This article seeks to be a clearinghouse of information and links regarding the history and state of '''[[Orthodox Christianity]] in the Philippines'''. The current Orthodox presence in the Philippines is minimal. However, early in the 20th century a small Russian parish, exclusively for Russian nationals, once existed in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The presence of this Russian parish ceased to exist after the Second World War. Another Orthodox parish under the [[jurisdiction]] of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]] was founded in Manila during the early 1990s.
== Beginnings of Christianity in the Philippines ==
== Arrival of Orthodoxy ==
1800s - Antiochian Orthodox Christians=== It appears that the first Orthodox Christians on the islands were Syrian and Lebanese merchants and sailors, who arrived in Manila after it was opened to outside trade. The first recorded Orthodox Christians in the Philippines were Syrian and Lebanese sailors in 1802 according to the Syrian Consulate in Manila. [http:// www. orthodox. org. ph/ content/ view/ 583/1/] Many of the Lebanese sailors married and their families still reside in the Philippines and have become Filipino citizens, including the owners of a famous pizza parlor in Manila. The oldest living Orthodox Christian in the Philippines, a Lebanese by the last name of Assad, was born around 1904.
===1930s - Russian Orthodox Christians===
[[Image:John Maximovitch Tubabao.jpg|right|thumb|Abp. John Maximovitch in Tubabao]]An influx of Russian emigrees fleeing the Soviet regime
occured during the American colonial regime. In 1935, a Russian [[parish]] was established in Manila, and the [[Patriarch]] of Moscow and All Russia appointed Father Mikhail Yerokhin as vicar. The Episcopal Church then permitted Fr. Mikhail to use the north transept of their cathedral for worship. In 1937, the first Orthodox church was built and was named after the Iberian [[Icon]] of the Mother of God. This also became the first Orthodox [[altar]] in the Philippines. Later, both the Episcopal Cathedral and the Russian Orthodox church in Manila were destroyed during the Second World War.
In 1949, 5,500 Russian Orthodox from China, including then-[[Archbishop]] [[John Maximovitch]], were relocated to Tubabao in the south central Philippines by the International Refugee Organization and with the permission of the newly independent Republic of the Philippines. Abp. John Maximovitch then established a wooden church, orphanage, and other buildings in Tubabao exclusively for the Russian refugees.
Tubabao, however, was (and still is) an underdeveloped island which is humid, prone to typhoons, and at times inaccessible due to the ocean conditions. When a Russian commented on their fear that a typhoon would destroy their camp to local Filipinos, they replied that there was nothing to worry about because
“your holy man blesses your camp from four directions every night. ” There were no typhoons or floods while Abp. John was there.
Abp. John Maximovitch did not preach the Orthodox faith to the native inhabitants of the Philippine islands. No Filipino was baptized, chrismated, ordained or consecrated during his stay in the Philippines. Through the persistent lobbying of Abp. John to the U.S. Congress, the refugees were allowed to settle in the United States and Australia beginning in 1951.
=== 1990s -
Greek Orthodox Christians===Around the beginning of the twentieth century, Greek sailors settled in Legaspi city on the island of Luzon about a century ago. Descendants of these Greek Orthodox Christian sailors now number no more than 10 families, who have kept their Greek surnames and many of whom have become distinguished public figures and intellectuals in the Philippines, including serving as the Greek consulate in Manila. Though they do not speak Greek, they were largely responsible for the re-establishment of an Orthodox presence in the Philippines through their encouragement of Filipino converts and the Hellenic Orthodox Foundation.
[[Image:Manila_orthodox_cathedral.jpg|left|thumb|The Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral in Paranaque, Manila]]One of the first Greek Orthodox to arrive in the
Philippines was Alexandros Athos Adamopoulos (aka Alexander A. Adamson), who came to Legaspi city in 1928. Together with his brother and cousin he co-founded Adamson University in 1932 . The university was and is noted for its curriculum directed towards the needs of the Philippines in the areas of science, chemical and industrial engineering. Adamson University, now owned by the Vincentian Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church , has attained recognition as a leading institution for graduate education, law, arts, sciences, chemistry, computer education, engineering, commerce and architechture. The university has a student population of over 22,000.
Adamopoulos was appointed in 1942 by the Greek government to take charge of Greek interests in the Philippines. He was later promoted to the rank of Consul General of Greece.
In 1989, Adamopoulos saw the need to establish the first true Greek Orthodox church in the Philippines and thus established the Hellenic Orthodox Foundation Inc. Although he died in 1993 before the church was completed, the Orthodox Cathedral was finished in 1996 and is constructed in true Byzantine style, with all the interior furnishings imported from Greece, and is home to approximately
200 Orthodox in Metro Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. This cathedral was consecrated by the Ecumenical Patriarch on March 5, 2000.
===1990s - First Filipino converts===
On April 20, 1990, a Filipino [[hieromonk]], Fr. Vincentius Escarcha (a former Benedictine Abbot and a Roman Catholic priest for more than 20 years in Bajada, Cataingan, Masbate island), together with four nuns and faithful members of his community, were received into the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan [[Dionysios (Psiahas) of Proussa|Dionysios]] of the [[Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Zealand]] and assisted by [[Sotirios (Trambas) of Korea|Bishop Sotirios of Zelon]]. On January 19, 1994, Metropolitan Dionysios, assisted by Bishop Sotirios, received by [[Chrismation|Holy Chrismation]] several Filipino Christians in Manila.
==Orthodoxy in the Philippines today==
Within the Ecumenical Patriarchate's [[Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia]], there are currently three Filipino Orthodox priests in the Philippines
under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and are administratively under an ecclesiastical vicar from Greece. In these communities, the Divine Liturgy and other Orthodox worship services are said in English, Greek and Filipino.
Metropolitan Archbishop [[Paul (Saliba) of Australia and New Zealand|Paul (Saliba)]] appeared to have established the now defunct '''Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission in the Philippines '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochian_Orthodox_Christian_Mission_in_the_Philippines] within the [[Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand]]( as per the Holy Synod of Antioch) .
There are also some [[Independent Orthodox churches|independent groups]] in the Philippines that use the term ''Orthodox'' in their names but are not in communion with or are recognized by any canonical Orthodox church.
ocp. uni.cc Affiliate in the Philippines - Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia] *[http://www.geocities.com/orthodoxyphilippines/ Official Website of the now defunct Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission in the Philippines]. See also Wikipedia Encyclopedia article [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochian_Orthodox_Christian_Mission_in_the_Philippines].
*[http://filorthodoxia.googlepages.com/church.htm History of the First Filipino Orthodox Community in the Philippines] by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis
*[http://www.orthodoxnews.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=WorldNews.one&content_id=7354&CFID=29993857&CFTOKEN=90155693 Ecumenical Patriarch Consecrates Annunciation Church in Manila]
*[http://www.orthodox.org.ph Orthodox Church in the Philippines]
*[http://www.orthodox.cn/news/20000420philippines_en.htm Orthodox Patriarch Visits Fledgling Local Orthodox Church]
*[http://www.cs.ust.hk/faculty/dimitris/metro/AUG03.pdf The Theotokos Orthodox Church & Monastery in Masbate] (Information in an issue of The Censer)
*[http://www.cs.ust.hk/faculty/dimitris/metro/Phil_major_events.html Major Events of Orthodoxy in the Philippines]
*[http://www.cs.ust.hk/faculty/dimitris/metro/Phil_history.html A priest's description of Orthodox missionary work in the Philippines]
*[http://www.rocor.org.au/lives/stjohnsanfranciscoshanghai Life of St. John Maximovitch]
*[http://www2.mfa.gr/www.mfa.gr/Articles/en-US/03042007_KL1949.htm The Greek Community in the Philippines]
*[http://www.hri.org/forum/life/adamson.html Greeks in the Philippines and their contributions to the Filipinos]