Devotees of Nuestra Señora del Pilar in the country will be happy to know that the miraculous image enshrined in the Cathedral in Imus, Cavite, will be canonically crowned on Dec. 3, 3 p.m., by new Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. It is interesting to find out how the image of the Virgin Mary under this title reached Cavite, particularly Imus.
According to the Archives of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines, the image arrived in the Philippines in the year 1623, brought by Father Martin Lumbreras y Peralta, OAR (Blessed Martin de San Nicolas, 1598-1632), son of Lazaro Lumbreras and Anna Iriate y Peralta of Zaragoza, Spain, which had the Virgen del Pilar as patroness. Fr. Martin, being a native of Zaragoza, had a fervent devotion to her.
Image brought to Imus
After being enshrined in the San Nicolas de Tolentino Church in Intramuros, the image was moved to Imus on May 28, 1694, when the Recollect friars decided to go on a mission to Cavite. A house was then built to accommodate the Recollect missionaries called “Casa Hacienda de Imus,” which is Cuartel at present.
The image was temporarily placed in the Enfermaria. In 1715, the image was transferred to a chapel made of bamboo and dried leaves located in Tuclong (which later on became Pueblo Viejo, now called “Bayan Luma”).
Because it was only built from light materials, the chapel would repeatedly perish from the typhoons and fire; thus, on September 1719, the friars decided to finally build a new chapel made of stone in the same place.
Imus as a parish
Imus was made a separate town in 1773. However, it still did not have its own parish. At that time, it was still under the Parish of Saint Mary Magdalene of Cavite El Viejo (Kawit, at present). A new church made of stone was finally built with the stones from the demolished church of San Juan de Bagumbayan in Intramuros, which was ordered demolished by the Governor General in 1766 because it was a hindrance in defending the city from the attacks of the Dutch at that tine.
The stones were brought to Hacienda de Imus to be used in building a new and bigger church in the middle of Hacienda de Bagomboy in Sitio de Balangon (site of the present Imus Cathedral). This is also how the sacred image of Our Lady of Pillar got to be enshrined in Cathedral in Imus and has been there for hundreds of years.
‘Fiesta ng mangingisda ng Malabon’
Malabon, Rizal, celebrates the feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion Dec. 8-10 every year. But Dec. 9 is fiesta of the fishermen, when they bring out La Inmaculada Concepcion borne in a pagoda in a fluvial procession, while Dec. 10 is the fiesta of the town.
Malabon being a fishing town celebrates the most on Dec. 9, but church activities start with the salubong of the images of San José de Navotas, visiting the canonical image of Our Lady at the parish of the Inmaculada Concepcion in Concepcion, Malabon.
In the afternoon is the procession, locally known as Dalaw Bahay. From the parish church, the image is carried by devotees and participants around town; at certain points, the image is passed to another group of devotees before it is brought to the Rufina Patis Factory on Cuatro Cantos St. in Baritan. Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez will say the Mass.
Since 1946, Rufina Patis Factory has been the sponsor of the fluvial procession every year. It became a vow for the family to continue the tradition. Even before the death of Rufina Salao Lucas, she called her son Jesus Lucas and her daughter-in-law Monina Rodriguez Lucas, and told them to continue with the tradition. Thanks to architect Richard Tuason Bautista from Navotas for the information.
Batangas is 431 years
The province of Batangas headed by Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto will celebrate its 431st anniversary with the Ala Eh Festival through its host city, Tanauan, headed by Mayor Sonia Torres Aquino. Giving support is Tanuan Vice Mayor Julius Caesar G. Platon II. Mutya ng Batangas 2012 will be on Dec. 5, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., at the newly renovated gymnasium in Tanauan. Well-known fashion designer Oskar Peralta will dress up the 25 candidates in their long gowns.
Calungsod play on tour
Francis O. Villacorta’s historical drama “Pedro Calungsod, Batang Santo” goes on tour on Dec. 3-4 at Saint Louis University; University of Assumption on Dec. 7 and 14; and in Angeles, Pampanga, on Dec. 17. The play will also be staged in St. Paul University Manila’s Fleur de Lis theater on Dec. 18.
Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur
The people of Sata Catalina in Ilocos Sur are deeply devoted to their patron saint, St. Catherine of Alexandria, whose feast falls on Nov. 25. The present parish priest, Fr. Vic Rabaca, held the Novena Masses in the various villages.
Instead of holding the hermanos Mayores Mass at the Ayuntamiento in Intramuros, the Cofradia de la Inmaculada Concepcion will hold the Mass at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. Monsignor Diosdado Talamayan, Archbishop Emeritus of Tuguegarao, is main celebrant.
Gaudencio “Boy” Ponce will bring out the Nuestra Señora de Verdad y Justicia during the procession at 4 p.m. today. The Relic of St. Padre Pio inside a reliquary will be placed on the carroza. Four hundred mini rosaries that touched the Tomb of St. Padre Pio will be given away.