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September 21, 2009

Camarines Sur 2009

September 17, 2009. 2PM – My family decided to go to Naga City for the Penafrancia Festival. Since it’s merely 2 days before the feast, I had a hard time finding a hotel or any place to stay. This is my 5th time in Bicol. But before we have no problem with accommodation since my aunt is a nun and we are staying at the Basilica. My aunt is member of Daughters of Mary congregation. This year, they didn’t come with us. We found a tourist inn outside Naga City where we stayed comfortably.

The feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is celebrated on the third Saturday of September in Naga City where Filipinos (not only Bicolanos) will pay honor to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, whom the Bicolanos fondly call Ina, the miraculous patroness of the Bicol Region. The feast day is headed by a novena, nine days of prayer, in honor of the Virgin. On the first day, the image of the Virgin, a copy of the Madonna in Peñafrancia, Spain, is brought from its shrine to the Naga Cathedral where the novena is held. On the last day, the image is returned to her shrine following the Naga River route. The colorful evening procession is lit by thousands of candles from followers in boats escorting the image. When the float reaches its destination, the devotees shout "Viva la Virgen" (Long live the Virgin!) and the image is carried back in a procession to the cathedral.


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