Coastal parish prepares for feast of Bicol patroness

By Myrna Bermudo


Children, young men and women, adults and senior parishioners of the coastal parish of St. Anthony Padua in Bikal, Caramoan joyfully gathered to actively participate in “Pagsungko ni Ina.”


“Pagsungko” is a yearly tradition where an image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is brought to barangays, sitios, business establishments, schools and government offices as an act of visitation to help Bicolanos prepare spiritually for the regional feast every September.


It is also a reminder of God’s constant presence in the life of His people, in good times and in bad.


In the New Testament Lukan account, Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Lk 1: 41)

Parishioners of the coastal parish in St. Anthony Padua, Bikal, Caramoan gathered to actively participate in “Pagsongko ni Ina” to prepare for the regional feast of the Patroness of Bicol, Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Twelve barangays and eight sitios were visited by newly assigned parish priest Fr. Jay Aguilar bringing the images of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and Divino Rostro. The pagsongko in the parish started in July 3 crossing streams, seas and hilly areas in the town of Caramoan. (By MB. Photo credit: Christian H. Dellova, Caramoan St. Anthony of Padua Parish FB page)


During the “Pagsungko,” a mass is celebrated with the congregation as a culminating activity.


Newly assigned parish priest, Fr. Jay Aguilar, initiated the visitation in the barangays as a way of introducing himself and also to prepare the parish for the regional feast.


Twelve (12) barangays and eight (sitios warmly welcomed the parish priest and the images of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and Divino Rostro. Colorful banderitas were hanged on fishing boats for the fluvial procession. Adults sang songs to Mary. Children carried handmade crosses and flaglets made of bamboo during the procession around the barangay or sitio.


The “Pagsungko” in the Parish of St. Anthony of Padua in Bikal, started in July 3 in the following places under the care of the parish: Brgy Gogon, Sitio Nipa, Sitio Lipata, Brgy Daraga, SitioGuinahoan, Brgy Oring, Brgy Gata, Sitio Campo, Sitio Pawikan, Brgy Haponan, Sitio Balibagan, Barangay Maqueda, BarangayMinalaba and Sitio Pisoson all in the town of Caramoan.


It was well-participated. It is the first time that the yearly tradition was again practiced after two years due to the pandemic.