There are very few atheists in the Philippines because the spirit world is very real here. People see spirits, are hurt or healed by spirits, and generally try hard to stay away from the disfavor of spirits. Most people have some type of charm as protection from spirits, which is understandable. Religion is wide-spread, but religion isn't the answer that Filipino people need.
Religious activities can appease and manipulate spirits, but religion can never appease or manipulate God. That's why the gospel of Jesus Christ is so life-changing. The good news is that we don't deserve God's favor, nor can we earn it. So, God gives His favor to us through a relationship with Jesus Christ. It's called GRACE! We can't earn it or manipulate it. We can only receive it on a daily basis. As Christ-followers, we are told by God that He cares about us so much that everything that comes into our lives will work together for our good. "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28.
I am aware that demons and angels are in a cosmic battle for the souls of men. I realize that demons can make me sick and even kill me. So, why am I not afraid? Why am I not taking steps to protect myself or appease the spirits? The good news is that Jesus Christ has authority over all of the spirits, both demons and angels. I don't fear death or disease from evil spirits because I have been adopted into the family of God. I am a child of God. I am protected by Jesus Christ both day and night. "Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in Heaven and on Earth." Matthew 28:18
Here in the Philippines, people and cities have patron saints who negotiate with God on their behalf to avert evil and gain favor. Why don't I ask a patron saint or a deceased relative to help me get God's attention? The reason is simple: God doesn't want me to. He has given me the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ intercede for me at His throne. God wants us to have direct communication with Him through prayer. He doesn't want us to ask dead humans or spirits to add weight to our prayers.
Recently, I visited the Quiapo Catholic church of the Black Nazarene, where people touched the images, prayed to them, and rubbed cloths on them for healing powers. Why? Because sometimes they get healed. It happens enough that people put their faith in the images, hoping for a miracle. When I looked into the faces of the people, I saw a cold, hard, hopelessness. Though some get answers, those answers do not bring healing to the soul. Those answers just create a debt that is repaid through future adoration. How is that Jesus different than Jesus Christ? The good news is that Jesus Christ has given me a new life, a life of reflecting Him in the world. I don't have to repay my debt to Jesus because I can't. Instead of trying to pay my debt, I give Jesus my whole life, returning to the original purpose that I was created for: To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
We're a family on mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the Philippines.