CAMALIG, Albay---Though all roads leading to Naga City was closed for devotees of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia during her week-long feast due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, faithful from other parts of the Bicol region never stopped professing their devotion and strong faith in “Ina”, the patroness of Bicolandia.
In barangay Salugan here, where a miniature image of “Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia” is housed in a centennial Camagong wood inside the El Miro De Shie Integrated Farm, the statue of “Ina” was decorated by buddies Alwin Moralejo, a makeup artist and Ronald Lita, a local designer of Atelier Ronaldo, along with the children of village chieftain Shiela Dino and Edmiro Dino for the feast of “Ina.”
The Our Lady of Peñafrancia is the patron saint of El Miro De Shie Integrated Farm. On her feast day, every 3rd Sunday of September, the image of “Ina” is brought to St. John the Baptist Church by the youth and barangay officials for the solemnity celebration.
As the “Ina” on board a “karo” is brought to the church through a procession passing the national highway, motorists and people on the streets showed their faith and reverence to the image by making the sign of the cross.
As the procession marched on, devotees sang “Resuene Vibrante,” the official hymn of Ina. For Bicolanos, the song is a moving and powerful hymn composed in 1924 by Fr. Maximo Juguera, CM.
The “Himno A Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia” or the “Resuene Vibrante” has become the official hymn in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia since 1924, the year of her canonical coronation.
Fr. Juguera was inspired to write the lyrics of the song while on “vacacion comun” at Lanot, Camarines Norte as intimated by the lyrics “Los montes proclaman tu gloria y poder” according to the Archdiocese of Caceres.
The hymn is well-known among Bicolanos for it is their “Love Song” to the Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
This hymn is included in the album “Gikan sa Dios” (from God), a commemorative album for the Tercentenary of the devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
This year, devotees of “Ina” across the country, specifically in Bicol region celebrated the feast of Peñafrancia through parish-to-parish, home-to-home and village-to-village, as the Naga City government banned devotees and visitors from entering the city during the week-long feast as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Shiela Dino said that the celebration of the feast of “Ina” will be done yearly in Salugan as their way of honoring the region’s patroness even after the coronavirus pandemic.
After the mass in the town’s parish, the image was brought back through a procession to El Miro De Shie Integrated Farm wherein another mass was celebrated in her honor.
Archbishop of Caceres Rolando Tria Tirona urged the faithful to celebrate the solemnity of Ina in a somber, solemn, yet safe manner in parishes and houses because of Covid-19.
“As we celebrate the solemnity of our “Ina” is a somber, solemn, yet safe manner, may we never forget to dialogue with her through our prayers. That she may protect us with her mantle of love, and intercede for all our petitions,” the prelate said.
“Living in such a situation, Mary comes to us through the fiesta, though her being our ‘Ina’ under the title of Our Lady of Peñafrancia---to converse with each one of us, to console us, to encourage us, and to tell us not to lose hope but believe in the mighty power of faith and to believe that as long as we have a heart open to God. God as the father will heed our prayers and will always be with us in the end of time,” Tirona said.
The annual celebration of strong devotion to Ina which was sprouted across the country and even simulated by Filipinos abroad is the longest celebration of faith where devotees from all walks of life convened together from Naga Metropolitan Cathedral to main thoroughfares of Naga City to grand fluvial procession at Naga River on the third Saturday of the month.
The strong devotion to Ina was introduced by Spanish priest Fr. Miguel Robles de Cobarrubias in 1710.