Peñafrancia Festival in Retrospect

“All’s well that ends well,” a popular saying that is often quoted by many and here we are, doing the same, for we just can not leave behind the immediately past regional event last week without this concluding piece.

The Peñafrancia tercentenary, religious festivities, celebration and fiesta all rolled into nine days in the Bicol region which centered its focal events in the city of Naga eclipsed the previous and many years of observance.

We can now rightfully claim that it was really the mother of all festivities in the region. The attendance was so ginormous it would be hard to replicate except in the name of the Virgin of Peñafrancia and for another century, perhaps.

Educated estimate placed the attendance to 2.5 million to 3 million people. Considering that Bicol has a population of only over 5 million residents, then more than half of those who flocked to Naga and the environs came from outside the region and other parts of the world.

A magnanimous boost to the local tourism. It was proof that beyond the things material and all, people have instilled in their hearts and mind religiousness and veneration to the Patroness of Bicol.

Airports in the provinces of Albay (in Legazpi city) and Camarines Sur (in the capital town of Pili for Naga city) were kept busy with take offs and landings of scheduled flights from national carriers. Bus terminals in both areas experienced surmounting volume of arrivals and then much later, departures, of passengers.

Worth mentioning here was the very excellent program of action and coordination entered into between the city government of Naga and the Catholic heirarchy in the region- the Archdiocese of Caceres.

A well planned event left no stone unturned and delivered what was beyond the expectations of the residents and guests, alike.

So far, no major untoward incident (read: no public disturbance) ever marred the celebrations, a really good job which should be credited to the local officials and the police forces.

The Philippine Airforce (PAF), our guardian of the nation’s airspace, lent a helping hand, nay, “flying wings” by just doing their regular routine task, checking the human traffic and security conditions.

O, yes, Huey helicopters released (dropped) petals of roses and other variety of flowers so colorful which landed near or about the venerated images of the Virgin of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro (the blodied face of Jesus Christ imprinted on the piece of cloth) just when the bells of the Metropolitan Cathedral started pelting.

More than many thanks is also extended to the PAF crew and personnel who accommodated a handful of professional and amateur photographers (including one of ours) on its Peñafrancia flight around the route of the procession and the fluvial parade.

The opportunity afforded many people to check out (in still shots) how the event really looked like as viewed from the air. Maybe next time a TV crew may just do the same and broadcast the proceedings live on TV. It would be awesome.

But for those Bicolanos that were not physically present during the Traslacion and the Fluvial events, they relied on the excellent vocal (radio) coverage of several stations in Naga. The only letdown was the coverage of a local television station.

The anchors and remote point reporters were unprepared the station should have supplied prior script or note of details (history and what to expect, etc).

At one point, the station’s production manager-main anchor was interviewing a priest in the studio he can not recall the name, good enough the lady co-anchor supplied the info. Ruff edges needs more sanding here.

“All’s well that ends well”!! ” We did a pretty much comprehensive coverage of this event, (in words and photos) please check out our previous posts.

Thanks to Sky Watch Team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia. See more skies on this link. Skywatch Friday

Photos by our Tony Abalayan, Jr.


10 thoughts on “Peñafrancia Festival in Retrospect”

  1. The festival is a success, as I can see the way people flocked to see the fluvial parade. Haven’t attended that festival I will surely come and see it soon!

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