The parish of Divine Mercy marked early enough the Tercentenary of devotion to the Virgin of Peñafrancia last August.
A replica of the image of Our Lady and the image of Divino Rostro was routed around the parochial vicinity of the parish. Pious volunteer “voyadores” carried the image in a makeshift platform on their shoulder towards the San Miguel bay by the shoreline of barangay Belen.
It was a total recreation of what could be seen and experienced from the original celebration that will unfold in Naga city on the third week of September.
From the shoreline, a volunteer boat, among many participants, from the Bureau of Forestry and Aquatic Resources was used as the Pagoda (adorned boat) that sailed the images on the calm sea then towards the Inarihan river at Paolbo and the sub-barangay of Ratay.
It was a combined Traslacion like the transfer of the images from the Peñafrancia Basilica in Naga that unfolds this coming Friday and fluvial procession that starts from Naga Cathedral towards the Naga river and back to the Basilica.
The traslacion and the fluvial procession may not be as big comparable to the real one, but as far as the parishioners and the parish, it was the closest thing that can be done to commemorate and honor the Tercentenary. Parishioners and devotees had their closest encounter yet during that event.
There was a tiny bit of shower that made the warm air cooler but as to how much the downpour aided to raise the water level of the river, we do not have any idea.
Almost like the Naga tradition, when time for the fluvial event comes, people and devotees would chant, and pray and wish that the rain and high tide come to the rescue of the shallow Naga river.
This second year of celebration spearheaded by the first and current parish priest Fr. Eligio Jovencio Balang of Divine Mercy is a feat to surpass. Other versions in the country or in other parts of the world do celebrate the feast by holding the Eucharistic mass.
The success of the entire event must also be credited to various lay leaders and organizations of the parish. The parish is located in barangay Paolbo of Calabanga.
A new tradition here is slowly gaining ground that soon enough will become an attraction in the years to come.
Photos here by our Tony Abalayan, Jr. and the parish of Divine Mercy