By Nelson Groom
This is the mysterious Filipino mountain believed to have once been once visited by Jesus Christ – and the site of alien-abductions.
High in the misty mountains of the Luzon region sits an inactive volcano known as Mt. Banahaw that holds religious and spiritual importance alike.
Although the Southeast Asian nation is predominantly Catholic, extraterrestrial beliefs entwine with Christianity in this otherworldly setting.
Eerie photographs show pilgrims praying at candlelit caves festooned with Catholic icons and cults granting each other healing powers with sacred water.
Videographer Nikon Celis, who travelled to Mt. Banahaw during Holy Week in April, said: “I decided to go after a mystic told me to it would bring me closer to the spiritual would.”
“As a skeptic, I decided to be open for the possibility of cosmic revelation and spiritual transcendence.”
“The journey is like being transported through a portal. Tall trees, large rocks, statues and life-sized images of saints, altars and religious symbols all around.”
“The mood is calm and relaxing. It was Summer but you can’t feel the heat because of the elevation.”
The foot of the mountain is home to scores of religious and spiritual cults who dedicate their lives to mystery surrounding the lush mountain.
One group believes that Banahaw is the new Jerusalem and that Jesus set foot there, while another believes it is the landing site for extra-terrestrial beings to kidnap unsuspecting campers.
Nikon said that while there are many varied beliefs about the mountain, there’s one thing all pilgrims share thing in common: it is a beautiful place to pray.
Nikon said: “One group believes there is a footprint on the mountain belonging to Jesus Christ.”
“There are also reports from residents of hikers going missing, which some people believe is because of aliens. They believe it’s the perfect landing site for UFOs.”
“There was also lot of spiritual businesses, shops selling amulets to ward off evil spirits and magic herbs.”
“Some believe it is a place where mystics and healers can recharge their powers to heal the sick and fight evil forces like demons, black elves and evil spirits.”
“Whatever your belief, the mountain is a good place for religious pilgrimage and soul searching, and getting touch with spirituality.”