Our Ardent Love for Ina
WE write this column as we celebrate the 2019 Feast of the Virgin of Penafrancia. Last Friday’s traditional “Traslacion” was celebrated and witnessed by thousands of devotees from all over the region and other parts of the country. My family was at the East and West Function Room of the Crown Plaza Hotel, where we waited for Ina to pass by, carried by the crowd in the “Traslacion.” It touches every Bicolano’s heart to witness how the fervor of devotion to our “Ina” has accompanied us through the years, and burns even brighter with each fiesta celebration. Upon our invitation, our CFC brothers and sisters, Boyot and Nor Gerobin, Marilyn Dagooc, and Jun Sahagon, our friends Rufo Tuy, Jr and his wife Nora joined us for a fellowship lunch, as we waited for the procession to arrive, together with the huge crowd of devotees awaiting her down at the Plaza Quince Martires. Upon her arrival, our little group at the hotel spontaneously sang our hymn to the Virgin of Penafrancia and shouted together Viva La Virgen! Viva El Divino Rostro! Then a prayerfully quiet moment followed, as we watched Ina continue her “walk” to the Cathedral. This moment is always one that becomes enshrined in our memories.
This coming Saturday, September 21, will be the traditional “Fluvial Procession” where Ina and the Divino Rostro will cruise the Bicol River on a “Pagoda” as thousands alongside the river bank waive their white handkerchiefs and carry their lit candles in an expression of fervent devotion. This will commence at the Basilica Minore with a concelebrated Mass, signaling the end of the one-week fiesta celebration. But even then, we expect that busloads of devotees will still arrive in the coming weeks following the fiesta. Indeed, the pilgrim city of Naga’s ardent love for our “Ina” never wanes. We are “pueblo amante Maria”-people in love with Mary, as the theologians would say.
Today, September 19, our friend and compadre Totoy Reorizo and his charming spouse Cora, who has decided to migrate back to Naga after years of stay in California, are hosting a dinner-fellowship at their newly constructed residential house in Villa Grande Homes, Concepcion Grande. The couple is hosting the dinner to welcome family and friends from LA who are in Naga for a visit.
Greetings to our ever charming friend, radio DWNW program host Grace Refama-Sumando, whom we chanced upon at the Robinson’s Mall yesterday.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“YOU MUST LEARN TO MOVE OUT OF THE AREA OF THINKING AND MOVE INTO THE AREA OF FEELING, SENSING, LOVING, INTUITING. THAT IS THE AREA WHERE CONTEMPLATION IS BORN AND PRAYER BECOMES A TRANSFORMING POWER AND A SOURCE OF NEVER ENDING DELIGHT AND PEACE.” -ANTHONY DE MELLO, S.J.
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH. BUT IF SALT LOSES ITS TASTES, WITH WHAT CAN IT BE SEASONED?” - MATHEW 5:13