A photo of Chin Chin Gutierrez

Chin Chin Gutierrez

Manila, Philippines


By the time I reached my college years, I had to confront the question of the existence of God in a philosophy class. Believe it or not, it actually touched a core in my being—the fact that we could question the existence of God in a very Catholic school. Maybe nobody noticed it, but I approached my professor and asked, ‘I know this is for the grade, but is anyone going to take care of my soul while I’m at it? While my mind is trying to convince myself and find proof that God does not exist, does not God hear me, and is anyone going to be responsible for my soul?’

He smiled and said, ‘Continue, continue. You are entering something very interesting and beautiful. So pursue that even as you try to make the grade.’

For some reason, I understood what he meant and that was, I think, the awakening of consciousness for me. The quest had begun. And I spoke to HaShem, to Our Heavenly Father, to The Source of All Life that made me become and exist, and said, ‘I would like to be true to You. There is more beyond that we can all comprehend. What we are conditioned to believe is probably a beginning. But truth is the journey that You want us all to take. Just like a father to a daughter, He would love that His daughter knows Him personally and truly. Not just know about Him, about his science, about His works.’ And so I said, ‘Yes, I will take that journey. I will not turn my back on anything, I will just expand myself and let You form and mold me.’

Daniel’s Reflection

Chin Chin Gutierrez is a famous actress and model in the Philippines...and so much more. She is the daughter of a woman who was one vow away from being a nun and a man who was a botanist. Chin Chin grew up understanding both the spirit of God and evidence of God’s love. She has emerged as one of the leading voices of environmental sustainability in the Philippines.

Chin Chin is one of the most extraordinary individuals I have ever met including on this Portraits in Faith journey. She herself took a journey and interviewed indigenous peoples of the Philippines over a three-year period to understand their ancient wisdom and lovingly collect their lullabies. She recorded 17 of those lullabies on an album and included a second disc of 34 lullabies as originally sung to her by the keepers of those traditions. This interview was recorded at the site of her family’s home which burned down in the prior year. Even that was understood by Chin Chin as an answer to a spiritual offer to have all that is not necessary to the journey be removed. To speak with Chin Chin is to come in contact with someone who has surpassed dogma and ritual and has entered into a unity with all people and the Earth.

Chin Chin left the movie industry in the years following this interview and she is now Sister Lourdes, a member of a Carmelite monastery since 2010. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity to spend time with a fellow seeker. It reminds me that the journey is ongoing and ever-expanding every day of our lives.

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