The fertility dance

Katherine Visconti
The fertility dance of Obando- to some its almost a pagan ritual, to others its miraculous

OBANDO, Bulacan – In the predominantly Catholic Philippines, many believe the answer to infertility lies in the church.

A yearly dance ritual brings hundreds of hopeful couples to Obando, Bulacan. 

They sway hoping to be blessed with a child. 

Noriejay has a low sperm count and his wife Jennifer has polysystic ovaries. 
They’ve been trying to have a baby for 6 years.

It’s about time. They say if you ask St. Pasqual to have a baby boy he will grant it and if you ask St. Claire you will have a girl. 
Rich and poor alike say patron saints can help select the sex of a baby. 



After Ray Lazaro’s firstborn, he tried for 15 years to have another child. 
He prayed to St. Claire and now thanks her every year for his daughter. 

The ritual has become a part of these Filipino families. 

Juanita passed the tradition down to her daughter and her daughter’s daughters. 

She says the entire family has trouble conceiving. It took her 8 years to have her first daughter.

We had one aunt who took 18 years. She came here and had 2 kids.



Each year thousands of Filipinos pray to patron saints for miracles.

As a nursing student Cathy respects not only science but the miracle of creating a new life.

We believe in the power of prayer. There was a time my baby was in
critical condition. That was when our faith became stronger. God saved
our baby. Actually we faced many challenges. But we never stopped
praying. There are other premature babies who don’t survive. He was
born 3 months premature but God saved him for us because we prayed the
novena. So it’s really about faith.


Katherine Visconti, Rappler, Bulacan. –

Click on the links below for more.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.