Amidst the lush carpets of green grass and rows of tall trees stand well-crafted statues of saints, seemingly watching over the resting place of our dearly departed. These holy statues do not serve as mere decorations at every Eternal Gardens memorial park. They are constant reminders that our departed loved ones are in the company of holy men and women.
The most prominent among all the statues associated with Eternal Gardens is the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. The towering image that depicts Jesus Christ transfigured, with His eyes looking up to the heavens and His arms outstretched, has become a landmark at the entrance of the North Luzon Expressway. Its magnificence can be better appreciated from the Skyway when passing by Eternal Gardens’ maiden branch in Baesa, Caloocan City.
The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, which has become the company’s trademark and symbol of excellence, was designed by the late National Artist for Sculpture and Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture Napoleon V. Abueva, who executed three of the eleven statues that are currently in existence. These are the ones found in Baesa, Cabanatuan, and Santa Rosa. The other renderings of the icon were crafted by other talented Filipino artists, such as Amado Castrillo and ConradoBalubayan.
The Filipinos have a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother. Various images of her are venerated in different parts of the country. Eternal Gardens does its share of promoting our Marian devotion by building plazas in her honor at its parks. One Marian image that is unique to Eternal Gardens is that of the Brown Madonna or Kayumangging Ina. This image depicts the Blessed Mother as Filipina, wearing the traditional baro’tsaya and carrying the Infant Jesus.
Aside from the Brown Madonna, Eternal Gardens also pays homage to Our Lady of Manaoag and Our Lady of Peñafrancia in its parks in Dagupan and Naga, respectively.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Philippines, has beautiful statues in Eternal Gardens Concepcion, Batangas City; and Cagayan de Oro City where the residents are devotees of the Marian image.
Eternal Gardens in Lipa City, on the other hand, pays homage to Our Lady of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, a Marian apparition that reportedly took place in the Carmelite Monastery in this city in 1948.
SAN LORENZO RUIZ AND THE STO. NIÑO
Eternal Gardens also honors holy images distinct to the Filipino faith, like the Sto. Niño. The image of the Infant Jesus is venerated in many parts of the country. One of which is the Province of Batangas, where Eternal Gardens has a strong presence. Plazas dedicated to the Sto. Niño can be found in Eternal Gardens branches in Balagtas, Batangas City; and Lipa City. Eternal Gardens Naga, Santa Rosa, and Cabanatuan have their statues of the Sto. Niño as well.
San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, the first Filipino saint is also honored by Eternal Gardens in some of its parks. The company’s founder, Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, was one of those who helped propagate the canonization of then Blessed Lorenzo Ruiz. Today, statues of San Lorenzo Ruiz are found in Eternal Gardens Dagupan, Biñan, Balagtas, Batangas City; and Lipa City.
HOLY MEN AND WOMEN
Eternal Gardens has a longstanding tradition of honoring the patron or patroness of its host cities. In Eternal Gardens Cabanatuan, there is a plaza dedicated to San Nicholas of Tolentino, Patron of Holy Souls, and the Cabanatueños. A beautiful image of Sta. Rosa de Lima adorns a plaza built in her honor at Eternal Gardens Santa Rosa City, Laguna. The people of Barangay Mamatid in Cabuyao City, Laguna can visit Eternal Gardens here to venerate San Vicente Ferrer, their patron, and the Patron of Builders, whose statue adorns the plaza dedicated to him.
Truly, Eternal Gardens has established itself as a proponent of religious arts with its vast collection of images that represent our Christian faith. As it continues to grow stronger and reach farther, the company also vows to expand its promotion of religious arts that celebrate our Filipino faith and traditions.