We will attempt to do a live blogging of the Peñafrancia fluvial procession here!! This post will continuously get live update! Because of the nature, typographical errors may occur which will subsequently be edited. Thanks!!! Please continue to refresh the page to get the current update.
2:00P.M.- Weeks before today’s fluvial, male devotees who will ride the “Pagoda” (barge) were required to submit pictures and info for ID purposes which is non-transferable.
It is the same refurbished Pagoda used on previous years that will be used on today’s event. More than a hundred manually paddled boats will participate in pulling the barge.
Voyadores earlier underwent orientation and training for the Traslacion and fluvial procession.
On today’s event, these voyadores were assigned on designated stations where the procession will pass and take their post in pushing and guiding the carriages that carries the images. Each set of voyadores will take over the previous set, and so on, up until the river bank landing at Tabuco bridge.
Naga city has been officially declared a “Pilgrim City” this year per Presidential Proclamation number 33 of 2010 because of the unfolding events of the tercentenary celebration. Bicol is the only region of the Philippines with a regional religious devotion.
2:15:41 PM- The Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga or officially the Cathedral of St John, the Evangelist was first built in 1595 when the Diocese of Nueva Caceres was established.
The present structure is the third church and was built in 1843, subsequently repaired in 1862 and 1890. The current structure has just undergone a general restoration work. Here, the procession kicks-off.
2:45 PM- Priests are appealing to devotees to stop grabbing the roses wrapped around the carriages once the procession starts. As of now, more than five masses had been held at the Cathedral. Devotees are still lined-up to pay homage to the image, going to the altar. Recessional is on-going.
Afterwards, all the doors of the cathedral will be closed upon the exit of the images. Volunteer and trained voyadores will assist in the transfer of the images from the altar to the waiting wheeled carriages.
3:0 9PM- The adorned barge (Pagoda) has always been, and traditionally, pulled by the volunteer-voyadores’ boats. It has no motorized power of its own. Hence, boats are inter-connected by ropes pulling the Pagoda.
Voyadores, who now belong to the religious association of Cofradia de San Jose, both on the procession, on the fluvial barge and the boats are wearing color coded shirts.
The voyadores who came from the different vicariates of the Archdiocese of Caceres previously underwent a religious and moral formation. Discipline among the group will be instilled.
One gets dis-enfranchised if joining on today’s event under the influence of liquor, meaning, will be expelled from the group and prevented from becoming a voyador in the next celebrations.
3:32 P.M.- An estimated 2.5 million people expected to have joined, participated, witnessed some or all of the activities of the tercentenary.
3:40 P.M.- The Cathedral has been emptied of devotees except for the priests and people in charge of placing the images to the carriage.
The image of the Virgin of Peñafrancia has just been removed from the altar towards the Cathedral gate and the Guardias de Maria, an inner circle of able-bodied men, also members of the Cofradia de San Jose, are tasked to bring the image out of the Cathderal to the carriage. The Divino Rostro will be out of the gate first.
Church bells starts to ring. There are thirty three volunteer people- church bell ringers- who will change hands and help in ringing the bells continuously.
3:48 P.M.- The image of the Virgin is getting a change of attire. Last year, the original image of the Virgin was used in the fluvial procession. Today’s event, we still have to confirm if the image is the original or just the replica.
Confirmed, the original image of the Virgin was the one used during the Traslacion. The duplicate image is made of fiber glass.
It must be recalled that the original was a subject of robbery years ago but was ultimately recovered after an absence of three months.
But for today’s event, your guess is as good as mine. Only an inner circle of few knows which of the images of the Virgin was really used.
After that robbery, the original image has always been kept in a safe hiding place in the Basilica so that what many people see displayed on the altar is only the duplicate.
3:53 P.M.- The image of the Divino Rostro is now out of the Cathedral. It will be given a good distance before the ultimate image of the Virgin comes out of the Cathedral. also to give space to the devotees.
4:05 P.M. There is a delay in mounting the image of Our Lady. Currently, the Holy Rosary is being recited for the next fifteen minutes.
4:21 P.M.- The virgin is now mounted on the carriage, then exits on the gate facing the Universidad de Sta. Isabel. At first we thought it will pass through the Porta Mariae, but no, maybe because of the many obstructions along the way.
4:33 P.M.- The image of Divino Rostro nears the landing site. Divino Rostro is the image (face) of Jesus Christ.
4:37 P.M. – Divino Rostro now loaded on the barge. This image is a replica of the original which is kept at the Basilica Minore.
5:17 P.M. The image of the Virgin now at the embarcation point. Floral offerings are being done by specially selected children for the task. A priest performs a rite blessing the image with incense.
The barge has a capacity for 150 people only. This will be the first time that among the 150 persons, some representatives of Bicol devotees from other countries will be allowed to board the Pagoda.
They were instrumental in helping propagate the faith and devotion to the Virgin of Peñafrancia in other countries. Both images of the Virgin and the Divino Rostro shares a ride in one barge.
5:03 P.M. It must be recalled that the image of the Virgin of Peñafrancia was crowned in 1924 as the Patroness of the Bicol region. Now, the image is arriving the designated Tabuco landing. The Divino Rostro has been waiting for more than thirty minutes now.
5:23 P.M.- Fluvial procession started a while ago. Voyadores started paddling the boats pulling the barge.
5:37 P.M. -Barge passes the Colgante bridge. It must be recalled that in 1972, the original hanging bridge collapsed during the fluvial procession, killing scores of people, young and old, including one radio announcer covering the event from DZGE, Mila Obias. Mila was the only daughter of Mrs. Emerita Obias of Calabanga.
The unfortunate accident prompted the government to repair the bridge and replace it with a new concrete structure.
6:06 P.M.- The Basilica Minore grounds is now full and crowded with people awaiting the images. Mass will be held once the images arrive outside to accommodate the devotees.
The Pontifical Mass will have the main celebrant- the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams. He officially represents the Pope on this event. There’s fireworks display at the Basilica grounds. This signals the near-arrival of the Virgin of Peñafrancia
6:20 P.M.- The image of the Virgin arrives.
6:35 P.M. – Mass starts.
6:44 P.M. – Archbishop Adams blesses handheld objects of devotees- white kerchiefs, candles, fans, etc.