Friday, April 9, 2010


This is my third day in the Philippines now and my second day here in Bicol. Today, we expect to endure a long and hot yet enjoyable day to observe Bicol's Holy Week. To my expectations, I'm pretty excited to experience the solemnity of the religious tradition which is different in Manila and Brunei.

To start off the day, we decided to observe the Bisita Iglesia and the Procession at night. And so, to prepare for our battle, we took our powerhouse breakfast. What’s for breakfast? Pansit Bicol,puto, sinapot (banana fitters), kalamay, at daing na tilapia! Good thing, the big portion of food we had didn't reflect in our tummies. Plus, it also helped to have a big breakfast as we planned to do some "fasting" for lunch.

As our main intinerary, today, we visited seven churches around the vicinity! Our first stop, say hello to...

  1. Our Lady of Penafrancia Church (The new one)

Our Lady of Peñafrancia Church was built in 1711 by Rev. Miguel Covarrubias. It houses the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. He constructed this church in fullfillment of the vow he made during his youth. The second church was built in 1750 by Bishop Isidoro de Arevalo, repaired and improved in 1876-1877 by Bishop Francisco Gainza. The image was solemnly crowned by the Rt. Rev. Guillermo Piano on September 20, 1924.

The concept for the building the Basilica Minore came from Archbishop Pedro P. Santos in 1960. Construction began on April 18, 1976, but was delayed for a number of years due to finance problems and was not completed until September, 1981.

On May 22, 1982 it was dedicated as The Church of Nuestra Señora de Peña de Francia and it wasn't until May 22, 1985 that the Church was given the title of "Basilica Minore" from Rome after a request from the third Archbishop of Caceres, Leonardo Z. Legaspi.

The Peñafrancia Basilica Minore houses an image of the virgin Mary that was sculpted in 1710. It was commissioned by Miguel de Cobarrubias who moved to the Philippines from Spain with his family and believed that the virgin Mary had helped him numerous times in his life.

Information are from Wikipedia. Photos courtesy of Stacey and me!

To be continued...

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