Welcome to The Pilgrim City of Naga!
If you are coming from the Southern tip of the Bicol Peninsula like Sorsogon and Albay, the relatively new restaurants that would greet you are Bigg’s Diner and McDonald’s. They are close to the array of automobile shops. As you get closer to the City of Naga, another new branch of McDonald’s with a drive-thru, will give you a chance of munching a meal. This one is right across the Holy Rosary Major Seminary.
The newly renovated Immaculate Conception Church is worth a stop and a visit. The bright exteriors are the same as the interiors. It is grand and its altar is worthy of Our Lady and Our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are coming from the Northern and central part of Luzon like Ilocos and Manila, there is the newly opened S&R Membership Shopping warehouse. And, the LCC mall at the Naga City Central Bus terminal is a good respite from the long travels.
These shops and restaurants are sporadically located around the city landscape; the first Krispy Kreme restaurant, Pomodoro restaurants, Bigg’s Diner Centro, Antigua Restaurant, the Magsaysay Town Center, and there are many coffee and milk tea shops that have sprouted everywhere.
The Traslacion is already tomorrow, as Bicol Mail is published every Thursday. Perhaps after the religious traditions, the whole family can do some bonding in the different recreational places in and around the City. The myriad developments would be enough for everyone. The City parks have been declared as pilgrim zones, hence people-- as families, as relatives, and as friends --can have a rest and reflect at the same time after the Traslacion.
The City of Naga has been democratized economically that there is something for everyone. Take for instance the milk tea. At Infinitea it may cost as high as 100 plus while at King Brew it costs only at 30 plus. Fried chicken can cost almost as high as 200 Pesos while at some Fried chicken stands they can be purchased at half the price. Be sure to also avail yourself of promos and discounts. You can check out the Local City government page as they are offering a sales partnership with local businesses. Another great information source of discount finds is the Naga City Deck Facebook Page.
Again, for the people who cannot afford a place to stay in, you could stay at Ina’s place at the Basilica Minore. Expect that there would be a multitude of people, so please do look out for your children. And, please bring lots of water with you as you participate in the religious activities. Unlike in other parts of Luzon which are flooded, the City as of this writing is experiencing sunny weather.
The local Parish of the Basilica Minore is planning to mass produce images of The Holy Face complete with the frame. However, they would be ready for buyers by next year. In the meantime, the images of Our Ina are aplenty and are available at Souvenir Shops at local parishes. There is an App done by the Archdiocese of Caceres that you can freely download now.
Yes, we are saving the best for last, the Spanish zone of the City, is ready. The Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal stands prominently on a pedestal at the Vincentian Heritage Park in front of the Universidad de Santa Isabel. All the statues had been painted and the greenery had been pruned. The Archbishop’s Residence is mesmerizing in dazzling white. Its fence is sparkling white. The Cathedral grounds had been renovated for more functionality and ease. Posters abound. The air is truly more festive.
Finally, we find the Porta Mariae quite fitting for Our Queen. It appears more regal than ever. The hues of white complements the Golden Metallic Image of Our Ina. Our Lady becomes the foreground and the Porta Mariae becomes the background. Although it is massive, towering, and, imposing, the created curb appeal of the structure was softened by the shades of pastel white that made the Porta Mariae a perfect pedestal for Nuestra Senñora de Peñafrancia. Viva!
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