Praying underwater in Bohol

Posted at 11/07/10 1:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Adventurous Catholics now have another place of meditation and worship.

Bohol, a province known for its natural wonders, now has another tourist attraction – an underwater grotto at the Danajon reef in Bien Unido town.

Here, experienced divers can pray and pay their respects to 14-foot statues of Mother Mary and the Holy Child Jesus, which were installed 60 feet below sea level.

Our Lady of Danajon-Bien Unido

Santo Niño

“(Divers) can pray underwater to have a moment of deeper reflection than those normally experienced, and be thankful (to God) for safely guiding (them) through all their diving adventures,” a statement from the mayor’s office of Bien Unido read.

It continued, “Because in diving, one is immersed in another amazing world where everyone can really appreciate God’s wonderful creation.”

Bien Unido officials thought of installing religious statues underwater to discourage illegal fishing in the Danajon reef, which slowly deteriorated due to excessive dynamite and cyanide use.

To encourage more tourists, a mini hotel, a dive shop and other basic facilities have been put up in the area.

“(The underwater grotto was created so that) No man can destroy it for the sake of the future generation,” the statement said.

It added, “The double barrier reef represents a potential global attraction for divers and eco-tourists, potentially providing numerous jobs and stable tax revenue.”

Photos courtesy of the mayor’s office of Bien Unido, Bohol