Religion is a very touchy subject I try to avoid over casual conversation. I give my utmost respect to people’s belief and that also seems to be the case for the Minahasa people who built the Bukit Kasih or a place commonly called The Hill of Love. Found at the steamy sulfuric grounds of Kanonang Village in Kawangkoan, it is where 5 different religious beliefs congregate. A place where different religions can worship side by side in harmony.
The Hill of Love
There’s a 5-sided monument as the centerpiece of the lower hill at Bukit Kasih. Each side represents 5 different religions, Catholic, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhism. Each houses has a place of worship standing on the upper hill. Aside from this holy congregation, the hill is also believed to be the original home of the Minihasa Tribe ancestors, the faces of Toar and Lumimuut can be found on the hillsides. On the sides, the hot sulfuric waters are also used for therapeutic outdoor spas, some even for cooking and boiling eggs. Grab a grilled corn for an afternoon snack at the many stalls in the area.
Pulutan Village Pottery
On the way to the Hill of Love, we had an interesting stop at Pulutan Village in Tondano. There is a thriving industry of weaving and pottery in the area. We were only able to visit the pottery though. It’s basically the same as how we do it in the Philippines particularly Pinagburnayan in Vigan. The difference is the Indonesia elements into their designs.
Whenever we buy furnitures we just go to a shop like cabinets, tables, or shelves, we choose, then the shop would disassemble, deliver to your home then assemble. But how about houses? At Woloan Village, we drove across their national highway and sow rows of Minahasa traditional houses. Our guide told us we could choose one and have it delivered anywhere reachable around the world from Indonesia. Is he serious? They call these Minahasa traditional designed as “Knockdown Houses”. Mostly made from ironwood, it takes about a month to construct them. Buyers spen about US$1000-10,000 for these houses depending on complexity and design. They are knocked-down, shipped then re-assembled at its new location. With the complexity of re-assembling these houses, the builder will come along in the package to assist on re-building this house. I thought this was very economical and people actually buy them from across Indonesia and abroad. People of Tomohon found these houses practical as it earthquake-proof and safe.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.