This afternoon, the official festivities on the celebration of the tercentenary of Peñafrancia in the region kicks off at the Basilica Minore in barangay Balatas of Naga city.
The revered images of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro will be transported via a long procession on the city streets after the traditional high mass at the home church of the images.
The images used to be housed at the Peñafrancia shrine, in the avenue of the same name, up until the construction and dedication of the new Basilica years ago. The new church is situated on the opposite bank of the Naga river, facing the shrine.
New custom-built designed carriages from the town of Magarao, will make a debut on this occasion, one each for the images. The introduction of which shorten the time to transport the images just like last year, when the system was introduced.
It was a clear departure on the usual tradition before when the images were borne on the shoulders of “voyadores” thru a wooden portable platform. Voyadores are men who volunteered with either (1) promise to carry the image, (2) wanted to change their lives for the better, (3) make amends for the wrong they have done in the past, hence they do penance for that, (4) get an indulgence out of their sacrifice during the procession, (5) curious of what it really feels carrying the images, or (6) to show their pious reverence and strong faith.
Yes, there are no women allowed to join these group of men least they get crushed in the (hustle and jostle) process.
The procession lasts for hours up until the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral otherwise known for its official title of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. The images will temporarily stay at the cathedral for nine days of veneration, prayers and masses.
Have to check out the prevailing weather in the afternoon as usually during this occasion rain is a constant visitor. But to many, it is a welcome downpour due heat exhausts the participants and spectators alike.
Thanks to Sky Watch Team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia. See more skies on this link. Skywatch Friday