Wednesday, July 11, 2012


With a land area of just 316 square kilometers, which is smaller than the island of Siquijor but with a population of more than four hundred thousand, Malta is not just one of the smallest countries of the world but is also one of the densest in population.   Although still fiercely Catholic, comprising 98%, secularism has slowly crawled into the society from mainland Europe. The clear barometer of this is when they  legalized divorce last year, the second to the last country in the world to do so. Yet signs of religiousity are still everywhere.  Of, course the faith in Malta comes from Apostolic times.  St. Paul was in fact, shipwrecked on this island.  One can see almost in every corner a church and they are all magnificent pieces of art. They say there are more than 360 churches in the three islands which composes the country: Malta, Gozo and the small island of Comino in between the two.  Just beside the door of many houses are religious icons prominently displayed besides the unique doorknobs that every house has.

Two famous seacapes that Malta has are the Blue Grotto and the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Grotto are six caverns dug by years of relentless pounding of the waves and the wind along the  rocky coastland of Malta.  Tourist boats would pass through these picturesque arches and caverns amidst a sparkling blue sea.   The Blue Lagoon, on the other hand, found in the small island of Comino is where tourists go for a day of swimming and sunbathing.  With only a rocky beach but with dazzlingly blue waters  tourists come by the hundreds on a day cruise ship on this small inlet. 

The lovely Church of Ta Pinu is a famous place of pilgrimage in the island of Gozo in Malta

The Ta-Pinu Basilica

One of the side altars in the Ta Pinu Basilica

The dome of the Ta Pinu Basilica

Two churches are prominently perched as seen from the port of Gozo

At the port in Gozo

The Mdina Cathedral, the real Cathedral of Malta. 

The baroque Mdina Cathedral of Malta. 


A corridor inside the parish rectory of one of the churches featuring the honey colored marble found in Malta.

A copy of the baldachino of Bernini found in the St. Peters Basilica in Rome is in the St. George Basilica in Malta

Most churches of Malta have domes which vary only in size and in its artistry. 

Make no mistake, the dome above is fake.  It is only an optical illusion by painting the flat surface of the ceiling like a dome making it look real. This is found in Cathedral of Gozo, Malta. 

The dome  of the Mosta Parish Church (Rotunda)

 Almost every space is occupied with buildings in Valleta, the capital of Malta. 

Relic from the bone of the right wrist of St. Paul who was shipwrecked in Malta is preserved in
the Parish church of St. Paul's Shipwreck. 

Another fragment of the relics of St. Paul was brought on a procession. 

Posing with the relics of St. Paul being brought on a procession during the International Congress of the Clergy. 

With some Filipino delegates.

This image of the the Virgin  Mary found in one church shed tears of real blood. 

A tree along the road of Malta is in the form of a crucifix. 

Young pupils going inside the Grotto in the church of St. Paul in Rabat

A sidestreet in Malta

A public transport bus in Malta

The Blue Grotto. 

Inside one  of the caverns at the Blue Grotto.

Tourist boats would come in and out of the the six caverns of the Blue Grotto.

The Blue Grotto.

The 140ft. arch in the Blue Grotto.

In one of  the caverns. 

The Blue Grotto

Doing the Blue Grotto tour with some other priests from different countries.

  The place were boats would dock in order to go to the Blue Grotto.

Cruise ships dock for the day at the Blue Lagoon 

The Blue Lagoon in the island of Comino

There is no sandy shore in the Blue Lagoon.

This was already late in October and the water was already getting cooler. 

Sunbathers would just take whatever flat rock they could fine in order to sunbathe. 

Others would just content to sunbathe at the sundeck of the cruise ship.

One item that caught my attention in Malta were the unique doorknobs that they had. 

A dolphin for a doorknob

Other forms of doorknobs.

Religious icons are also found by the  front door of many houses. 

Sunset in Malta