Photobucket

Byaheng Bicol Ulit
Peñafrancia 2012
ITLOG_No. 16
(14-16.09.2012)

On our first trip to Bicol the last time, we went to witness the Feast of Peñafrancia, and I promised that the following year we would again visit and pay Homage to our Lady of Peñafrancia, and after the Feast we would be going around Bicol Region to visit places that we haver never been to.

The feast of The Feast of Our Lady of Peñafranica is celebrated on the third Saturday of September in Naga City, Bicol Philippines. All roads and routes will lead to Naga City in Camarines Sur where six million Bicolanos from here and abroad will flock to that progressive city to pay honor to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, miraculous patroness of the Bicol Region. Bicolanos from all walks of life will be in Naga City to meet their relatives and partidarios, share food, drinks, and prayers with them, and most of all, to pay homage and make thanksgiving to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, whom the Bicolanos fondly call Ina. Viva la Virgen, they will shout to high heavens. The feast day is headed by a novena, nine days of prayer, in honor of the Virgin. On the first day, the image of the Virgin, a copy of the Madonna in Peñafrancia, Spain, is brought from its shrine to the Naga Cathedral where the novena is held. On the last day, the image is returned to her shrine following the Naga River route. The colorful evening procession is lit by thousands of candles from followers in boats escorting the image. When the flatboat reaches its destination, the devotees shout “Viva la Virgen” (Long live the Virgin!) and the image is carried back in a procession to the cathedral.

Millions of Bicolanos will once again show to the whole Christian world their strong faith and loyalty to their Heavenly Mother. amongst triumphant sounding shouts of Viva la Virgen , Bicolanos and pilgrims, with lighted candles in their hands, will kneel on the ground and bow their heads in prayer as the colorful fluvial procession carrying the Virgin plows through the Bicol River in downtown Naga.

A multicolored pagoda carrying the images/icons of the Virgin of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro will pass through the Bicol River. Male, sunburned devotees of the Virgin will adhere to the huge pagoda in a heartwarming display of faith and devotion. Actually, the fluvial procession marks the return of the Virgin from the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral to her home shrine at the Basilica. Upon its arrival, the Virgin will be received in formal religious rites by Roman Catholic dignitaries of the Bicol Region, led by Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez. 


Considered the biggest and most popular religious event in the Philippines, the Peñafrancia fiesta is in fact a one-week affair that starts on the second Friday of September when the miraculous Ina is transferred from her shrine to the centuries-old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral where a nine-day novena and prayers are held in her honor. Ranking government officials, Cabinet members, ambassadors, governors, mayors, senators, diputados , business/industry leaders, landlords, etc., vie for the distinct honor of sponsoring a nightly novena and prayers at the Naga Cathedral.

A procession, locally called traslacion (is the transferring of the miraculous Image of the Virgin, Our Lady of Peñafrancia and of the Divino Rostro to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga City for a Novena and Holy Masses. This begun in 1885.), ushers in the weeklong festivities which include civic and military parades, sports competitions, agro-industrial fairs, cultural shows, and the coronation of Miss Bicolandia beauties. 

During the traslacion, which passes through the main streets of Naga, the miraculous Ina of the Bicolanos is borne on the rugged, muscular shoulders of barefooted voyadores who form a human barricade to protect the Virgin from the unruly crowd. Call it absolute coincidence or plain superstition, but any Bicolano will swear to high heavens that the presence of a woman, Filipina or foreigner, aboard the merrily decorated pagoda will surely spell disaster. Whether this belief is true or not, only the Bicolanos know. But past events and experiences support their claim.

Just like last year, we would meet at Sta. Rosa, Laguna, so we, together with friends took the JAM bus at Cubao and headed for Sta Rosa at around 1730hrs, and upon arriving at Sta Rosa, we headed for the local Tropical Hut to eat our dinner. Then by 2030hrs, we were on our way to Daet, where we would meet up with another friend. Traveling at night with all the accidents that we passed along the way, and was even stranded by the road for 2 hours. Arriving at Daet early in the morning, where we had some coffee and hot choco and rested for a bit then headed for Bagasbas beach to eat lugaw. Then we headed for Naga, to attend the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

Reaching Naga, after looking for a place to park, we walked going to the Cathedral to hear mass, then after, we walked along the route and looked for a place to take photos, here we were brought to a place where they were cooking Dinuguan with Saba and gata, and were ask to taste the food that they cooked, which tasted good. After the image of Ina passed, we then gathered our things and headed to Iriga, where we ate at a roadside restaurant for dinner, then headed to the house where we would spend the night and had a drinking session.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Waking up early in the morning, we prepared for the activity of the day, which was to go around Legaspi. After having a heavy breakfast of Ginataang Santol, we headed for Legaspi and passed by the place called “Kawa-Kawa Hill”.

Kawa Kawa Hill is a 236 meter land form located in California Village, Brgy. Tuburan, Ligao City. Its name is derived from its curious shape resembling a ‘kawa’ or cauldron. From afar, Kawa-Kawa may seem as ordinary as any other hill, but from its summit, one can see its unique feature in its full glory – an amphitheater-like six-hectare crater. Because of this peculiar characteristic, it is also called ‘the hill without a hilltop’.

Today, the Kawa-Kawa Hill is now one of Albay’s tourist destinations, developed by the city government of Ligao spearheaded by Albay 3rd District Rep. Fernando Gonzalez. It offers a stunning 360 degree view of Ligao City and neighboring towns, as well as sprawling green fields and nearby Mts. Masaraga and Mt. Mayon.

The hill is also famous as a religious destination because of the larger than life Stations of the Cross lining the 500-meter path to the crater and extending all the way around the crater’s 836-meter rim. During the Lenten Season, devotees flock to Kawa-Kawa to reflect and meditate on the Stations of the Cross as penance.
Recreation facilities and attractions in Kawa-Kawa Hill include a Philippines Eagle Scout Advancement Camp and Facilities, a volleyball court and horseback riding. On the hills slopes, dinorado (high-quality mountain rice), pineapple and vegetables are cultivated to promote agriculture and environmental awareness.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

After which we headed into town and bought Pili to bring back home and ask where we could buy raw pili, and we were directed to a place called Morato Pili Sweets, we learned that this is a factory where they make Pili sweets and I ask if we could take pictures on how they make pili, and they gladly showed us in.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

We then headed for Legaspi and took some photos at Legaspi Boulevard, but since it was cloudy, Mt. Mayon was not visible. We then headed for a restaurant where they serve Chili ice cream and would be interested to taste it. Arriving at Colonial Grill Express, where we ordered our food for lunch, and for dessert the Chili Ice Cream with other flavors of ice cream like Malungay, Pili, Tinutong, Kalamansi, and Baily’s, which all tasted good.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

After lunch we headed out and passed by the place of one of our good friend, Arpie, which is called “FHM”, not the men’s magazine but it truly means “Feeding the Hungry Minds”. It is a small library with lots of books and there kids would have their time reading there, including other activities. After leaving some DVD for kids (care of Daniel), we headed out to Daet for our Dinner.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Arriving at Daet, we ate at a place called “Alvino’s Roast, Grill and Fry”, where we ordered their famed Binalot. After dinner and saying goodbye’s to our friend, we started heading back to Manila, with a stop over at Tiaong, Quezon, and then went down at Turbina, where we took the bus back to Manila.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Our trip this time was another thrill like last time, because we got to see other places that we did not get to see and experience other things.

Till our Next Travel… HAPPY TRAILS!!!

Specail Thanks to

Sir Merves – for the ride and everything else
Pao – sama ulit next year
Daniel – as always masarap kasama
Dani – kasama namin
Carol – Palagi kong kasama

All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

Comments
  1. carol says:

    hindi lang palaging kasama, kundi mahal kong kasama palagi!!

  2. aida barcelon says:

    Hello joey,

    the pictures are awesome! Hopefully our canon 650d can do the same thing. My family is heading to bicol this holy week..road trip.. thats why im checking a lot of travel blogs. Only in yours that i saw the last supper and station of the cross made of huge statues. I presumed it is in naga, can i ask where is the exact location please, i am so excited to see them..thank you and god bless

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s