Calabanga, Naga and Daraga Gears for Religious Festivities

With a report from Marian Ramos

A strong sign that the folks in Calabanga are gearing up for the coming religious and civic festivities is in the air. Our street citizen journalist, Marian Ramos sends photo (above) report here:

Volunteer youths swarmed the Catholic church yard of La Porteria parish for a cleanup drive in antipation of the coming busy religious activitites. One volunteer, Nicka Reyes showed her mettle at street-yard sweeping. All sidewalk entries leading to the church underwent a maintenance retouch, leveling and cement poured eliminates the perennial pothole eyesore.

Sidewalk stalls otherwise known as tiangge now start to sprout, entices a fast and compelling urge for a buy like school supplies, ID cords, lunchboxes and many teeny tiny ones. Selling price starts at P5 apiece for selected items. The general public are cautioned though of the quality and durability of dry goods being sold.

Aside from Calabanga’s “Our Lady of La Porteria” for their patron saint, the bustling town of Daraga in Albay province shares the same distinction. It, too, has the “Lady of the Gates” for their Catholic patron. Expect the celebration in the town to spread more cheers about the streets of this potential LGU becoming a city in the very near future. Daraga is a first class municipality and home to many educational and learning institutions of Albay.

Daraga’s church early this year had been refurbished with lime coating that turned the edifice to whitish in color. In a year’s time the church will return to its original form even as the protective coat would enhance and preserve the structure, enthusiasts were assured.

According to parish priest Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo, the National Museum, the National Historical Institute and the National Commission on culture and the Arts closely coordinated on the project planning and implementation. Parishioners and Legaspi bishop Joel Baylon were also consulted.

The NCCA spent about P4 million aside from an additional counterpart funding from the parish and Daraga’s local government for the purpose. (Well, a strange case of government public spending for a religious entity this side of the region? Speaking of the church and state separation. Do we hear any howl to that effect?)

The national museum declared the parish of Our Lady of the Gates as a national cultural treasure in 2007, as a relic for art enthusiasts due to its rich baroque architectural designs meticulously carved on volcanic rocks. Its façade gives the church a very special distinct outlook. It is situated on top of the Sta. Maria hill overlooking the majestic slopes of Mayon volcano.

Meanwhile, the bigger, traditional regional fiesta centered in Naga city keeps local and non-governmental groups on their toes. Todate, the Peñafrancia executive council and its steering committees were formed and assigned to make a smooth celebration as possible.

Mayor John Bongat sits as the chairman and vice mayor Gabriel Bordado as co-chairperson. The council is composed of SB members chairing civic parade, voyadores festival, regional military street parade, DXMC/boy & girl scouts parade, trade fairs and carnivals and finance, search for Miss Bicolandia and sponsorship, 436th foundation anniversary of Ciudad de Nueva Caceres, committees on tourism, culture and the arts, public safety and secretariat.

Also, support committees were created for venue arrangements, communications, documentation, tabulation, invitations, medical, and food. Engr. Joel Martin was assigned for transportation.

By the way, have you noticed local radio stations start playing Christmas tunes as the first month of “ember” salute the start of the happiest season of all?(

One thought on “Calabanga, Naga and Daraga Gears for Religious Festivities”

  1. This caught my attention. So the Hill’s name is Sta. Maria! Anyhow, to the issue on whether or not this violates the separation of the church and the state clause: I don’t think there’s any violation as the church itself is now considered a national cultural treasure, and the LGU’s purpose was to preserve a national relic, which means that this qualifies as a secular legislative purpose, which is an exception to the separation of the church and the state clause in the Constitution. Besides, the NCCA spent also for the preservation, which is undeniably an agency of the government, to which the separation of the church and the state must also apply. But since many of the churches in this Roman Catholic nation are national treasures for having existed for centuries, the legislative purpose of NCCA in preserving these churches are undeniably secular.

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