|The dancing Virgin
of Pakil, Laguna
|Author: Josephine Darang
I WAS fascinated by the swaying of the bodies in tune with the
music, the waving of arms and the chanting of the loving phrase
''Turumba, Turumba sa Birhen!'' And so they came old men and
women, young people and children from the town of Pakil down
to Intramuros for the Marian procession last Dec. 5.
There we were from the lowlands fascinated by it all and more
convinced that our love for rites and traditions would save us
eventually from spiritual destruction. At the center of all this
was the Blessed Mother, whose feast day we celebrate today
(Dec. 12) under her title Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Caught by a fishing net
The history of the Virgin of Turumba in Pakil begins when one
Friday morning, some fishermen trying their luck along Laguna
de Bay caught something on their nets. It was a 9'' x 11'' icon of
the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It is said that when the fishermen tried to row the other way
going to another town, the boat would not budge. It was only
when they rowed the boat toward Pakil that the wind caught the
sail and on they went.
It was Sunday when the fishermen reached the shore. By then,
people had gathered. As if guided by the Virgin herself, the men
carried the icon with the people following in a procession. They
danced while parading.
The icon was enshrined in the church of San Pedro de Alcantara
which was run by the Franciscans. The day was Sept. 15, 1788.
Since then sets of nine-day novenas called ''lupi'' have been said
on Viernes Dolores until September. After every ''lupi'' is the
dancing of the ''turumba.'' People from far away come to Pakil in
fulfillment of a panata or to ask a favor.
Thank you, AFP
This column would like to thank the Armed Forces of the
Philippines for escorting the Blessed Mother during the Marian
procession last Dec. 5.
Like days of old, the military led the procession. They lent
solemnity to the occasion and an emotional moment came when
everyone stood to sing the National Anthem. I had never seen
the military so regal, so handsome in their uniforms.
A day in the life of a parish priest
Daniel Bernardo Sta. Maria was 36 years old when God called
him to become a priest. Daniel was a successful chemical
engineer and working in a top company; he was a summa cum
laude graduate of UST; he was good-looking and wanted to get
But God had other plans for him. He called him to the priesthood
and is presently the parish priest of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Parish in Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati. Father Dan has been
promoted ''monsignor'' and has been for 13 years a priest.
In a delightful book ''A Day in the Life of a Parish Priest''
published by Catholic Book Center run by Louie Reyes,
Monsignor Dan describes his day-to-day life as a priest.
When I began reading it one Saturday afternoon, I could not
put it down as it put some light to some of the questions I had
been asking as to how the religious and priests could spend
their lives serving God totally.
Monsignor Dan answers these questions obliquely by citing
normal situations, from day-to-day life. The book also gives
importance to God's grace. It emphasizes the need for a strong
prayer life to sustain the religious vocation.
But what really is celibacy?
Monsignor Dan says that celibacy is not only the absence of a
wife, but it is also the commitment to total availability of service,
a total giving of self to others. He wrote: ''It is getting up at 3
o'clock in the morning to anoint a dying person after staying
past midnight for a youth get-together. It is foregoing a
much-needed siesta for an emergency counselling.''
This book is a ''must read'' for both priests and lay people. Our
lady of Guadalupe Parish should have the book or, perhaps,
Libreria de San Pablo.
Fr. Oliver Genuino of Sto. Niqo de Molino Parish in Bacoor,
Cavite marks his 25th anniversary as a priest on Dec. 14 with a
Mass at 9:30 a.m. Father Ollie is one of my favorite priests. He is
a holy priest and committed to his calling.
Fr. Thomas Paul Naval and Fr. Luke William Ong recently
celebrated their 10th year anniversary as priests at the Shrine of
Mount Carmel in Quezon City.
Thank you, readers
Thanks to some of our readers, Bishop DeWitt now has a
wheelchair and also three other sisters of the Mensa Domini.
God bless you.