At the back of the Nuestra Senora de Remedios Church in Malate is a little shrine beside the road. It was put up on the remnants of a fallen tree trunk, where a menagerie of flowers made of fabric appear to bloom around the makeshift altar. A piece of wood, probably picked up from a bin serves as its roof. Hanging on the wall are crimped images of the Holy Family, and at the base are relics that were thrown away only to find a purpose in this divinely inspired oddity.
It's discovery is not fated. My feet led me there after it was featured on Carlos Cedran's Facebook page. It was not far from the gym either, so a pilgrimage isn't really out of the way. Then one day, when I had this urge to whisk away some religious icons at home to be placed at the altar, I found myself at the spot, and was enchanted by its elegance. It almost felt like the sacred outpost was erected by some mendicant under direct instruction from the almighty.
The hands behind the shrine put great care to his opus. It was built by design. The craftsmanship, no doubt, belonged to an artist. As to what purpose it serves, or what narrative tells behind its creation, I didn't bother to ask. What was seen during my brief visit, are the homeless finding temporary shelter on the sidewalk, desperate for some relief from those who bothered to stop, and unravel the mystery of this temporal installation.