the center of the ceiling.
Grouped into three sections on the wide assembly area are pews made from typhoon-felled trees strops and logs, and kneelers made from flat pieces of wood. The flooring is a patchwork of stones and wooden slabs mingling with pebble washout.
The focal point of the church is the organic sanctuary, so called because it seems to have come from natural evolution. It is propped up by big boulders whose crevices serve as plant beds for ferns and creeping vines. The altar is a rough-finished coral marble slab resting on two madre cacao driftwood pedestals. Flat-topped boulders of various shapes and sizes line the altar and are used as seats by altar servers. The flooring of the altar section, similar to that of the aisles, is interplay of wood tiles from tree trunks cut crosswise and white pebble washout.
Below the altar is an awe-inspiring rock garden. Rising about three meters high from altar level, its monolithic grandeur is softened by the refreshing greens of carabao grass, wild bougainvillea, pakpak lawin, and a collection of other fern varieties grown on driftwoods. A man-made waterfall cascades down the boulders to the feet of a seated marble image of Mary playing with the children, and collects in a lagoon planted with colorful water lilies at altar level. Dwarf flowering suntans and orchids add a festive air. Branches from a nearby 50-year old sampaloc tree support the image of the Crucified Christ and at the same time hover protectively over the altars cape. The ambiance created by the natural logs used in the pews is repeated in the vertically arrayed cut-logs on the walls at the right and left sides of the altar. In front of the wall on the right is situated the lector's ambo, crafted from natural twisted tree trunks and vines. Behind this wall is a cavern-like sacristy. On the other hand, the space in front of the wall on the left serves as a projection area for songs and prayers, separating the main altar from the choir section. On this wall hang driftwoods bearing sweet-scented flowering orchids, their silent fragrance courting favors from above.
Tucked at the back of the sacristy, directly under the image of the Crucified Christ, is the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel where parishioners take turns in ensuring adoration from 6:00AM to 10:00PM, 7 days a week. The Blessed Sacrament is ensconced in floral mosaic, making the altar one with its surroundings.

Location

Address
Apollo III, Moonwalk Village Las Pinas City

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WEDDING REQUIREMENTS:

For Filipino parishioners who are baptized Catholics, submit:

  1. Original copies of Baptismal Certificate and Confirmation Certificate of both parties with notation “FOR MARRIAGE PURPOSES” issued within 6 months prior to the date of the wedding.
  2. Authenticated copies of the Birth Certificates of the couple with Registry Number either from the NSO (if born outside Metro Manila) or a Certified True Copy from the local Civil Registry.
  3. Marriage license and CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage)
  4. Certification from their respective Area/Street Coordinators.
  5. 2 pieces of 2x2 ID pictures each
  6. If CIVILLY MARRIED, present Certified True Copy and photocopy of the Marriage Contract
  7. Couple must attend a Canonical Interview and a one-day Pre-Cana seminar; there is a seminar fee of Php 500.00 per couple.
  8. Marriage Banns must be submitted one week before the wedding date.
  9. A copy of the wedding invitation must be submitted not later than 2 weeks before the wedding date.
  10. If the Officiating Priest is not from the parish, submit name of the officiating priest and a photocopy of his Registration in Solemnizing Marriages.

Other requirements for special cases:

  1. If one party is NOT Catholic
    • Dispensation from the Diocese of Parañaque’s Chancery Office should be obtained.
  2. If one party is a JAPANESE citizen
    • Couple will be referred to Rev. Fr. Toru Nishimoto, CSSP at the Travelers Life Bldg, 490 T. M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila, with Tel. Nos. 523-3517 or 521-9991.
  3. If one party is a Filipino and the other is a FOREIGNER / or BOTH are FOREIGNERS, submit:
    • Clearance from the Diocese of Parañaque’s Chancery Office at the Diocesan Center for Evangelization, Villonco Road, Sucat, Parañaque City prior to making further arrangements.
    • Certification of Legal Capacity to Marry from their respective Embassy.
    • Newly-issued Certificate of Freedom to Marry from the pastors of both parties (originals and photocopies)
    • Photocopy of pages 1 and 2 of passport (foreigners only)
  4. For PREVIOUSLY married and DIVORCED or ANNULLED
    • Present Certificate of Finality of Civil Annulment or Divorce
    • Church Declaration of Nullity of previous marriage
    • A Certified True Copy of the previous Marriage Contract
  5. If WIDOWED
    • Submit Certified True Copy of the Death Certificate of the deceased spouse
    • A Certified True Copy of the previous Marriage Contract
  6. If both parties are NON-PARISHIONERS
    • Must provide own officiating priest
    • Per parish policy, the Wedding Reception must be held and catered by the in-house caterer Nature’s Café.

NOTE:

  1. ALL requirements must be submitted one month before the wedding date. The wedding will be confirmed only if all the requirements have been completed.
  2. The Church has the option to postpone the wedding in case the required documents are not completed or submitted before the wedding date.
  3. Upon booking, the couple is required to pay a reservation fee of Php 850.00 for the Church and for non-parishioners, another Php 5,000 for the wedding reception. Reservation fee is non-refundable but deductible.
  4. Wedding fee is Php 6,500.00 for parishioners and Php 9,600 for non-parishioners. Package includes services of officiating priest (parishioners only), lector/commentator , choir , flowers (aisle and altar), venue, electricity and four (4) copies of wedding missallette.
  5. Abide by the Diocese’s Wedding Policy per DOP CIRCULAR NO. 2009-008
    “No application of marriage involving a previously married person or foreigner may be entertained in any way without a prior clearance from the Office of the Judicial Vicar. Non-compliance to this provision can end to a very nasty consequence.”

DO's and DONT'S on a your wedding day

DO's:

  1. Couple must have confession before wedding date.
  2. Couple and bridal entourage should be at the church at least 30 minutes before the schedule of the wedding.
  3. All participants and guests must maintain solemnity during the duration on the wedding inside the church.
  4. Children should behave while inside the Church. Parents and guardians are responsible for the behavior of their children.
  5. If the couple prefers to have their own choir, florist, singers and priest, please coordinate with the Parish Office one week before the wedding.
  6. Couples must check all information in the Marriage Contract such as names, dates, places, list of sponsors, etc. before the wedding date. Corrections done after the Marriage Contract is submitted to the Civil Registrar will be for the account of the couple.

DONT's:

  1. All brides, principal sponsors, secondary sponsors, commentators and readers should wear decent attire while inside the church. Daring and sexy attires are discouraged. Ladies can wear a veil or shawl over their sleeveless or spaghetti dresses.
  2. No video light or camera flash during the reading of the Holy Gospel and homily. Photographers may take video and photos but without lights and flash so as not to distract the priest.
  3. No background music or singing during the recitation of the wedding vows.
  4. No smoking while inside the church premises. Most of the materials inside the church are made of wood and combustible materials.
  5. Maintain cleanliness while inside the church premises. Please put your garbage in trash cans. Do not leave your trash in the church pews.

WEDDING SCHEDULES:

 By Request  
 Tuesday - Friday  9:00 AM or 10:00 AM           
   3:00 PM or 4:00 PM
 Saturday  9:00 AM or 10:00 AM
   3:00 PM Only
   
 Pre-cana Seminar  
 Every first Saturday of the          7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
 month  

MARRIAGE CONTRACT:

Note: Marriage Contract will not be released if requirements are incomplete.

  1. Issued on request at least 2 weeks after the wedding.

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