In early January of this year, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was placed some 50-60 feet underwater at Duka Bay in Medina, Misamis Oriental. Based from recent news, the proponents are hoping the underwater statue will soon serve as a new tourist attraction and place for meditation for diving enthusiasts.
Although placing it underwater may come as a surprise among locals, it is not the first time to have a religious statue placed beneath the waves. Interestingly, two (Virgin Mary and Sto. Nino) are in Bien Unido, Bohol while another Virgin Mary statue is in Anilao, Batangas. They were placed to discouraged illegal fishing such as the use of dynamite. View them all HERE.
Accordingly, the larger than life-size statue project was implemented by Duka Dive and Aquasports in partnership with the Duka Bay Resort, the Local Government Unit of Medina, and some other stakeholders. It aims to promote tourism in the area and remind all of the sanctity and protection of the rich marine life in the area. It also aims to provide spiritual nourishment of scuba divers who believe Mama Mary that they will be protected during their dives. Duka Bay is a popular dive spot in the province.
However, the project didn’t go smoothly as it drew flak from local religious fanatics. The town of Medina holds the annual Hinuklog, a street play of the Passion of Christ held during the Holy Week. However, in an interview, Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano said he is supportive of the project since it has endorsement from the local archdiocese.
Here are some photos during the placement of the statue in January (courtesy of Fra-and Quimpo).
Meanwhile, here’s the video (courtesy of Benj Allera).