Eka Nickmatulhuda

Photographer
  
Apostolic Catholic Church
Location: Jakarta
Nationality: Indonesia
Biography: Coming soon...
Public Story
Apostolic Catholic Church
Copyright Eka Nickmatulhuda 2022
Date of Work Dec 1969 - Dec 1969
Updated Dec 2020
Location Philippines
Topics Beauty, Belief, Christianity, Community, Documentary, Editorial, Essays, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Happiness, Human Rights, Lifestyle, Minority, Photography, Photojournalism, Portraiture, Religion, Reporting, Street
A young woman approached me and asked, "Are you one of us?". Fumbled as I set my camera, I answered, "I don't think so, but am I allowed to be here?". Pretty sure that I was the only muslim in that particular church that day. She smiled and said, "Of course! We're all brothers and sisters, and you look just like us anyway".

She was one of Hijas de Maria, young girls part of the congregation of The New Apostolic Catholic Church in the outskirts of Manila, Philippines. Younger than her, would be called Angelitas, while older than her are Marrias. They all wear long blue veils, with different gradients according to their ages. All the men wear Sotona, shaped like a long hood.

At certain times of the month, they would gather to worship Jesus, Mother Mary and the apostles. All represented in the form of statues, some look as if they're from different races. The pilgrims would pray all night. Some fell asleep on the floor. Until the sun sets in the morning and they begin the mass. New pilgrims being ordained. The main priest will preach and everyone takes a moment of silence, waiting for the holy spirit to enter him. He was called the Beloved Ingkong, a holy man. Sometimes he shall be tranced by the holy spirit, but other times not.

It was a once in a lifetime experience to be there witnessing their practice. I also realised, I did look like them. Muslims also have late night prayers, we even have our first daily prayer before the break of dawn. It is probably unlogic for the pragmatics, but love is divine, and the act upon can be unreasonable to the naked eye.
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