In the History of Philippine Religion, it is only Wicca that I could say that exist magickally and it spread faster among Young People at the coming of the 21st Century.
Philippines before the influence of the Hindu/Buddhist Empire which is the Sri Vijaya (7th to 13th Century) and Majapahit Empire which reigns during the 13th to 16th Century, the inhabitants of the Archipelago were Animist; then on 14th Century Islam introduced in the Philippines by Arab Traders and Missionaries; then Christianity spread when Spain Colonize our Country. All of these Religions were brought in our country because there is some one who introduce it personally and teach the people of the land about the Religion they are introducing in the Country.
But Wicca is different, as Wiccan Religion do not have Evangelist nor Missionaries that will go to countries to spread the Religion amazingly, Wicca exist magickally in the Philippines through the help of Internet. And now in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Tiktok, Telegram and Snap Chat, you will find Wiccan Priest and Priestess offering Wiccan Rituals, Spells and Magickal Items for a cost.
These so called Priest and Priestess gained their knowledge of Wicca through Internet either by copy pasting some of American or European Wiccan Teaching or downloading some of the Books written by Wiccan Authors and photocopy it. Specially books coming from Sliver Raven Wolf, Raymond Buckland,
Scott Cunningham, DJ Conway and other famous Wiccan Author both living in America and Europe. The collections of these books empowers most of young Filipino to call them selves Modern High Priest of Wiccan Religion, that they become a Wiccan Celebrity, that been featured in National TV or News Papers specially during New Year, Holy Week and Halloween. But how really these people view Wicca in the Philippines? Do they treat it as a Religion or just a life style. In Luntiang Aghama, We embrace Wicca as a Religion that is why we obtain government recognition through Registering it to the Securities and Exchange Commission. But there are some groups who make their group as an Underground Coven.
But what is the Difference between a Registered Wiccan Church to an Underground Wiccan Coven? This video will explain the Difference.
Before i enumerate the difference, let me say first the Similarities. I my self have started Luntiang Aghama as an underground Organization. Being Underground, I am able to provide teachings to seekers of the path, conduct public rituals except Handfasting or Solemnization of Marriage vow and offer spell casting and divinatory services to the public. But as time passed by, i feel the limitation of being underground Wiccan Organization, people will question your credibility even though you are well skilled in the aspect you are offering, they will look for certification of the skills you profess such as applying as Tarot Reader in a Wellness Center or on a Cruise Ship. Of Course when it comes to employable skills we need training certificate as an evidence of our competency, but aside from that what I realize is to compare Wicca into the Dominant Religion such as in the Catholic Church where their members have ceremony such as the Baptism where they issue Baptismal Certificate that could be used in case that there is no Birth Certificate filed in the City Registrar Office. I remember that my Father has no Birth Certificate but only a Baptismal Certificate and it was Authenticated at the Philippines Statistic Authority.
Baptismal Certificate can be used also as a requirement for admission in primary education in the Philippines. As Registered Wiccan Shrine or Temple could issue that documents to its members whereas Underground Coven can’t. Even they can formulate a certification, Educational and Government Institution will seek for the authenticity of that certificate if the issuing institution is recognized by Philippine Government or not.
Another factor is solemnizing wedding vow. Handfasting ritual conducted by a priest who runs an underground coven has no legal bearing while a registered Shrine or Temple has as long as they secure the Authority to Solemnize Wedding vow from PSA which also requires them their Certificate of Incorporation. The Wedding Certificates issued by a registered Wiccan Shrine or Temple in the Philippines is also recognized by foreign embassy when a Wiccan couple wish to migrate to the US, Canada, Europe even in Australia.
The atmosphere in the magical community in the Philippines before I registered Luntiang Aghama to SEC is full of fraud and deception, where some magical practitioners charge so much and even deceive people of their money that been paid to the magical services they are offering. Though registering Luntiang Aghama to SEC will have no power to stop other magical practitioners in their magical business, but at least people now will have a choice whom to trust because they could ask SEC to remove our recognition if one of our members who offer magical services and charge people with unreasonable price.
And lastly, when I study and meditate if I should push through the Registration of the Shrine, it teach me to have a concrete mission and vision as a path of the Shrine and formulate Guidelines that will help us reach our Goal. At least if you join a registered Shrine or Temple, you can be assured of your Safety and reach your spiritual goals, and with the help of the Government and law of the Land we can accomplish more than hiding in the dark.
Speaking of the Dark, i know most of the Underground covens are afraid of the Burning Times and this is why they kept their covens in secret. But hiding wont protect them if they allow the Dominant Religion to say bad against them freely. But a registered Wiccan Shrine or Temple could counteract those things because we are protected by the law of the land as we have our Juridical Personality that no dominant religion could take away.