On September 15, from the windows of the Dabu Building on Elias Angeles Street in Naga City, Ali Rich Garcia and I, with Mama Josefa Dabu, Carmelita Dabu and others, saw tens of thousands of men, rich and poor, walking barefoot as they followed the carrozas of the “Divino Rostro” (Holy Face of Jesus) and Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
We heard the endless chant of “Viva!”
We saw men trying to climb up the carroza and touch the dome holding the holy images. It is said that when you touch them, your prayers would be answered. The procession brought the icons to Tabuco Bridge where the pagoda, or barge, called “Danlugan ni Ina,” was later lodged. Only men could ride in the pagoda which was pulled by voyadores, or boatmen, down the Naga River.
People waved their handkerchiefs and uttered prayers by the riverbanks as the Peñafrancia passed.
Geminiano Manza, security officer at the Naga Airport, remembers that as a 19-year-old man in 1997, he saw then Mayor Jesse Robredo join the translacion. Manza then was one of many men who brought the anda with Ina ensconced in it from the Basilica to Naga Cathedral. They were barefoot as they walked the distance to the Cathedral.
At that time, Manza prayed for the recovery of his mother who was at the St. John Hospital suffering from uterus complications. His prayer was answered and his mother is healthy to this day. Robredo had died before the festivities this year. We miss him, Manza said.
Divine Mercy in Ligao, Albay
The construction of the Divine Mercy Shrine and Monastery of the Carmelite Nuns of the Holy Trinity at 811 Carmel Heights, Tuburan, Ligao City, has been stopped due to lack of funds.
Groundbreaking began in 2008. Architect is Jeruby Sevilla; the engineer is Ernesto Carlos Jr.
The nuns had settled there in 2005. At that time, Albay Rep. Fernando Gonzalez paved a path leading up to a hill now known as kawa kawa, with the 14 Stations of the Cross lining up. Gonzalez planted trees along the path.
Pilgrims then started driving up there, especially during Holy Week. This year, some 35,000 came to visit and pray.
It is called kawa kawa because the hill has no top, but a huge empty chasm shaped like a bowl.
The order Carmelite Nuns of the Holy Trinity was founded by Msgr. Fidelis Limcaco and Mother Maria Trinidad Bunac in 1994. There are four nuns in residence at the convent in Tuburan, Ligao: Sisters Bernadette Arpofo, Francis Cadelina, Arcangela Atup and Mary Margarette Bajo.
Besides the shrine and monastery, the nuns are also building a Columbary which will be launched on Oct. 27. Those who wish to send donations can write Carmelite Nuns of the Holy Trinity c/o the above address.
Donations may be deposited with Philippine National Bank, account number 224600300026, under the name Carmelite Nuns of the Holy Trinity (text Sister Bernadette at 0905-2821485).
Reunion of pilgrims
A grand reunion was held last Sept. 8 at the Edsa Shangri-La by those who took part in the Adam’s Travel pilgrimage to Marian shrines last year. Hosting the event was Dr. Josefa “Baby” Pineda who celebrated her 70th birthday.
Mamerth Banatin, Adam’s president, attended the event. Former pilgrims to the Holy Land, Egypt and Jordan, and Eastern Europe also attended.
New parish in Naic, Cavite San Isidro Labrador San Roque, Naic, Cavite, was formally declared a parish during a Holy Mass last Sept. 4, celebrated by Manila Archbishop and former Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle and Imus Bishop Emeritus Manuel Sobreviñas, along with 58 priests, including Fr. Orlie Jimenez, the new parish priest.
San Lorenzo Ruiz 25th anniversary
Fr. Erno Diaz, parish priest of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on Staten Island, New York, said several activities have been planned to mark the 25th anniversary of the canonization ofSan Lorenzo Ruiz.
Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, was canonized by Pope John Paul on Oct. 18, 1987, in Rome.
A statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz will be enshrined on Sept. 28, at the Immaculate Conception Parish on 14th Street by the group of Zeny Abbariao and Joe Ramos.
Fr. Diaz, who has propagated the devotion to the saint in New York since 1981, when Lorenzo Ruiz was beatified in Manila, hopes to launch his book, “San Lorenzo Ruiz and Filipinos in Diaspora.”
In Metro Manila, the San Lorenzo Ruiz Global Ministry has organized 12 noon Masses on Sept. 28 at the POEA Balik Manggagawa Processing Center and at the OFW Lounge of Terminal I. Msgr. Teston will celebrate the Mass.
The Santa Maria Goretti Church at the Pope Pius Xll Catholic Center will hold a Triduum of Masses on Sept. 25-27 at 6 p.m. with parish priest Fr. Joey Bustilo as celebrant.
Bishop Bernardino Cortez will celebrate the Fiesta Mass on Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. The Ambassadors of Light will sing.
Dr. Jaime Dy Liacco is holding a seminar on alternative self-medication on Sept. 29, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Gabaldon Room of Club Filipino on how to cure diabetes, cancer, hypertension, stroke, paralysis, dengue, slipped disks, arthritis, etc.
Organizer is the Philippine College for the Advancement in medicine. Entrance fee is P1,100 for members, and P1,200 for non-members. (Text 0917-8333828. Call tel. 3815210.)
The Negros Trade Fair will run Sept. 26-30 at the Rockwell Tent, Makati City.